Milan Design Week 2021: Bamboo, Blow-Ups and 3 other design trends to know

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In 1967, a trio of Italians – Paolo Lomazzi, Donato D’Urbino and Jonathan De Pas – created an inflatable chair in transparent PVC plastic with Italian furniture brand Zanotta that perfectly captured the radical spirit of the moment. Now, in 2021, as the limit-pushing designs of the late ’60s and’ 70s make a serious comeback, so do fun (albeit slightly whimsical) inflatables. In Alcova, Objects of Common Interest showcased inflatable lounge chairs and floor lamps, and Gallery All showcased a large inflatable Mylar-like sculpture. Meanwhile, in Piazza San Fedele, Gufram, a pioneering brand known for its cartoonish foam furniture, installed a giant, inflatable Pratone to honor the 50th anniversary of the iconic grass-shaped lounge. A passing fad, perhaps, but in an age when the environmental impact of shipping around the world is at the forefront, perhaps furniture that can be deflated, folded and neatly stowed in a suitcase could really support a more sustainable future. —HM

In the new Milanese boutique of La DoubleJ, a colorful table destination.

Photo: Filippo Bamberghi / Courtesy of La DoubleJ

Impactful table top

The move towards maximalist entertainment isn’t a new trend, but if Milan Design Week is any indication, it’s here to stay. No one embodies it quite as well as Lisa Corti, whose collaboration with Laboratorio Paravicini was an explosion of floral and ikat designs tucked away on charming Via Santa Marta. The colorful world of La DoubleJ was on full display in the brand’s new boutique on Via Sant’Andrea, where bamboo shelves held vibrant tabletop creations. La DoubleJ founder JJ Martin has gushed about the brand’s latest holiday entertainment concept, a color scheme of watermelon pink and kelly green. At Hermès, the house has played with a new take on the classic H motif, transforming it into centerpieces in every color combination imaginable. Armani Casa was also on board, showing off fish plates with swirling turquoise glassware reminiscent of coastal Italian summers. – Madeline O’Malley

The Dior Medallion Chair exhibition featured works by 17 different artists.

Photo credit: Alessandro Garofalo / Courtesy of Dior


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