The best of Milan 2015 by Ruth Aram

The best of Milan Design Week 2015 | Design Hunter

It is such a pleasure to have Ruth Aram join us here on Design Hunter today to share some of her Milan highlights. As head of the retail side of the Aram Store Ruth has been visiting Milan every year since the early 1990s, heading to the Salone del Mobile to survey new talent and source products for the showroom.

 Under her father Zeev’s direction, Aram was the first furniture store in Britain to exhibit the work of modernist designers such as Le Corbusier, Marcel Breuer, Carlo Scarpa and Eileen Gray. As well as being a trained landscape architect, Ruth has developed her own personal eye for product design, and before becoming Director at Aram Designs she opened her own showroom in Hampstead, known as The Ruth Aram Store.

In this special guest post for Design Hunter she picks out some of the designs that caught her eye in Milan earlier this month.

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Signature chair by Frits Henningsen for Carl Hansen

Signature chair by Frits Henningsen for Carl Hansen

This year saw a number of re-editions of archive designs such as the Signature Chair by Frits Henningsen for Carl Hansen & Son. Henningsen's final design, completed in 1954 combines comfort and elegance in the form of soft inviting shapes and floating armrests. Back then fewer than 20 pieces were produced, probably all destined for Danish homes, so this is the first time it has been launched internationally.

Kurage lamp by Nendo for Foscarini | Design Hunter

Kurage lamp by Nendo

The success of manufacturers like Carl Hansen & Son demonstrates our yearning for traditional craftsmanship and designs that tell a story, especially in a world increasingly dominated by complicated technology. The hand-crafted theme runs through a number of new products such as Nendo's charming Kurage table lamp designed for Foscarini made from washi paper and wood.

Saen dining table by Gabriele and Oscar Buratti for Alias | Design Hunter

Saen dining table by Gabriele and Oscar Buratti

The trend for curving organic shapes continues, illustrated this year by new designs such as the Saen dining table by Gabriele and Oscar Buratti for Alias. The gourd shaped base is made from hollow concrete, an increasingly popular finish which brings an industrial, urban edge to the design.

Fri chair by Jaime Hayon for Fritz Hansen | Design Hunter

Fri chair by Jaime Hayon

Following on from the success of the Ro easy chair comes another curvaceous chair by Jaime Hayon for Fritz Hansen. Lower and softer than the Ro chair, the new Fri chair will have a broader appeal.

Kinesit chair by Arper | Design Hunter

Kinesit chair by Lievore Altherr Molina

As more of us are choosing to work from home, the industry is responding with new task chairs, ergonomically designed yet unfussy and visually light. A good example is the Kinesit chair by Lievore Altherr Molina for Arper. Clean lines are achieved by hiding the height and tilt controls under the seat and fresh colour combinations make it an attractive choice for the home office.

Scighera sofa by Piero Lissoni for Cassina | Design Hunter

Scighera sofa by Piero Lissoni for Cassina

A comfortable, well designed sofa is often the starting point when updating the home and this year there were a number to choose from but my favourite was the Scighera by Piero Lissoni for Cassina. This is a sofa to sink into and relax with generously sized armrests and a foldable headrest that can be fixed in different positions, ensuring a high level of comfort.

Pilot chair by Barber Osgerby for Knoll | Design Hunter

Pilot chair by Barber & Osgerby

I was initially unsure about the Pilot chair by Barber & Osgerby for Knoll International, especially the models with multi-coloured upholstery, but the comfort and functionality is excellent and when upholstered in leather it is a handsome design.

Bertoia side chair | Design Hunter

Bertoia side chair by Harry Bertoia

Also from Knoll was the Bertoia side chair with relaunched solid plastic seat and rilsan base, making it suitable for outdoor use, which brings me neatly back to the theme of resurrecting designs from the archives.