18 Architect-Designed Installations, Products, and Furniture Pieces at the 2022 Milan Design Week
Following two years of delays and cancellations, this year’s Milan Design Week saw thousands of designers, artists, and craftsmen put their skills on display and present different solutions for the future of manufacturing, interior design, materials, and the environment. As every year, renowned architects also took part of the week-long event, using products, furniture pieces, and installations to share their professional angle and answer some of the biggest questions of the practice, showcasing how it can contribute to the betterment of the environment and society as a whole.
Focusing on sustainability and environmental awareness with respect to furniture production, this year’s architectural contributions at Salone del Mobile saw innovative takes on “inclusive” design. Along with the pieces displayed at the Fiera Milano | Rho, architects collaborated with some of the biggest local and international manufacturers to create installations, products, materials, and furniture pieces that explore the future of living.
Read on to discover our selection of 18 architect-designed installations, furniture pieces, and products displayed during the 2022 Milan Design Week.
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CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, Italo Rota, and Rhea
CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, in collaboration with architect Italo Rota and coffee vending machine manufacturer Rhea, unveiled a prototype of the Coffee Landscape at BASE Milano. The project is a reconfigurable coffee station for offices that transforms the experience of coffee making into one where colleagues interact and socialize while sitting on modular cushions of different heights.
Snøhetta x Studio Plastique x Fornace Brioni
Forite is a sustainable glass tile created from the recycled glass of ovens and microwaves by Snøhetta, Studio Plastique, and Italian tile manufacturer Fornace Brioni, which “signals a clear push toward a new form of aesthetic driven by resources and honesty in material”.
OMA x UniFor
The concept of this furniture collection was to provide pieces that can be used by anyone, at any time, “to best support the flow of operations and communications required by the contemporary workplace”. The collection features more than one hundred elements, in the sizes S, M, L, and XL, and organized into different categories which can be configured in various ways to complement working in groups or independently.
Peter Zumthor x Time & Style
Swiss architect Peter Zumthor’s collection Chaise Lounge created for Therme Vals was reproduced by Tokyo-based Time & Style, a furniture manufacturer that uses traditional materials and techniques practiced in Japan. For the exhibition, the wooden frame was produced using a traditional Japanese steam bending technique.
BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group x Artemide
Alphabet of light begins with essential geometries to create a new font that translates into light, giving shape to spaces. The elements give users the ability to design light in space with words, as well as with graphic signs. Two linear elements and two round ones are combined with a system of letters, numbers, and symbols, and can be separated into modules to form everchanging geometries.
UNStudio x LaCividina
Designed in collaboration with LaCividina and developed with UNSx, UNStudio’s in-house multidisciplinary team, the Node+ collection features a structured range of padded pieces, backrests, dividers, and accessories that can be used to design micro-architectural systems that encourage work, privacy and socializing, responding to changing requirements over the course of the day.
UNStudio x Delta Light
Designed in collaboration with Delta Light, the sensor-based lighting fixture responds, learns, and adjusts according to people’s daily activities. Taking into account environmental factors including light, sound, scent, air quality and temperature and how they have a huge effect on health, Soliscape is a human-centric lighting solution that can be tailored to its individual user to have a positive effect on their wellbeing.
MVRDV x Delta Light
High Profile series
The range of luminaires are inspired by leftover aluminum profiles. The design looks at the manufacturing process, finding opportunity and beauty in elements that are normally discarded as waste. These scrap elements became the starting point of the design, by varying the scale and size of the extensive Delta Light profile range.
Zaha Hadid Architects x ILLULIAN
Handmade Rugs Collection
ZHA explored the intricate craftsmanship and materiality of ILLULIAN’s rugs for this collection. The rugs, made of interwoven threads of silk and Himalayan wool, are complemented with the manipulation of perspective, form, and space within ZHA’s architecture, generating a dynamic interplay that alters with changing light conditions and perspectives.
Foster + Partners x B&B Italia
Cordoba is designed as a timeless addition to the office or home for recreational purposes. Using the structural and tactile attributes of timber, its materials are pulled and tensioned around the frame to create an extremely supportive seat, that caters to the users’ ergonomics.
Foster + Partners x Artemide
The IXA lamp has a unique dynamism that allows it to inhabit different typologies of light, from task focused lighting to decorative and ambient compositions. The unit is inspired by Alexander Calder’s sculptures, and illustrates versatility through different designs and configurations: on tables, floors, and walls.
MAD Architects / Ma Yansong x Sawaya&Moroni
Dynamik Chair and Thread Chair
On the opening of Milan Design Week 2022, Ma Yansong, the principal partner of MAD Architects, revealed two prototypes: Dynamik Chair and Thread Chair, under the theme of “back to the future”. Dubbed as “a sculpture to sit on”, the dynamik chair is a hollow metal piece that focuses on motion and fluidity through a silhouette that shows traces of acceleration and strength. Thread Chair is created by binding an aluminum rod, amplifying the organic form and aesthetic value of its structure and material, turning the metal into an artistic expression.
Enric Miralles by AHEC
Highlighting Enric Miralles’ legacy in postmodern architecture, AHEC brought nine of the furniture pieces that Miralles designed with his partner Benedetta Tagliabue for their home in Barcelona. The exhibition featured tables, seating units, and shelving designed between 1992 and 1999.
OMA x Sabine Marcelis
The installation explored the potential of marble in furniture and interior design as a raw and a recycled material, featuring a furniture set designed by the architecture firm for SolidNature. The pieces captured the monolithic nature of the material through simple and clear shapes, giving people the freedom to use them in various ways, exploring what natural stone has to offer to contemporary design.
Mario Cucinella Architects
Design with Nature
The large-scale installation, which was one of the most anticipated installations within the Fiera, demonstrated the various ways people can improve their relationship with nature, inviting visitors to eat, drink, converse, and work in a 1,400 sqm piazza-inspired space.
Stefano Boeri Interiors
Stefano Boeri Interiors collaborated with retail brand Timberland to create an independent ecosystem floating on the waters of the Darsena in Milan. The project emphasizes the brand’s commitment to being a force for social and environmental good, by planting 610 plants and 30 species on the platform that multiplies biodiversity and activates environmental benefits related to urban forestry, in connection with other green spaces in Milan.
CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rota
Feeling the Energy Park
The duo unveiled transformed the city’s Botanical Garden into an energy park using 500 meters of digitally bent copper pipes to create a sensorial path where people can explore different forms of sustainable energy production and consumption. The installation invited visitors to wander through Milan’s historical garden, in a sequence of six main stages: Energy Carousel, Garden Orchestra, The Leading Logo, Powering Vibrations, Blinds in the Sun, and Solar Garden.
We invite you to check out ArchDaily’s comprehensive coverage of the Salone Del Mobile 2022, featuring exclusive editorial pieces and interviews with architects and curators of the event.
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