08.05.2023 Nora Good

Trends from the Salone del Mobile 2023

© Andrea Mariani

The 61st Salone del Mobile has come and gone; with just under 308 000 visitors, attendance was 15 % greater than in 2022. This means the Milan fair has returned to the international stage and overcome the hard years of the pandemic. We have compiled our discoveries from Milan: here is an initial impression.

Modular system Ralik of Arper, © Salva Lopez

Space and function

The new modular sofa system from Arper, known as Ralik, was designed by Ichiro Iwasaki and presents flexible spatial solutions for the private and property-related spheres. The collection encompasses six seating modules that can either be combined or used individually. The Ralik line is characterized by L-shaped legs of recycled polypropylene: these come in an extensive colour palette. The coverings are made of sustainable materials.

Fantoni and UNStudio are currently examining how the hybrid workforce is changing the office environment. As a result, they have introduced Panorama, a modular furniture series. This collection includes seating, desks, partitions and telephone cubicles developed expressly for use in office environments where hybrid collaboration has become part of life. The furniture is made entirely of recycled waste wood.

Panorama, a collaboration between Fantoni and UNStudio. © Fantoni

Zigzag at USM

During Design Week, the Brera district became a hot spot for new trends. The black-and-white pattern of the shelving systems on display stood out both at the fair and in Milan’s Rossignol bicycle shop. USM, a Swiss manufacturer of systems furniture, presented a limited edition by Claudia Comte in a striking zigzag motif.

Claudia Comte designs the limited USM edition. © USM
Claudia Comte designs the limited USM edition. © USM

Wellness at the Pinacoteca di Brera

Grohe Spa, the wellness line from the Grohe company of Düsseldorf, occupied the large inner courtyard at the Pinacoteca di Brera. The central installation was an enormous basin with a statue at its centre. The four walkable cubes with reflective surfaces were virtually invisible owing to their architecture and reflections. Each cube represented a product theme such as bespoke 3D-printed fittings, materials and surfaces, as well as subjects related to light, sound, steam and fragrance.

Grohe Spa in the courtyard of the Pinacoteca di Brera art museum. © Private
Grohe Spa in the courtyard of the Pinacoteca di Brera art museum. © Private

Cycles of light

Munich lighting manufacturer Occhio presented its wares under the motto New Horizons at the showroom in the garden of Villa Necchi Campiglio. In a dark, reflective space, new products such as the Luna luminaire were lit in a staged cycle of sunrise and sunset. It was a magical experience – in an impressive setting.

Lamp Luna from Occhio, © Occhio


Can a rug made of recycled waste plastic have a texture similar to that of natural silk? Object Carpet provided an answer with the Mediterraneo series, which was developed in cooperation with Studio Matteo Thun. This carpet collection for indoor and outdoor areas is made of reused polyester scraps; however, it looks like rattan and feels like real silk.

© Rodi Talco
Mediterraneo, the carpet collection for indoor and outdoor use by Object Carpet. © Private

Tarkett introduced the Desso & Patricia Urquiola collection in Milan. It is 100 % recyclable and was conceived in such a way that the individual components can easily be reused as raw materials for new carpet squares.

The new Desso & Patricia Urquiola collection from Tarkett. © Tarkett

Geometric handwork

Ames mit Mut Design presented Coco, textile origami-style seating for indoors and outdoors. The fabric covering is made of dyed acrylic yarn woven in the Bolívar region of northern Colombia. In a complex process, the four basic colours, each of which has five threads and ranges from pale to vivid nuances, interwoven with selected yarns in contrasting shades.

Coco modular seating collection by Ames, © Angel Segura

Materiality and food for thought beyond the fair

The Alcova design platform from the Space Caviar curatorial team provided a contrasting program to the Salone del Mobile. Visitors there encountered design that is generally less commercial and more focused on design processes. The topic of materiality was ubiquitous – and not just with Alcova – as in the Habitarematerials library curated by Nemo Architects, and in the presentation of the Atelier Luma Arles research platform, which promotes the use and processing of local resources.

The Alcova Design Platform took place for the fifth time, and this time in a former slaughterhouse near Porta Vittoria. © Agnes Ebedini, Piercarlo Quecchia

This year’s Salone del Mobile, as well as the presentations in the city, set a real challenge for throwaway and consumer culture. Recycled materials, carbon neutrality and the single-origin incorporation of elements determined not only architecture, but trends in design as well. Where this will lead us remains to be seen. However, it is certain that the development will gain momentum among most manufacturers devoted to interior decorating.

Fair: Salone del Mobile

Location: Mailand, Italien (IT)

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