The more natural side of Milan Design Week 2017

COEX team 3 minutes

Never before has FuoriSalone been so blooming and verdant! A clear indication of the pursuit of nature as the only way to recreate true beauty, and the essential element for living, working and, of course, designing! Something that we at COEX know something about!
In the year in which those at Pantone, the biggest authority on colour-related matters, proclaimed “greenery” to be the colour of the year, never before have we seen a more blooming FuoriSalone!
First of all there was Flowerprint with its 2,000 blooms – roses, oriental lilies, gerberas, carnations and aromatic herbs – an impressive living wall by architect Cornelius Gavril covering the façade of a building in Via Palermo; then there were the “air plants” used in the Tillandsia Wall, a modular structure by garden designer Michieli that uses tropical epiphytic plants whose roots grow in the air, which enveloped the walls of no. 7 Via Turati; not to mention the arbour of roots, citrus and upturned ears of corn in Garden Belvedere created by floral designer Thierry Boutemy in the garden of Palazzo Borromeo d'Adda; and lastly the leafy spaces such as Archiproducts Milano at 31 Zona Tortona, a workplace for architects to relax, network and dream up new designs – all of which are a clear indication of the pursuit of nature as the only way to recreate true beauty, and the essential element for living, working and, of course, designing!

Innovation does not always have to be the antithesis of nature or craftsmanship. In fact, COEX itself – the only material that is 100% flame retardant and natural – originates from plant fibres such as linen, cotton, viscose and hemp. Another pertinent exhibition was Sharing Design Natural &Social curated by the Milan Makers at the Fabbrica del Vapore, which focused on freelance designers who work, not only using modernised, traditional artisanal techniques, but also with innovative digital technologies. Many of the designs, installations and furnishings came under the banner of environmental sustainability: from the “urban allotments” that encourage butterflies to safeguard biodiversity, to the renaissance of natural materials such as clay for rendering and creating useful objects and hemp for its hygroscopic properties and thermal and acoustic insulation in the House of Wood and Hemp. 

Nowadays, it would seem we have an increasing thirst for bringing nature into our homes. And, although wood may be the cornerstone of natural living, natural materials can also play their part in terms of health, safety and sustainability. Something that we at COEX know something about! It will come as no surprise then that Christian Fischbacher, the curator of the exhibition in Casa Lago in central Milan, chose to use curtains from the ECO FR collection, which are natural and soft, light and breathable and made of COEX, which also means they are fireproof and safe.

Heading indoors to the Salone del Mobile, we noted that the Zanotta stand, designed by the Calvi Brambilla Studio, was also adorned with natural and neutral COEX curtains, giving a stylish and minimalist finish. Further fabric and the many upholstered pieces of furniture helped to create relaxing spaces imbued with style and elegance. As we wandered through the exhibition, we also spotted COEX fabric in use by various furniture makers: such as in the Assembly armchair by Moroso on the Diesel Living stand; or in the attractive turquoise lining of a wardrobe and, more ostentatiously, in the bookcase designed by Piero Lissoni on the Porro stand.

From the living room, we moved seamlessly onto the bedroom, because nature is fundamental not only to furnishings but also to sleep! “Sleep on Nature” is the motto of COCO-MAT, a company that designs natural and environmentally-friendly, 4-layer bed systems that do not use springs or metal (divan + mattress + overlay + topper) as well as breathable, hypoallergenic pillows made from natural materials. For COCO-MAT, selecting the best materials in terms of quality, purity and safety is paramount.

Until now, we could only dream of the “hotel of the future”, however (3S)xTHD, a virtual exhibition by the Micheli Studio in Milan’s designer Ventura Lambrate district brings this vision to life. The three elegant suites that the studio is creating for the TownHouse Duomo will be made entirely of COEX. Luckily, we won’t have long to wait: the three suites will become a reality by the end of the year. But if you can’t wait that long, you can visit the display to test out the softness and comfort of the COEX armchair and footrest. But don’t get too comfortable or you might get left behind, stay tuned and watch this space!

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