Artek & Kartell in Milan

Volcano ash and airport closures didn't seem to be affecting the crowded aisles of the Salone del Mobile in Milan as the show continued on late last week. Among the furniture-philes, Kartell's black-and-white booth, which they're calling "Black is Back," seems to be a favorite, receiving twice as many visitors as it did last year. Highlights include the incorporation of new materials like die-cast aluminum (Lissoni's Audrey chair), and wood (Nendo's sundial bookshelf), in addition to the plastics that Kartell is so well known for.

The incorporation of accessories has also been cause for excitement - the Front Page magazine rack and the Moon bowl will join 2009's Dune tray as new additions to Kartell's growing accessories line.

At Salone's Spazio Rosanna Orlandi, in a comparatively small space, Artek has also been generating buzz. The DRESS THE CHAIR! campaign, on which Artek has collaborated with Missoni, is undoubtedly the most eye-catching element in Artek's booth. The campaign will travel to New York's ICFF next, where Maharam will create special fabric especially for the collaboration. Also new at Artek is Naoto Fukasawa's Shelving Unit, and Enzo Mari's chair created for Artek in conjunction with his film, which was screened at Salone with Mari providing commentary (Mari's enthusiasm, ranting and, at times, profanity, only helped his message resonate). Capturing a new audience while upholding Artek's original standards and values was on the agenda for this year's Salone, and the mission seemed to be happily accomplished.

Shown above, left to right:
1. Artek: Dress the Chair with Missoni fabric
2. Artek: P Shelf
3. Kartell: Masters
4. Kartell: Front Page
5. Kartell: Bloom
-Beth Dickstein

(Thanks for the report, Beth!)

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