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The art of a good holiday – taking inspiration from Salone De Mobile

18 May 2018

As the holiday season fast approaches many relish the thought of leaving the daily grind behind, yet some holiday makers find it hard to switch off from work whilst away. There are even those who view their vacation as an opportunity to enhance their skills or to make new discoveries.

Alex Blondek, one of the team of design engineers at GX, recently spent a long weekend in Milan exploring the Salone de Mobile. This annual event showcases the latest trends and designs in furniture. Whilst largely a trade show, its public day has become the go to event to see what both big brands and well-known designers are including in their creations.

“I visited the show in 2014 and have wanted to return ever since, so vowed to make time to go this year,” explains Alex. “There’s such a great atmosphere in Milan with all the local shops hosting mini events, plus the chance to wander through up to 20 warehouses all dedicated to cutting edge design.

“I love seeing how trends have moved on or are developing. During my last visit in 2014 designs were very minimalist, this year there seems to have been a shift to a more rustic feel by using more natural products to create a much cosier feel.”

Amongst the highlights for Alex was seeing how famed designer Philippe Stark had introduced wood to a range of furniture for leading Italian designer Kartell. The wood has cleverly been bent into curved shaped chairs. Kartell was not alone drawing their inspiration from nature, another piece Alex greatly admired was the carved onyx Malea Coffee Table, a collaborative design between Citco and Zaha Hadid Architects.


“Several exhibits made clever use of more natural materials for embellishment,” notes Alex. “There seemed to be a definite shift away from relying on plastic by incorporating more sustainable products such as wood, glass and natural stone. Or even in Alessi’s case mimicking natural products in their design home fragrances.”

Now back at GX’s product design base in Usk, Alex hopes to draw on his inspiration for future projects.

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