Launch Slideshow

Salone Del Mobile 2012 Day Two

Salone Del Mobile 2012 Day Two

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    Ian Volner

    How the deal goes down: che stanno facendo business, at the Emu booth.

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    Ian Volner

    Quirk vs. Cool at #salon2012: for quirk, here's Gufram's Pratone—a giant square of foam turf you can lie down in.

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    Ian Volner

    For cool: may we present M. Jean Nouvel and his Mia chair.

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    Ian Volner

    The younger crowd at SaloneSatellite were more quirkily inclined, viz. Marita Francescon's cosmetic collection.

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    Ian Volner

    Just one half of one hallway on one floor of one venue at #salon2012.

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    Ian Volner

    #designvillage: Interior of the Perriand/Jeanneret project, as built for #salon2012 by Cassina

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    Ian Volner

    At Poltrona's #DesignVillage: 1938 ultra-modern mini mountain retreat by Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret.

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    Ian Volner

    Around Tortona, #fuorisalone: these guys, hyping an end-of-Salone party. It's titled, appropriately, No Furniture.

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    Ian Volner

    Cappellini chairs hang from the ceiling in the Design Village.

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    Ian Volner

    Affixing an owl to a street sign in Zona Tortona.

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    Ian Volner

    Basketball shoes double as planters on the streets of Milan.

Yesterday, bedlam overran the streets of Milan’s Zona Tortona. There were people in horse costumes and people in jerry-built spaceship uniforms; there were flowers planted in basketball shoes on the steps of a railroad overpass; there were cryptic signs painted into the sidewalk and monumental salad forks trussed up in crepe and ribbons. There was a man strapping a translucent fiberglass owl to the top of a crossing signal.

This was the Fuori Salone, the outside-the-fairgrounds segment of Salone 2012, where designers big and small showed their wares in grand showrooms and tiny temporary galleries all over the neighborhood. We walked into one building to have a look at a gorgeously abandoned interior courtyard—only to find a series of arrows leading to a darkened annex within, home to the B. Box, makers of high-end audio equipment. We tried to take a quick breather inside Design Village, the massive warehouse where design conglomerate Poltrona Frau was holding court—only to find ourselves completely distracted by the vertiginous installation from manufacturer Cappellini, which dangled their chairs on guy-wires from 100  feet up.

The word troppo seemed generally applicable. During the day, the weather was stellar, and Dedon’s rear garden suddenly looked like a tropical resort. At night, Heineken unveiled pop-up venue called the Club, an experimental nightclub-as-gesamtkunstwerk by a team of interdisciplinary young designers. We wound things down in a bar under the Torre Branca, the Gio Ponti–designed pylon in the leafy Parco Sempione, where the mostly silver-haired crowd was still going strong when we departed well after midnight.