By Seth Rosenbaum, CEO of Visto Images
Unlike most shows in America, the Salone del Mobile fair is organized by the long (and I really do mean long) passeggiata, a walkway you go up and down, back and forth, to pop in and out of pavilions. The walk is a huge part of the show itself where you see and are seen.
Once inside, I was drawn to the Cube table by Riva 1920 and, on display for the first time, Goodwood. The kauri wood is a variety from the last Ice Age that was preserved rather than petrified under the mud. A clear resin has been added to perfect the imperfections, making a seamless stitch between nature and the artisan. The same principle inspires Goodwood, which floats small rectangular blocks of offcuts, treated with resin. It is an ultimate statement on sustainability, where practicality and fine art get along just fine.
Big Will, new for 2015 from Philippe Starck for Magis, is functional, minimalist, and funky with orange trim on its surprising two white wheels. It looks ready to do precisely what tables do not do—move. Indeed, the illusion of motion Big Will creates is no small feat.
A new mirror from Boca Do Lobo also caught my eye, fittingly called Glance. It looks a bit like supercontinent Pangea, and it is extremely quiet for Boca Do Lobo standards (They do trumpets, after all.)
The show extends beyond the pavilions into downtown Milan where a number of offsite events take advantage of the huge draw. And when in Rome—or Milan—a word must be said about food. I was lucky and got last-minute reservations at Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia, which features creative Milanese cuisine in a bright and vibrant environment . A bit cliché, but a great meal in Italy discussing gorgeous design is still a perfect combination.