As expected, attendance was down at Milan’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile this April following several years of astronomical growth. While still the world’s premiere design event, the sobering times had manufacturers scaling back, and designers looking back. — Josephine Minutillo
Birds of a feather
New York-based designer Dror Benshetrit’s whimsical chair design for Cappellini caught plenty of attention. Fittingly called Peacock, a colorful plume of softly pleated felt comprises the seat and backrest, concealing a metal base. Cappellini, New York City. www.cappellini.it
The British upstart Established & Sons has recently begun working with non-British designers — among them, French phenoms Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. Mathematical in design, the Quilt chair and sofa are upholstered with a honeycomb-like skin of high-tech stretch fabric with individual foam inserts, fitted over a fiberglass shell. Moss, New York City. www.establishedandsons.com
After four years of intensive collaboration with designer siblings Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Vitra introduced Vegetal, an indoor/outdoor stacking chair inspired by nature. Made from die-cast, fiber-reinforced polyamide, the organic, branch-like structures form a smooth, round seating shell, while their ribbed underside provides support. Vitra, New York City. www.vitra.com
The squat proportions and curious shape of Archibald, designed by Jean-Marie Massaud for Poltrona Frau, make it an appealing and comfortable armchair. Generous polyurethane foam padding surrounds the steel frame of the backrest and seat. A matching ottoman is available, all upholstered in leather from the company’s Pelle Frau collection. Poltrona Frau, New York City. www.frauusa.com
Web of light
The Dutch line Moooi continues to work with up-and-coming designers. Raimond Puts is one such designer, though he doesn’t fit the profile — while most are just out of design school, Puts is approaching retirement age. But his sparkling light fixture, containing hundreds of LED’s on a stainless steel web, caught Moooi’s eye. Called Raimond, the hanging fixture comes as a sphere or ellipse in a variety of sizes. B&B Italia/Moooi, New York City. www.moooi.com
Josephine Minutillo is editor in chief of Architectural Record. Trained as an architect, she began writing for RECORD in 2001 while practicing architecture, and has held several positions at the magazine over the past two decades. Her articles have appeared in many international publications. She has been an invited critic at Washington University in St. Louis, The Cooper Union, Columbia GSAPP, Pratt Institute, The City College of New York, and Yale University.
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