Salone Satellite gets design RIGHT.

If  you can actually imagine finding a needle in a haystack? Then you will understand the epic effort and feelings of fruition once standing at the entrance to Salone Satellite (the needle), set up deep inside the gigantic RHO Fiera and its 24 Herculean halls/ haystack. Our reward was the product and prototypes from the most promising young (under 35) designers from around the globe…and let me tell you it was wonderful.

It’s here at Salone Satellite that the chosen few from around the world are given the chance to show their work to buyers, media, manufacturers and talent scouts with the stamp of approval from the Selection Committee. It’s an exciting stage of a brand/ designers development and being able to talk with them about their work and processes is an absolute pleasure. I noticed play and multi function as key concepts across the show, further identifying our need to reinvent our existence with ease and with a smile on our faces. Joy. The following are my favourites from this playground of the most promising…

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XTOOL is a stackable, storage stool inspired by the ever useful and all time favourite milk crate. Colour, seating and stacking options enable many ways to play in 95% recycled plastic and plywood. Loved meeting Mateo and Carolina, the talented duo behind this cool stool and look forward to seeing their smart design on cafe sidewalks, kids bedrooms and live-work spaces across the globe v. soon!

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Delightful product designer Tania da Cruz (she of the wig vase fame) created curious and customisable beauty in smoked cork for Salone. Her modular acoustic tile entitled “Braque”, inspired by the artist of the same name, is 100% natural with fantastic insulating characteristics, both acoustic and thermal. Suitable for both indoor and out, Braque brings subtle good looks and a high decorative impact to aesthetically pleasing acoustics. Strong look.

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Stefanie Grau‘s folding formation furniture “Grau1” goes both ways. Behind the black appearance lies the secret inner, becoming only visible when folded. Colour, print and structure are found out through the flexibility and play of the foldable chairs and table. I’m imagining these in pop up restaurants, small homes and multi function spaces in variations of colour and pattern especially.

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The Live Screen by Danielle Trofe Design brings the outdoors in via a modular vertical garden that uses hydroponic technology, enabling easy access & indoor gardening that’s great on the eye also. This sustainable and socially responsible, self watering system is the future of inner city growing. I want one at home for herbs.

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Rodrique Strouwen and Jonathan Honvoh otherwise known as TWODESIGNERS delved into multi functionalism and won with their central island entitled “Curiosity”. Inspired by none other than cabinets of curiosity, this clever design allows you to sit, read, draw, desire, store and more in one fell swoop. This prototype is going places.

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Micomoler just reached in and took a hold of my heart, the design studio from Madrid create beautiful and multi function objects that are intuitive, community minded and smart. Florencio for growing food in small spaces, Banquete is a tea-bench, seat, table and set of cushions and Thumi a basket that can be used in several ways. Cool craft.

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FridayProject is Valentina Rafaelli and Luca Boscardin, their Food Storage furniture is so very up my street – and the best looking way to show off your organic food market finds each week! It’s smart design is based on the food pyramid with allocated spaces for your pasta, cereal and bread, a drawer for your vegetables that need to be in the dark, a terracotta box to conserve products out of the refrigerator. And then a space for eggs, for herbs to dry, for legumes and spices and of course for vino! Love. Want. Need.

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Mari Isopahkala‘s “Sculptural Light Series” play with proportion, shape, mass and colour and are alluring in their Mondrian and modernist mix. Made from metal and waxed birch, these art and design lights glow in LED glory. As an added bonus each light on the ceiling style – “VIIKARI” (as above) can turn horizontally 360 degrees, enabling spot focus wherever you god damn want it.

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Maria Volokhova‘s “Still Life Stories” inspired by Dutch Still Life Painting of the 17th century stood out for sure. Her magnificent, multipurpose food containers created in porcelain encouraged play at the table and challenged the user to discover the ideas behind their design. Perfect for fantasy feasting.

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Fiona Kruger‘s “Urban Tribe” series proposed an urban take on tribal artefacts and patterns. The colourful collection included hand-engraved iPad cases, textiles and glass candle holders all inspired by industrial objects and places. Each product is made in collaboration with artisans using traditional production techniques. Modern primitive.

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The U.K. lads behind Studio Object designed the smart and affordable furniture collection”In Wire”, my favourite being the wall system that merges utility, structure and sculpture in a playful (that word again!) way to clear your home of clutter. A choice of great colours further enrich this wonder for your walls.

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Sirens by Olga Bielawska called to me, handcrafted in copper using an old spinning technique and with an LED light source, these elegant and mysterious mirror and light objects attract attention but in a silent and poetic way. Adorn your walls with ambient light and mirror play. Romantic.

Talented bunch right? Our design future looks bright. x

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