Every April around this time, Milan welcomes creative types from all across the globe for the Salone Internazionale del Mobile—pretty much the wildest week in the design world. Though the past few years have seen efforts to curb the rampant bacchanal of new production for new production's sake, there's still a hell of a lot to take in.
Although Gizmodo didn't touch down in Italy this year, we rounded up some of the coolest stuff that debuted throughout the city. It's a mix that covers one-offs, exhibitions, manufacturing methods and materials, and it's only about one-millionth of what was out there. Let us know of any neat stuff we missed in the comments!
There is something incredibly charming about these fixtures from the Italian creative team at BassethoundsFactory. They're expertly cobbled together using everything from coffee cups to rolling pins. They also represent a bright and cheery ode to Astrid Lindgren's 1958 classic tale, Pippi Longstocking: "The whole world is full of things, and somebody has to look for them. And that's just what a Thing-Finder does." [Klat Magazine]
Tokujin Yoshioka's aptly named Agravic table sticks a marble slab between two perfectly placed prisms that balance the weight with crazy-precise accuracy. The Japanese designer calls it the "table of the universe" thanks to its apparent ability to screw around with gravity.
For those who aren't yet prepared to spring for the adjustable hospital bed but wish there was a way to prop up your upper bod without moving a muscle, this inflatable Soufflet pillow from Paris-based Bina Baitel is exactly what you're been waiting for. Considering I'm writing this post from bed with my neck at a 90-degree angle, I could actually see it being fun—and comfortable—to use.
Another inflatable! Cumulus, a solar-powered umbrella by the Dutch gang at Studio Toer, fills up with air when the sun starts to shine. Smart, though perhaps a little precarious if it also happens to be a windy day.
These glow-in-the-dark fixtures by Dutch studio Bernotat & Co. make it look like we're inhabiting some kind of wackadoo underwater universe full of strange microscopic organisms blown up to life-size. The polyester material was 3D printed and sewn together, which gave it enough structure to eliminate the need for an interior frame. [Dezeen]
Marmoreal is a new kind of engineered architectural building material produced by Dzek, made from a combination of four types of Italian marble mixed with polyester resin binders; together, they become a unique kind of terrazzo. For its Milano appearance, British designer Max Lamb clad an entire room in the slabs, which give the effect of being inside a nougat candy bar. Mmmm, nougat candy bar... [Disegno]
I can't get over how much this trompe l'oeil rug by Anselm Reyle and Swedish manufacturer Henzel looks like a crumpled bit of foil. The artist has experience tricking the eye—this piece recalls his similar painting series—and, well, this thing is seriously fucking expensive. Like, $16,000 to $20,000 expensive. Yeesh. [Wallpaper]
This white oak and fabric Thaw sofa by Junpei Tamaki Design is meant to evoke the sense of freshly fallen, fluffy snow, but I'll be damned if it doesn't look exactly like a piece from Sausalito, California's very own Heath Ceramics. Check it out:
Did you know that the same kind of punched cards control both the jaunty tunes of old timey organs and the warp and weft of a certain kind of textile loom? Glithero, aka British designer Tim Simpson and Dutch designer Sarah van Gameren, bridged the gap for a cool a medium mash-up—and managed to weave music into these scarves. More here.