The Salone del Mobile.Milano Shanghai, held from 22nd to 24th November 2018, was an extraordinary digest of the Milan event, showcasing a carefully selected range of the very best contemporary products. It provided an interesting snapshot of the aesthetic trends of 2018 in which, as the Salone del Mobile.Milano showed, no single angle prevailed, rather the evidencing of many different approaches, if not totally contrasting ones. Underscoring a sort of polymorphism that is perhaps the key stylistic canon of the last few years, along with a clear preference for all things tactile, palpable, with a story (preferably rooted in craftsmanship) and a “memory” (all the better if crafted by hand).
This has informed enveloping and generously shaped furniture and accessories, which reference both organicism and true sculptural vocation. Take Edra’s Pack sofa and Ceccotti’s Fagiolo tables, not to mention Antonio Lupi’s freestanding Intreccio sink, Citco’s Volta benches, Riva 1920’s Kauri tables and the Chair One dining chairs by Magis. While marble takes shape in creations bordering on art, one-off wooden pieces bear precious witness to the material’s millenary past and metal is teamed with concrete, evoking archetypal styles.
Equally interesting is the reverse trend towards dematerialisation, or subtraction of form, as in Kartell’s Catwalk chair (not photographed inside an artist’s workshop simply by chance, underscoring the link with history and material) and Artemide’s Discovery lamp. Powerfully iconic elements serve as mouthpieces for a simpler and more measured way of life, characterised by detailed composite lines that underscore the fact that they belong in a world governed by a clear idea of form. In which everything depends on what Michelangelo described as “the art of removing.”