Arturo Erbsman Arturo Erbsman

Salone del Mobile 2016: the up-and-coming designers to know about

We profile five young talents who launched at Salone Satellite

Salone del Mobile in Milan might be the best place in the world to catch design stars on the rise, but this is thanks to SaloneSatellite, an annual exhibition devoted to new design talent which runs concurrent to the main fair.

Describing itself as ‘an unparalleled observatory of young international creativity,’ SaloneSatellite hosts the work of some 700 new designers all under 35. It began in 1998, when visionary design journalist and communications expert Marva Griffin suggested that the official Salone should create space for young voices. Griffin is known for her mentor-like relationships with this pool of talent she calls ‘her children and grandchildren’ – many of whom have gone on to major success. So who to keep an eye on next? 

The scientist: Arturo Erbsman

Atmos2Atmos - Arturo Erbsman

This French lighting designer brings the sublime qualities of nature indoors, creating lamps that derive inspiration from the beauty of the natural world. His 2014 SaloneSatellite award-winning project, Atmos, is a glass lamp that uses water condensation to diffuse light. “Winning the award was an unforgettable experience,” Erbsman tells LUXOS. “Since then my inspirations have leaned towards exploring other natural phenomena.” This includes his striking ‘solar’ lamps Helios and Eclipse, presented at SaloneSatellite 2015, which replicate a sunset and a lunar eclipse.

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The illusionists: YOY

yoy canvas 08YOY

It is a rare feat for a designer’s work to be both elegant and humorous; yet this is the effect achieved by Tokyo-based studio YOY. Founded by spatial designer Naoki Ono and product designer Yuki Yamamoto in 2011, YOY was awarded a special mention at SaloneSatellite 2014 for Protrude, a coffee tray that appears poised to tumble off the table but is actually secured by a hidden clip. This sort of trompe l'oeil is common in their work: a planter that poses as a book, for instance, or a chair that appears be a painting. Yet behind this humorous visage are two designers who clearly know how to create beautiful objects.

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The minimalists: Copper Industrial Design

Copper-Industrial-DesignNest - Viktor Legin and Edward Linacre

This Melbourne-based studio, run by Viktor Legin and Edward Linacre, is distancing itself from the competition with thoughtful, well-crafted products that offer an original take on minimalism. Copper describes its particular brand of less-is-more as ‘poetic’ and ‘precise.’ This approach is evident in their SaloneSatellite 2015 award-winning Balance Pendant, a clean wisp of steam-bent timber that hangs like a mobile. Other lighting projects include Nest, which draws on the architecture of a beehive, and Novo, which can be compacted or expanded to emit different levels of light.

Related: The ones to watch at Milan's Salone del Mobile 2016

The shapeshifter: Andrea Borgogni

Andrea-BorgogniCaprice Pieghevole - Andrea Borgogni

Italian furniture designer Andrea Borgogni is a creative voice who boldly questions the traditional form of objects. Inspired by the traditional craftsmanship of his home province of Tuscany, his imaginative iterations of chairs and sofas explore the possibilities of shape and structure. Sometimes the shift he creates is subtle but impactful, as with his Caprice, Gocea, Ecco and Maybe chairs (Maybe won a special mention at SaloneSatellite 2013). Other works are more dramatic – such as the Giubba sofa, which looks like a couch that has been tipped sideways and features an unusual sling of perforated leather.

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The functionalist: Avandi

Steptool kitchenKitchen ladder - Ariane van Dievoet

Lighting, furniture, jewellery and accessories all fall within the creative discipline of Brooklyn-based designer Ariane van Dievoet and her brand Avandi. What connects this multidisciplinary practise is a philosophy of accessible, functional beauty. This is best exemplified by her award-winning piece for SaloneSatellite 2014, Steptool, a lightweight kitchen ladder with slip protecting, rubber-dipped ends. “The ladder was unassuming and very simple,” she tells LUXOS. “This describes my design philosophy. Good design isn't a trend; great designs are usually the ones that last longer, and that we sometimes use without thinking.”

Salone Satellite runs from 12 - 17 April 2016 at the Milan Fairgrounds, Rho


Fiera Milano, Rho, Milan, Italy