Milan 2023 | Six Brands Exploring the Future of Design

  • PRODUCT EDITOR Brigitte Craig
  • WORDS Holly Beadle
  • Discover six brands from Milan Design Week and Salone del Mobile 2023 that have captured a collective impulse toward the future of design.

    While some designers are reimagining the pastor honouring old traditions, others are pushing the boundaries and exploring new possibilities. Some are trying their hand at both. Both attitudes were woven into the fabric of this year’s fair, offering a different perspective on colour, materiality, and form.

    This article was featured in the latest issue of est magazine, the Milan 2023 Special Issue, produced in partnership with Living Edge.

    1. Brionvega

    Brionvega turned heads with there-edition of the Radiofonografo– this time, in a striking shade of blue. Originally designed by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni in the 1960s, the Radiofonografo fast became a beloved icon of Italian design, combining high-quality audio and eye-catching charm. In reimagining the piece, the brand paid homage to the past while looking toward a bright and modern future.

    2. Muuto

    Muuto joined forces with H+O founders Josephine Akvama Hoffmeyer and Elisa Ossino to present an immersive exhibition across their Brera apartment. The purpose of the exhibition was to investigate how colour, form, and tactility impact both our psyche and our perception of space.

    3.  Made in Ratio

    Made in Ratio, led by creative director Brodie Neill, celebrated a decade of the brand through an installation called Era. To mark the milestone, the brand showcased ten seating pieces as a single monolithic sculpture. Signature pieces like the Cowrie and Alpha chairs stood alongside never-before-seen experimental prototypes.

    4. e15

    e15 presented new designs by David Chipperfield as well as by Philipp Mainzer and Annabelle Klute, alongside a curated collection of textiles in collaboration with Dedar. The KAISA, available in black, mirrored, and brown glass, is inspired by Art Deco jewellery and industrial glass developments of the time, while the HEIJI, available in bright orange, cream, and black, takes inspiration from simple and essential Japanese forms.

    5. Bethan Gray

    Following the success of her Inky Dhow collection launch at last year’s fair, Bethan Gray continued with this patterned theme. This time, exploring striking new colour ways of timber veneer. The showcase, which took place at the Rossana Orlandi Gallery, featured new pieces such as the 2+2 Inky Dhow cabinet in red and wine and the Inky Dhow desk in oak and charcoal. Each veneer strip is hand-dyed and individually placed.

    6. Tom Dixon

    Among several incredible new designs, Tom Dixon launched a brand new category of lighting. The new Portables collection consists of the Melt, Stone and Bell. The highly compact, rechargeable lights are destined to become favoured worldwide for their convenience, expressive materiality and accessibility. The Tank Decanter in a new clean finish is also pictured.

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