Design of the Times in Milan

Milan buses are plastered with bright red posters reassuring recession-anxious consumers that if there’s a financial crisis, the Salone del Mobile is the answer.

That confident attitude sums up the buoyant mood at the 48th annual International Milan Furniture Fair, which started here on Wednesday and runs until Monday. In a city where fashion is king, design makes the most of its yearly five-day spotlight by showcasing the weird and the wonderful.

Exhibitors at the Massimiliano Fuksas-designed fairgrounds were up 15% to 1,496 from 2008 according to the organizer, Cosmit. Organizers expect to surpass last year’s record of nearly 350,000 visitors. Indeed, antsy lines for the metro, elbowing around the big-name stands and the crush to procure a restorative cappuccino are as fierce as ever.

Full story here.

Milan Design Week: Pac-Man Bookshelf, Ghost Lamps


Graphic and industrial designer Mirko Ginepro came to my notice with the iPod table for last year’s international furniture fair.

Keeping in the pop-culture theme, this year’s effort for the fair’s fuori salone is a wooden lacquer book case in the form of a giant Pac Man, called Puckman (the original name of the video-game icon), with companion ghost lamps.

Ginepro was inspired by the enduring icon of Pac-Man, he spent long afternoons spent playing Pac-Man against his sister on a Commodore 64 — now he plays it on his iPhone.

If you’re in Milan, it’s at the Nhow Hotel in Via Tortona.
For info, prices etc., here’s his website.

Image courtesy @ Mirko Ginepro