Salone Del Mobile 2019 Is All About Design & Artistry—See Kenneth Cobonpue At This Furniture Fair
Milan’s annual Salone Del Mobile has evolved to become more than just a furniture and home furnishings trade fair or exhibition. While it’s name still hearkens to the more humble and utilitarian beginnings of the event, it has grown to be much more than the sum of its parts.
Over the years, even names and brands who you would have thought would be more associated with Milan’s Fashion Week have done collaborations, and joined Design Week, such as Dior, Versace, Loewe, Tod’s, Marni, and Bvlgari this year.
The Fieramilano exhibition and trade centre in Rho, Lombardy, Italy
Along with such established design studios like Kartell, B&B Italia, and Cassina, these fashion brand collaborations often hog the headlines, and make springtime in Milan a beehive of creatives descending upon the city, with the exhibition spaces welcoming the worlds of art, fashion, architecture, and design.
This 2019, nature, technology, and science also held esteemed places, intersecting with this exhibition. And the Salone again becomes a veritable window into what’s coming up in furniture and design, a sneak peek of the next big thing.
Fortunate to have been invited by LIXIL Philippines to attend their INAX sanitary wares installation; I put together a little scrapbook of the more arresting images that captured my imagination while traversing the hallways of the Salone and the off-site Superstudio Piu. Rather than go for the big names who dominated media coverage, I went after the smaller players, and highlighted their efforts.
And of course, I couldn’t compile this album without including the lone Filipino participant at this year’s Salone: over at Hall 12, I was especially happy, and proud, to bump into Kenneth Cobonpue. While we attended the Manila launch of his collaboration with Disney and their Star Wars property, it was here at Milan that the world was getting their chance to see his collaborative creativity at work. It’s been so successful that Kenneth revealed he might soon be working on a similar tie-up with another Disney-owned property, or Universe (hint, hint!).
The Salone is a real hothouse of creativity—of the quirky, the practical, the functional, and the whimsical. It’s art merging with furniture and design, and on this first visit, I got the distinct impression that just as much as it’s about business and selling, it’s also about vision and artistry.
See more impressive designs at Salone del Mobile 2019 in the gallery below:
Photographs by Philip Cu-Unjieng