In a more conspicuous display of consumption—and as an indicator of the increasing disposability of furniture design—recent fashion trends informed a large number of the latelst offerings as is evident in the likes of puffy chairs and pleated sofas. Concurrently, the furnishings industry rallied around its own “retro-looks”, reviving some designs that had been popular at mid-century, improving upon others, and looking back at a largely forgotten era of 1970s and ’80s design with a fresh eye. - David Sokol

Rolling Down Memory Lane

Porro’s rerelease of Cubovo ranked as one of the most notable of this year’s reissues. The 1962 design, by Bruno Munari, features four folding openings, and its petite size (20.4x20.4x23.6 inches) allows the object to be used as a dining room service trolly or mobile bedside table. Porro, Montesolaro, Italy.


Feeling Bullish

Cassina celebrated its 80th anniversary by opening a retrospective exhibit at the Triennale museum a day before the start of Salone del Mobile. The company also proved its eternal youth, challenging Mario Bellini to improve upon the leather Cab chair he designed for Cassina almost 30 years ago. Bellini’s response: Bull, still clad in leather, but this new version is stackable, more padded, and finished with topstitching. Cassina, Milan.


Artek Archaeology

In addition to celebrating the 75th birthday of the Alvar Aalto–designed Stool 60 (which it did by producing the stools with seats in primary colors), the Finnish company Artek pulled a rabbit out of its archives: the X-Frame Glass Top Table. The organic curves of the table’s four supports seem as relevant today as they did when designer Tapio Wirkkala introduced the piece in 1958. Artek, Helsinki.


The Egg, Reborn

Manufacturer Fritz Hansen commissioned up-and-coming artist Tal R to fete Arne Jacobsen’s Egg chair with a special collection. The resulting 50 chairs, which are the subject of a traveling exhibition, are upholstered in patchworks of textiles that Tal R collected from throughout the world. Fritz Hansen, Allerød, Denmark.


In the Navy

In his final design project before passing away in December, Ettore Sottsass took on the job of reinventing the Emeco 1006 Navy chair, an icon in production since 1944. Sottsass had kept orange seat cushions on the Navy chairs in his own home, so he formalized this adaptation for Nine-0 with integrated polyurethane cushions. The Nine-0 also boasts stackability and, in the swivel chairs, a wider wheel base to accommodate heavier users.  Emeco, Hanover, Pennsylvania.

Dixon’s Dreamhouse

While many pieces in Tom Dixon’s eponymous collection of furniture and objects have the whiff of mid-century Modernism, his new Mirror Ball Stand makes a direct reference to the time period. The internally illuminated polycarbonate balls that are arranged on this tripod stand are inspired directly by the space helmets once worn during lunar landings. Tom Dixon, London.

Puff Daddy

Puff Daddy

Tel Aviv–based designer Arik Ben Simhon’s A Maxx evokes the puffy wintertime jackets made ubiquitous by The North Face. This overstuffed armchair’s leather surface features a large pattern of quilted squares. Arik Ben Simhon, Tel Aviv.

Quilting Bee

Quilting Bee

For De Padova, super-busy designer Patricia Urquiola paid homage to Lavenham, the Suffolk, England, town where the diamond-patterned car coat was invented. The Lavenham stacking chair also features quilting, realized in printed plastic, as well as matte and shiny finishes. De Padova,

Pleats Please

Pleats Please

Designer Stephen Burks imports traditional seam planting from the clothing workshop to the furniture factory with Pleats, in which the upholstery of the seat and back is pleated to add tactility and volume to the sleek sofa form. Modus, Somerset, England.

Fool the Eye

Fool the eye

While contemporary versions of trompe l’oeil have been popular motifs in wallpaper, ceramics, and other fields of design, the cushiest example of trompe l’oeil yet comes from Floor to Heaven, which has translated wide-plank wood floors in hand tufted New Zealand Wool. Floor to Heaven,

Memphis Redux

Memphis Redux

Besides parroting clothing fashions, the furniture industry is prone to its own fashion cycles. And the next big thing appears to be the revival of the Memphis and postmodernism movements. The design studio El Ultimo Grito captured the colorful, deconstructed moment with Add Up, in which different tables are linked together at different heights. Uno Design, Valencia, Spain.