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Visitors look at the artwork "Straordinaria", an immersive installation presented by the Italian company Elica as part of the Fuorisalone 2024 event, on the eve of the Milan Design Week, in Milan.--AFP photos
Visitors look at the artwork "Straordinaria", an immersive installation presented by the Italian company Elica as part of the Fuorisalone 2024 event, on the eve of the Milan Design Week, in Milan.--AFP photos
Milan design fair opens with sustainability and David Lynch

One of the world’s leading design events, the Salone del Mobile, opened in Milan on Tuesday, marked by sustainability, craftsmanship and two “thinking rooms” from David Lynch. Immersive experiences, new editions of iconic furniture and pop colors from the 1970s are also set to define this year’s fair, featuring around 1,950 exhibitors - including a third from outside Italy. Sustainability, the environment and social responsibility are again a big theme, Maria Porro, head of the Salone, told AFP.

Shapes are “inspired by the organic world”, colors are dominated by natural shades from dark brown to sage green and cobalt blue, she said. Leading materials include “natural fibers and recycled ones, materials that meet high standards of sustainability as well as design and functionality”.

But Porro said the bright colors of the 1970s would also return, as part of a wider retro spirit as Italian brands bring furniture from that period up to date. Among the fair’s main attractions are two identical “thinking rooms” designed by Lynch, conceived as symbolic doors through which a visitor must pass to become immersed in the exposition.

The 78-year-old US filmmaker is best known for his movies, often unsettling portraits of American life, but has also been designing furniture for over two decades. Another immersive experience, “Under the Surface” by illustrator Emiliano Ponzi, takes the form of a sunken island, with a message against wasting water. Constantly moving reflections of light on the sea represent data on global water consumption. Last year more than 300,000 visitors came from 181 countries - with Chinese buyers also returning following an absence caused by the coronavirus pandemic. — AFP

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