The New Guard


While Salone de Mobile is turning 50 this year, the venerable design institution is paying heed to the new up-and-comers with its 14th installment of SaloneSatellite, a special exhibition for designers under 35. In the past 13 years, more than 6,000 designers from almost 200 different schools have participated and big names like Front, Lorenzo Damiani, and Sean Yoo have gone on to cement their place in the next 50 years of design history. Here are the picks that caught our eye:


From Finland’s Kaamos comes a treasure-trove of design-y goodies, from supple leather boxes that are just sturdy enough to double as poufs, to amorphous blown-glass oil lanterns, and super-simple portable three-legged stools that are just about as pared-down as you can get while still being perfectly functional.


Aptly named the Monkey Grip (the playful things do look a lot like Barrel of Monkeys), these polyethylene planters were designed by Adam Cornish to be used in places where space is at a premium.


It may be all the rage to move away from the traditional light bulb to modern-looking LEDs but Kirsti Taiviola takes a step in a creative new direction: hand-blown blubs are molded with carefully placed facets and then illuminated with an LED rather than traditional filament. The result is beautiful snowflake-like halo.


Not quite a newcomer to the design world, Stockholm-based designer Daniel Rybakken initially made himself known post-graduation three years ago for his knack for recreating seemingly-natural sunlight. One of his newest pieces, this simple back task light, is perfectly balanced to be moved at the touch of a finger.


Johan Lindsten updates traditional modern lighting designs with special pine veneer techniques. The natural grain becomes an asset, giving an unusual range of motion to the material and bringing life to otherwise cold shapes, as Lindsten says, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets out.”


It’s one of those pieces that just begs to be played with—each solid beech wood tube in the Multiple table is held together with embedded magnets and can be pulled apart and reassembled in a seemingly infinite number of configurations.


These super-light Waft tables from Takaaki Tani and Kazunori Matsumura seem to do just that—gently ungulate as they float away. The shockingly thin construction (just 4mm thick) comes from compressed layers of aluminum and wood and is still sturdy enough for day-to-day use.


If the Jetsons had a phonograph, this would be it. Delightfully simple, this ceramic MegaPhone from en&is design is sculpturally striking on its own and is amazingly effective at amplifying rich, attention-getting sound (even in a crowded convention hall) when an ipod is placed at the mouth.


The MLC001 by Mohamad El Khayat and Guangyan Li is meant to mimic city street lamps (the uppermost part contains LEDs) and the curve of the human body. It’s a bit eery in shape, but is most certainly striking, and surprisingly comfortable.


The Cut Desk from Jessika Kalleskog has a Midcentury feel with its simple lines and chestnut veneer and then a distinctly sculptural, 21st century bent when the cut becomes visible. Its success is it’s deceptive simplicity.