A photographer presents the Milan Furniture Fair.

Lasse Olsson Photo photographs interiors, architecture and lighting and is based in Stockholm, Sweden. My customers are architects and manufacturers of furniture and design fixtures throughout Europe. Welcome to read my first newsletter in English.

The colorful sculpture exhibited at the Piazza del Duomo is this year’s logotype for il Salone that celebrates 55 years of design. This year there were four parallel fairs at the venue Roh Fierra; Salone del Mobile (furniture), Internazionale del Bagno (bathrooms), EuroCucina (kitchen) and FTK (kitchen equipment). And of course a myriad of design exhibitions and events throughout the city.

If you would like to see all the details, click on the pictures to view them in a larger size.


A trend in this year’s booths was to place furniture on a podium, albeit low, shown here in Cassina’s showroom at Via Durin 16. The new armchairs, Gender, were designed by Patricia Urquiola.

Another booth trend was to build rooms showing furniture groups, or as here in the Kartell booth. A new product per room along with a presentation of the designer.

Last year, we saw green plants everywhere. This year there was not so much green, except at Zanotta, that had so much of it that it was almost difficult to see the furniture.

Blå Station pretty well sums up the year’s trends. It was graphical in shades of black, gray and white. The dominant accent colors ran the red gamut from beige, brown, dull orange to rust and bright red. Those who prefer order might object that it was the same wall that Blå Station showed at the Stockholm fair earlier this year. But the green color of the wall, which appeared everywhere in Stockholm is now gone. An adaptation to the latest trend, or a good example of leading it. Much furniture that flirted with the 80s and the ever present copper is also gone.
And in most boths the were at least one furniture coverd in beige leather.

A visit to the Dutch designer, Moooi’s temporary exhibition on Via Sanova 56 in the Zona Tortona is a must during fair week. From a far one is impressed by how the Compression Sofa Marble looks so real. When you come closer and look, one realizes that it is real! The armchair consists of a 5.5 ton solid block of marble with a cushion of padded fabric. There is only one and it costs € 60,000. The customer picks it up at the factory. When you get a little further into the exhibition you’ll see the series-produced product, which is inverted, with a padded fabric-covered frame and a pad of marble.

If you would like to see more of Moooi’s amazing exhibition, click here for a virtual tour of the premises.

Another must see is Paola Lentis watering hole and exhibition in the convent at Via Francesco Daverio 7. This year they showed, among other things, Sciara, a new table series with a glazed ceramic top.

The table, Pagnea Riva 1920, was developed for Pavilion Zero at Expo 2015 in Milan. The parts symbolize the Earth’s continents that fit together like a puzzle. David Rampello, in support of the concept wanted to show a return to a continent without state borders, prejudices, differences between people, race and class. The table was shown at the fair is a smaller replica (10 sqm) for commercial use that has been designed by Michele de Lucchi.

If only the Italians were better able to advise the no parking zones, this would not happen.

Or maybe not ....

At this year’s kitchen trade fair, EuroCucina, one new thing stuck out a little extra. Clothing company Diesel, which has for a few years now also designed furniture and lighting, launched the Diesel kitchen in the spirit of furniture and lighting that is Rock ‘n’ Roll. The kitchen is designed by Diesel but manufactured and marketed by the Italian kitchen manufacturer Scavolini. Klick here to see more about the kitchen.

Another company that mostly goes against the grain is Italy’s LAGO. The kitchen 36e8 from 2009 is based on modular measurements 36.8 x 36.8 cm. It has won the Good Design Award, and holds 16 patents throughout. New this year is the countertop of hand-painted ceramic tiles with Madeterrano surface from Made a Mano. The new tile surface is also available on LAGO’s other tables, benches and wall panels. Klick here to see more about the kitchen.

The weather was fine with plenty of springtime in the air, so that alone was worth the trip.

With the exception of Wednesday afternoon and evening ....

Welcome back, I say to Moroso! The Italian manufacturer is a leader in design, but has for a few years presented rather mediocre installations in their showroom during the fair.

New items are always neatly displayed in one of the largest booths at the fair. This year, Ron Arad presented the exhibition “Spring off Mind”, with clear vibes to Verner Panton with a lot of red, which was the fair’s color. The image is from a part of the exhibition with a room designed like a kaleidoscope with peepholes on the four sides.

The picture in the middle shows the heaviest book release during the fair. “This book tells how the greatest masterpieces influence us and how we see the world today,” says Marcel Wanders, founder of Moooi.

During the 1600s, Holland was the European leader in trade, science and no less, art. For three years, Marcel Wanders has led a project to compile the old Dutch masters’ artwork painted during the Golden Age, based on collections from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

The result is a book of contemporary photography and printing techniques that gives the old art works a depth and detail never before seen. The big book is published in a limited edition and weighs in at 40 kg. It measures 70 x 50 x 9 cm but is also available in an unlimited edition with dimensions of 33.2 x 23.7 x 5 cm.

For more information and to order, click here.

In an abandoned swimming hall in the Brera area, Danish designer Hay had moved in and built a maze of furnished rooms. It’s always fun when someone takes the initiative and puts on ambitious exhibitions, but what impressed most was the amount of good new items.
This year again! One wonders when Hay will slow down.

Holograms are all very well, but a model in steel wire also works well. “The car” was found in the Zona Tortona area, which in recent years has lost its status as a hot area for furniture exhibitions. But if you want to look at different installations and art, it is still worth a visit.
The police were not there to impose a fine, but to guard the car.

For those of you who miss the copper and other metals, just go into the bathroom. There is much to choose from there. The picture is from Kreoo’s booth with tub and sink designed by Enzo Berti. Also note the wall designed of matching marble.

Certainly there are bathrooms that breathe “less is more” but they are rare. If you like “bling” the bathroom fair was something for you. Click on the links to manufacturers’ websites for more inspiration.

To the left, French designer Volevatch showed off their latest interpretation of a shower stall.
In the middle, iDOGI shows how a “bathtub” should look. In addition to hot tubs, sinks and fountains, iDOGI also manufactures lighting and furniture with the same pompous design.
To the right is one of Axor’s imaginative new faucets in their series aptly named WaterDream in 2016.

Being seen in the roar of exhibitors is not only difficult, it is often very expensive. Therefore, it is with mixed feelings one sees that a spontaneous decoration outside a showroom garners all the attention.

This year’s hopeful was Armani that recently took over DePadova’s showrooms on three floors of Corso Venezia 14. For the exhibition the lower level had been re-painted and was opened to show a few pieces of furniture that were not so remarkable. According to the press center, this was just a teaser to point out that next year they will come with a full collection. The name Armani has a lot of promise, so we are full of hope.

The most popular thing at the furniture fair was a mobile phone, if you asked many of the visitors. The comfortable sofa is from Edra and has the modest name Standard.
Lasse Olsson Photo photographs interiors, architecture and lighting. My newsletter is published 6-8 times a year, and presents photographed projects and news from the world of photography, and reports from furniture fairs in Stockholm and Milan.

In the next newsletter I’ll show how Milan can look when it is not fair week.