In the name of quality, research, innovation, and sustainability.
Valiant's Creative Director and procurement manager, Samuel Clarke, and National Sales Manager (Events and Workplace), Lauren Hardy set off on their journey through Milan on a quest of discovery for the most diversely inspired materials and creatively formed shapes of prestigious interiors presented at the Salone del Mobile.Milano.
After three years of pandemic-related cancellations, delays, and false starts, Milan Design Week was back bigger and better than ever before in 2022, celebrating its 60th edition with over 2000 brands exhibiting and over 250K visitors.
Considered by the industry as one of the most important and influential events in the design calendar, the week sets the tone and direction for design, colour, and material trends for the seasons to come. The renowned international design event did not disappoint and we are still on inspiration overload!
Read on to find out about Samuel's top 6 idenitified trend forecasts for the upcoming season.
Irregular and textural forms
Irregular, non-conforming shapes and textures took centre stage at this year’s event. Forms inspired by naturally occurring stone, flora and landscapes were presented in all matter of materials from stone, metal and upholstery to glass. Hammered and other textural glass were prevalent in both tabletops and structures, and often in irregular forms, creating relaxed points of interest in the space. Closely tied to the global issues faced in the areas of sustainability, preservation, and our universal need to re-connect with the centring forces of nature, this trend sees new ways of celebrating the perfect imperfect of nature, and bringing the great outdoors, in. This trend feels like a natural extension of recent movements toward biophilic spaces and hit the sweet spot between relaxed and sophisticated.
Further to the irregular shapes seen this year, we also highlight the dynamic, layered asymmetry of both furniture design and space composition. Modular seating still reigns as the design of choice with almost every brand having their take on buildable, changeable and dynamic lounging options. Coffee tables, side tables, and even bedsides were presented in asymmetrical clusters that celebrated irregular shapes and natural textures, providing a sense of movement and ease in the space.
Steadily growing in popularity, eco-friendly materials were presented as both functional and aesthetic throughout the show, and sustainable design normalised as critical to the future of the planet. Designers are shifting their methods away from consumption and towards preservation and longevity.
Recycled plastics, composite/reclaimed stone, recycled fibers, and biopolymers were design materials of choice; their clever use and appropriation were definite head-turners this season. Transparency in product life-cycle was a refreshing uptake in most production houses, and many of these brands also presented their works using recycled materials in imaginative ways.
Cast resin (both synthetic and natural), glass and other crystalline materials were used thoughtfully and playfully this season. Instantly eye-catching, their bright colour and light-filtering qualities had an uplifting, almost ethereal, effect. Their transparency explores dimensions of colour, depth and light. Bright, rich and almost edible-looking, these pieces provided bold moments inspiring joy and a sense of wellbeing.
In line with the ‘more is more’ approach of recent post-modernist trend revivals, playful, oversized and voluptuous shapes created energetic and uplifting design moments. This design trend turns conventional ideals on their head and leaves you with a smile and an appreciation for the reimagined. After several emotionally taxing years on a global scale, this playful design trend provides much needed light-heartedness.
As a means to influence mood and wellbeing, and offer thought-provoking and emotive experiences, designers considered all senses in their experiential design and indulged in the theatre of events and their ability to take you away. Our five senses are our primary means of interpreting the world, and in addition to the sight and touch provided by physical design at the show, our sense of smell, sound, and even taste were appealed to in much of this season’s presentations. Custom-designed fragrances were diffused, emotive soundscapes played and complimentary flavours served as part of this comprehensive approach to the experience.