50 Pieces and Presentations We Loved at The 2024 Milan Furniture Fair

Heaven knows I love to complain about Salone. And heaven knows there is always something to complain about! This year alone, there were several installations I simply had to walk away from, lest I spend my week waiting in line rather than seeing furniture (I’m looking at you, David Lynch interior); there were exorbitantly priced Ubers and a subway system that never seemed to be going where I needed to be; there was the feeling that we have tipped over from furniture fair into something more akin to a cultural festival, with way more entries this year from fashion brands, tech behemoths, and even a series of talks by literary superstars like Sheila Heti and Jhumpa Lahiri.

But I chose to take a different approach to Milan this year. Rather than seeing the ever-spiraling array of events as a source of FOMO and a series of missed opportunities a journalist could never hope to comprehensively cover, I began to look at Milan the way a New Yorker regards The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The point of going to the Met is never to try and see the whole thing in one go. There are parts, after countless visits, that I’ve still never explored; parts that I only learned about from weird, hyper-specific guides; and parts that I frankly never wish to see! The Met can be many things to many people; the point is to find the things that most speak to you, or even to simply see what you can in the time you have that day, and to know that it will always be there for you when you return, to take from it as you need. (Also like the Met, it’s fun to go with different people every time, and I found the influx of new people rather fun and refreshing this year!)

Maybe you already felt this Zen about the furniture fair circuit. But for us — well, maybe we needed permission not to function as the ultimate post-fair destination for anyone who missed the proceedings. You’ll see that reflected in our coverage this year. We’ll be devoting longer stories to particular favorites, or to things that maybe passed under your radar, rather than doing image dumps of every single thing we saw and liked. We’ll be focusing as much as possible on independent designers. We’ll be shining a light on smaller, non-newsy things we saw, like the wonderful Cini Boeri archive exhibit at a library in Parco Sempione I never knew existed? For now, though, here is our one roundup of 50 favorites — maybe you saw these things last week, maybe you never even knew they were on display. Either way, we’ll see you in the same time, same place next year to make new memories!

New York’s Verso gallery presented new furniture by Palma and Rodrigo Bravo. Photos: Jonathan Hokklo

Australian studios Flack and Volker Haug teamed up to release a new series of 13 light fixtures. Photos: De Pasquale + Maffini

OWL joined forces with Charlotte Taylor to debut new wooden room dividers at Milan’s APC flagship. Photos: Federico Torra

Numeroventi presented a new series of furniture and lights by Zurich-based Grace Prince that she developed at the organization’s residency program in Florence.

Unno, the New York and Mexico City gallery that focuses on Latin American design, exhibited new furniture by Mark Grattan (brown lacquer), Andrea Vargas Dieppa (crushed shells), Estudio Persona (aluminum), and Habitacion 116 (wood and leather).

French brand Philippe Hurel, in collaboration with designer Tristan Auer, launched new furniture in a gorgeously styled interior featuring some of its other past works.

Gucci partnered with five Italian brands to recast classic designs by Piero Portaluppi, Nanda Vigo, Mario Bellini, Gio Ponti, and Tobia Scarpa in its new signature color, Rosso Ancora.

In the tiny Oxilia Gallery space, Danish designer Frederik Fialin showed furniture alongside ceramic and textile art pieces by Réyjean Peytavin. Photos: Vito Salamone

In the Parco Sempione Library, a 1954 building by Ico Parisi and Silvio Longhi, the Triennale museum presented Cini Boeri nella Biblioteca del Parco, an exhibition of work by the Italian designer presented on the same color pink carpet she installed in her home. Photo: Gianluca Di Ioia

Adorno presented a group show of 35 international contemporary designers in Alcova’s Villa Bagatti Valsecchi space. From top: Adir Yakobi, The Good Living Co., Lucas Gutierrez

Draga & Aurel showed colorful new Lucite furniture at both Nilufar and Rossana Orlandi.

Faye Toogood combined new collections for both cc-tapis (multi-textured rugs based on paintings inspired by her body) and Tacchini (pillowy sofas wrapped in satin) into the “Rude Arts Club,” a conceptual lounge space in cc-tapis’s showroom.

We love a woman-owned furniture brand, and Sancal’s new collection at Salone didn’t disappoint: Seating and tables by Mut and Note, and sofas by Estudio Sancal, all in really good colors.

Spanish luxury brand Loewe invited 24 designers to create lights in whatever materials and manner they chose. From top: Genta Ishizuka, Anthea Hamilton, Shohei Yokoyama

Under Anna Caradeuc’s Contributions Design curatorial project, Sophie Jacobsen created glass versions of everyday objects for Cose Journal, a new Milanese design publication, set against a backdrop of photos by Adrianna Glaviano.

At the fairgrounds, Knoll exhibited several archival designs: Mies van der Rohe’s 1929 Tugendhat chair, plus new powdercoated versions of his MR chair and tables and Marcel Breuer’s Wassily chair, Cesca chairs and stools, and Laccio tables.

The third edition of installation-meets-gathering place Caffe Populaire included these centerpieces by DWA Design Studio. Photos: Matteo Bellomo and Stefania Zanetti

Carl Hansen debuted child-sized versions of Hans Wegner’s Wishbone Chair, plus new designs by Rikke Frost and a reissued Vilhelm Lauritzen mirror.

In an exhibition curated by Nicole Saikalis Bay around “deconstructing and reassembling familiar forms and materials,” Cara \ Davide created three objects for Circolo gallery using Byzantine mosaic techniques.

Our favorite fountain-maker Lily Clark was among 16 designers included in Wallpaper’s Class of ‘24 show at the Triennale museum.

Georgian studio Rooms designed six beds in six different styles, from their signature Medieval chunky wood look to futuristic silver. Photos: Levan Maisuradze and Lile Revishvili

Barcelona studio Eliurpi, run by Elisabet Urpí and Nacho Umpiérrez, work primarily with plant fiber, including this lamp they showed with Mr.Lawrence in 5Vie.

Chinese designer Mario Tsai debuted the Soft series, a studio project comprising lights made from elastic fabrics stretched around metal frames.

Our 2024 fair favorites Formafantasma designed a new series of lights for Flos that marry LED strips with crystal-clear glass planes that can be removed via rivets for bulb replacements.

Guangzhou-based Singchan Design transformed a basement at Alcova’s Villa Bagatti Valsecchi with founder Xingyu Chen’s triangular lights (our favorite being a tall pyramid on four cylindrical legs).

Italian designer Ilaria Bianchi created a site-specific installation with Local Milano in the creative space Mini Spazio.

Objects of Common Interest had four projects on view last week, including an all-purple dining room setup at Nilufar gallery and the launch of colorful ceramic planters for Bitossi. Photos: Matteo Bianchessi and Filippo Pincolini

In his solo show Hazy Gymnastics, Laurids Gallee presented new furniture and lighting in resin for Objects with Narratives.

The Triennale museum hosted an exhibition of walking sticks and canes by 18 international designers, curated by Keiji Takeuchi. From top: Julie Richoz, Julien Renault, Marialaura Irvine

Rossana Orlandi: Alessandro Ciffo has been making art and design pieces in silicone since 1997; his recent collections with Orlandi utilize scrap materials from his atelier.

Rossana Orlandi: Czech designer and ceramicist Milan Pekař teamed up with cabinet-maker Jakub Vávra on this abstract standing cabinet.

Rossana Orlandi: Teun Zwets showed a collection of wonky furniture he hand-carved in Douglas fir with an axe, then coated in glossy lacquer.

Rossana Orlandi: Young Dutch designer Dirk Duif makes both furniture and decorative teapots in a deconstructed geometric style.

Rossana Orlandi: Secondome gallery collaborated with the Turin firm Studio F on an exhibition of works by five designers, including wood-and-Murano glass shelves and pedestals by Duccio Maria Gambi and an asymmetrical walnut chair by Simone Fanciullaci.

Satellite is the section at the Salone del Mobile fairgrounds dedicated to up-and-coming designers, and this year we found seven studios worth noting, from across the globe, including one Egyptian designer based in Germany making furniture and accessories out of discarded egg and nut shells (Raina ElKalla of Shell Homage). Pictured: Filippo Andrighetto, Denmark

Satellite: Simo Lahtinen, Finland

Satellite: Eliz Evar, Germany

Satellite: Tok Studio, Poland

Satellite: Hassene Jeljeli, Tunisia

Satellite: Dedàleo, Italy

Satellite: Davide Apolloni

Satellite: Shell Homage, Germany