The Salone del Mobile is the world’s most important design fair and more and more it has been developing into a showcase for new lifestyle trends as well as into a forum where social subjects are discussed. Milan left a big impression on us – particularly the latest office trends we saw there: they are green, colourful and even somewhat poetic.
- Colourful: What has long been standard in co-working spaces is now arriving in the offices of large companies: cool lines and angular, clean, uniform looks are increasingly giving way to jaunty colours and diversity. Angles are out, curves are in, whether circles or ovals. Chairs no longer have to be drab and grey, black or shiny metallic. Instead, they are colourful, in a range of bright and cheerful shades, and as individual as the employees themselves.
- Poetic: This trend is best described with a concrete example: designer Michael Anastassiades has created abstract high tables made of walnut wood and brass for the office furniture giant Herman Miller and combined them with his arched lamps. The result: extraordinarily poetic minimalism.
- Green: And that poetic trend is in turn increasingly being combined with environmental awareness. Where in the recent past people used to rely entirely on technology, there are now ever more green partition walls, plant walls, living decorative elements: for example, those used by designer Valentine Troi – on display in the Austrian showroom at Villa Necchi. And there are natural materials, too: marble, ceramic, wood, stone – for tables, for instance, or shelves, and colourful tiles. Though the latter are not, as you might expect, a feature of the toilet areas but are attached to the walls of the office spaces themselves. Tiles are all the rage, but make sure no two are the same, and they should all be jumbled up in a thousand variations without creating any coherent pattern. As seen at Mutina, in designs by the London-based duo Barber Osgerby.