Earlier this month, Milan Design Week was busy with Salone Del Mobile, the world’s foremost interior design fair. For the event’s 60th anniversary—the first to return in-person since 2019—over 2,000 exhibitors showcased their latest wares, including over 600 designers under age of 35.
It was the biggest, and most successful iteration yet, and had a strong international presence with designers coming from across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North America. “We believe in a Salone that breaks down barriers, becoming a cultural bridge, welcoming everyone without distinction, in the name of ethical and responsible design,” says
Salone del Mobile’s president, the first woman to hold the job since joining last year.
While the trade fair is known for its cutting-edge furniture (specifically, modular loveseats), the star of this year’s event was the lighting design. Whether it’s Magritte-inspired lamps or traditional Italian glass chandeliers, here are some of the lighting designs that made a splash at Milan’s design week this year.
The Argentinian designer showcased his latest modern lamps at the Nilafur showroom, which are inspired by the free jazz movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Titled “Too Much, Too Soon!” These geometric lamps are what the designer calls “illuminated sculptures.” He explains that even though he is a digital native (he was born in 1990), the digital world cannot reproduce light the same way that a lamp can. “Reflecting, absorbing, playing with light is a physical experience,” Reisinger says. “So it’s unnecessary to reproduce it in the digital realm, because it’s simply ineffective.”
brought his work to higher levels with his new lighting collection, Divine Inspiration, on the brand’s 15-year anniversary. These minimal light pieces—some even inspired by Brutalist architecture—are Broom’s biggest production to date. The lighting fixtures are made from carved oak wood, aluminum, plaster, and Jesmonite, all of which were handmade in his London factory.
“Designing this collection to celebrate 15 years, I decided to look back at some of the things that inspired me to be a designer in the first place,” Broom says. “So, I started looking at the Brutalist architecture I grew up with as a child, a period of architecture that I love. Delving deeper my attention became engaged with brutalist places of worship. This led me on a fascinating journey to researching cathedrals, temples, and churches from antiquity to mid-century, to the present day.”
The Venetian glassmaking company debuted its latest glass chandelier, called the Magritte, inspired by French surrealist painter
The clear glass chandelier with 48 light bulbs takes the traditional glassmaking on the Venetian Island of Murano, which is where the firm has had its headquarters for 700 years, and updates it for modern interiors. As Magritte once said, “Banish the already seen from the mind and seek the unseen.”
We might know Toiletpaper as the retro-inspired art magazine co-founded by artist
Now, the duo has made their way into product design with Casa Toiletpaper. This Milanese home doubles as both a showroom for their latest furniture design, and is an AirBnB,. They call this property “an unmistakable design” where visitors can “live in a work of art.” Their latest series of housewares, as part of their Toiletpaper Home collection, has lamps that are surrealist-inspired works of art, too. With a simple round glass globe on a black rectangular base. There are four design variations: a trumpet, snakes, playing cards, and lipstick patterns.
The Italian lighting brand opened its first showroom in Milan for design week, set in the heart of the city’s Brera district, Milan’s most notable creative neighborhood. The company’s latest design collections including Volum (designed with Snøhetta), Flar (designed with
), and IVY (designed with
). The Volum series features an icy white bulb, which pays tribute to the Italian tradition of globe-shaped lamps, made of glass. Oslo-based designers Snøhetta said the historic craft of glassmaking was the inspiration. “Viewing something as above, below or next to something else, to a light source, it needs to be as functional and beautiful from all prepositions in space,” says
the director of products at Snøhetta. “The Volum series solves this in its technical solution, while celebrating the craft of glassmaking.”
Formafantasma x Maison Matisse
The design company Formafantasma collaborated with
a design firm run by the family of French artist
to create limited-edition lamps inspired by the artist’s creations. They call the series “Fold,” and these angular, abstract light fixtures are intended to “reinterpret the inventive paper cut-outs and pure colors of Henri Matisse.” Many of the metal lamps look like seaside shapes that Matisse would draw while living in the French Riviera. And some use his trademark cobalt blue. They unveiled the new series last week at Showroom Studio Nerino. The design team worked with folded paper mock-ups before creating the digital designs, as folding paper for 3D compositions was one way Matisse created art.