There were geometric designs and patterns stolen from nature and recreated with chromatic as well as material effects. There were retro designs and innovative solutions. In short, the selection of decorative surfaces on show this year at Supersalone was wide and varied. Parquet, wood paneling, wallpaper, paint, resin, ceramics, and stoneware. Floor and wall finishes for indoors and outdoors. The products offered designers a huge range of choices in terms of both colors and materials. Alongside the more traditional exhibits, there was no shortage of less conventional approaches on show at Fuorisalone, including art installations and communication campaigns. The PNA – Pietra Naturale Autentica network, for example, presented a campaign entitled No Fakes – Natural Stone Is Better at the Milano Verticale hotel, with the aim of promoting the use of this material and spreading awareness of its uniqueness, transparency, durability, and sustainability.
CP Parquet used Milano Design Week to present its updated color range and the new collection of iCanneti decorative paneling with a geometric, essential design to give walls a linear, modern, and dynamic look. The result of the company’s ongoing research into innovative parquet processing techniques, iCanneti will be available in a range of colors as well as in American walnut and European oak, with customized versions available on request. As for new finishes, ranging from arctic white to soft gray, diamond blue, and black forest, the numerous shades on offer allow designers to create fully customized wooden floors. The finishes are achieved using environmentally friendly water-based paints, certified by TÜV PROFiCERT – product interior. The standout new arrivals this year are, in particular, Rovere Select (brushed European oak with diamond blue varnish) and Frassino Natur Olivato (brushed ash with medium gray varnish).
The creativity of Diesel Living and the expertise of Wall&decò have come together in the new Diesel Living with Wall&decò wallpaper collection, unveiled at Supersalone. The range includes twelve designs, each one available in three colors, based on themes from the graphic world of Diesel Living, such as trompe l’oeil and reinvented classic patterns. The star of the Architectural Color Block and Shadow Concrete patterns is concrete, the first recreating a brutalist-inspired motif and the second with superimposed shadows of tropical plants. Freaky Fur is a fun nineties-style faux fur print, while Wrinkled Lines represents a striped fabric with a 3D effect. Natural Orgy is wallpaper with a pop feel, while Dizzy Stripes and Oxford Denim are ironic reinterpretations of classic striped wallpapers. Lunar and Ripped Sky both feature space-themed graphics. The Desert Flowers and Forest Camo patterns are both inspired by the natural landscape, while Wild Gradient has a psychedelic color treatment with a fluid effect.
At Milan Design Week, CEDIT, a brand of Made in Florim, presented its Hotel Chimera capsule collection, designed by Elena Salmistraro, at 14 Foro Buonaparte. Salmistraro, an artist from Milan, created a ceramic artwork measuring almost 215 square feet (20 m2), comprising 80 separate and unique pieces, that reinterprets an illustration created last year for the launch of the Chimera collection. The installation, set up in the pedestrian area in front of the showroom, was also a charitable initiative, with proceeds from the sale of the individual pieces that make up the work going to Double Sense. Tactile Tours at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, an initiative of the Venetian museum mainly intended for visually impaired kids. Like the body of the Chimera, which in Greek mythology was composed of different animals, the work of Elena Salmistraro is a large jigsaw made up of 80 porcelain stone tiles measuring 15 3/4 x 23 2/3” (40x60 cm). The work occupies a space midway between art and industry, and imagination and reality.
Summertime, Bibi, Desert Rose, Iceberg, and Capri are the names of the five experiments with colors, graphics, and materials that make up the Capsule Collection 2021 of wallpapers and wall finishes designed by Zambaiti Parati in collaboration with Studio Fuksas. The complete collection will be officially launched this year, but Milano Design Week saw a preview of the Desert Rose series, designed by Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas, at the TIDE Interiors showroom in Milan’s Via Cesare Battisti. A wallcovering with stitching reminiscent of flower buds, there are two versions: a sound-absorbing velvet and an antibacterial, fire-retardant vinyl, both available in eight colors. The Summertime pattern, with its intense tones and natural materials, recalls the heat of the African sun, while Iceberg is inspired by giant icebergs adrift in the sea. Bibi wallpaper is characterized by its maze-like pattern, with its vertical and horizontal lines creating a 3D effect. Finally, the pastel colors and graphic elements of Capri recall the atmosphere of the chicest island in the Mediterranean.
Color Collection is a new range of paints and surfaces from Kerakoll. These eco-friendly paints and resins are for floors and walls, and come in 150 shades inspired by classic Italian designs, and fifteen textures. From pastels to vibrant colors, the entire collection has been designed to harmonize shades and textures to enhance a diverse range of architectural styles and furnishings. The color chart has fifteen color families, all available in three different intensities: Neutral Gray, Cold Gray, Navy Blue, Petrol Blue, Natural Green, Olive Green, Warm Gray, Greige, Modern Yellow, Dusty Yellow, Desert Peach, Neutral Pink, Rose Pink, Soft Lavender, and Violet. The new textures, all inspired by artisan traditions, reproduce the effects of hand-troweled concrete and the structure of parquetry, making them ideal for walls and floors outdoors and indoors. All these surface treatments are versatile, durable, and environmentally friendly. The range includes Absolute Paint, Decor Paint, Wallcrete, Wallpaper, Patina, Stripe Living, Microresina, Microresina Floor, Microresina Parquet, Legno+Color, Cementoresina, Outdoor Paint, and Outdoor Plaster.
Natural stone is a kind of architectural architype, one that makes it possible to leave a mark for future generations through design, but also one that revives past times so they can live again in the present. Real, alive, inimitable, natural stone creates a feeling of being in touch with the spirit of nature. And yet – or perhaps because of this – there are more imitations than ever. This is the reason that, in 2018, Pietra Naturale Autentica (PNA) was set up as a network of businesses, chaired by Stefano Ghirardi. The network also works to protect member companies.
One of PNA’s most important campaigns is No Fakes – Natural Stone Is Better. Subtitled “The one-off in every project,” the campaign is intended to spread awareness of the unique qualities of natural stone, as well as the close association between the uniqueness of a creative idea and the uniqueness of the material itself. Only natural stone (marble, granite, travertine) makes it possible to add particular finishes to projects, to take advantage of the extraordinary transparency of natural light, and to work with thicknesses and volumes able to support creativity of the mind.
The results achieved so far by the network were presented to members and other industry professionals at Supersalone 2021 by way of anticipating future projects. Curated by Bike Communication, the campaign reached fourteen million contacts overall, including 170 thousand new users on the naturalstoneisbetter.com website. The website functions as a special educational resource, designed for industry insiders, the media, and the public. The objective is to promote cross-sectoral awareness of the characteristics of natural stone. Articles, interviews with opinion leaders and academics, videos, and news items all work towards this by making the voices of international industry insiders and architects a shared resource. These voices include, for example, Stefano Boeri, Antonio Iraci, Setsu Ito, Alessandro La Spada, Pasquale Piroso, Marco Piva, and Alfredo Vanotti.
But after all, it’s Milan itself that, with its buildings and plazas, has made these designs and materials a part of people’s everyday lives. This was clearly demonstrated by the tour organized by PNA titled Homage to Milan – Marble Architecture, as a part of which a hub was set up inside the Adi Design Museum. The event, for Fuorisalone attendees, comprised tours of the city’s most representative historical buildings, from the Duomo with its Candoglia marble to the extension of Teatro alla Scala, which uses Botticino marble, from Palazzo Leopardi with its red marble from Verona to Bocconi University in ceppo di Grè stone. An infinite variety of shades and designs.
Photos are courtesy of CP Parquet
Photos are courtesy of Wall&decò
Installation by: Elena Salmistraro
Photos by: Gianni Borghi, courtesy of CEDIT
Photos are courtesy of Zambaiti Contract
Creative Direction & Design: Studio Blanco
Photos by: Scheltens & Abbenes, courtesy of Kerakoll
Photos are courtesy of rete Pna - Pietra Naturale Autentica