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Giulio Iacchetti in Milan. Photo: Max Rommel
Giulio Iacchetti in Milan. Photo: Max Rommel

Lifestyle

Trending design from Milan

As the world’s sharpest design minds turn their attention to Milan, we zone in on local talent Giulio Iacchetti and his eclectic portfolio.

Design is thinking made visualApril sees the design community descending on Milan for the world’s biggest furniture fair, the week-long Salone del Mobile.  The city will host more than 300,000 visitors keen to spot the latest home interior trends and catch which designers are creating a stir. One of the more promising talents to keep an eye on this year is Giulio Iacchetti. Winner of two Compasso d’Oro awards, Italy’s top design prize, the 48-year-old Milan-based creative has worked with a wide range of clients, reinterpreting everything from sofas to city manhole covers. Active since 1992, this year the Cremona native is launching pieces at Salone for Italian design brands, including Magis and lighting producer Fontana-Arte.

Whether he is envisioning an eco-friendly disposable spoon or a beautifully turned vase, the bearded and bespectacled Iacchetti always starts with pen and paper to sketch out a prototype. “It’s a process that you get lost in, repeating a shape over and over again, until you hit that nirvana moment when you know it just feels right,” Iacchetti says.  Besides his collaborations with furniture manufacturers, the designer has been active for the past three years putting together his own brand, Internoitaliano. The creative joint venture works directly with artisan firms, who are often contracted by larger manufacturers to supply pieces. With over a dozen products already for sale, each made by a workshop or small business that specializes in a particular craft (ceramics, woodworking, etc.), the pieces are sold online and cut out the expensive showrooms and middlemen often found in the industry. His collection ranges from simple fish-like vases made by a traditional ceramic producer in Liguria to seating from Udine's famous chair district, made in solid beech, crafted with clean lines, and inspired by chairs found in Italy’s many trattorias and taverns.

Best in show: Salone 2015

From left: Kaari collection, Tolomeo desk lamp, Luceplan

Powerful partnership

In 2013 legendary Swiss design brand Vitra acquired Finland’s Artek, which was founded by the famed architect Alvar Aalto and his wife, Aino. The partnership between Vitra and Artek, both powerful players on the design scene, seems to be paying off for Artek, with the brand set to debut its Kaari collection this year. For the first collaboration, Artek Presents Kaari, brothers Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec conceived simple wall-mounted shelving and perfectly executed wooden tables offering clean lines and featuring bent metal ribbon bases.

Designing the future

Creator of the award-winning Tolomeo desk lamp, which has become commonplace in offices around the globe since launching in 1986, designer Michele De Lucchi will present an installation at the Salone del Mobile fairgrounds this year, imagining a new layout for the workplace amid greenery, an elevated walkway, and a selection of pieces tailored to the needs of the 21st-century office.

Innovative smarts

Euroluce, the biennial presentation of the latest from the world’s leading lighting manufacturers, returns this year with even more innovation and smart design. Among the ones to watch are a number of Italian firms, including Artemide, Flos, and Luceplan, with the latter having recently scored enormous success with pieces from -Norwegian designer Daniel Rybakken.

Text: Ivan Carvalho

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