New York Times – The Most Wondrous Things at the Milan Furniture Fair

Designers trotted out their latest creations. Earth-friendly materials, bizarre shapes and coziness were among the themes.

MILAN — The winding staircase of the Palazzo Serbelloni was jammed with visitors photographing the bulbous Venezia lamps that Marcel Wanders designed for Louis Vuitton. The designers at the International Furniture Fair in Milan have long figured out that the 386,000 who attended this month are a tiny slice of the real audience, who live on Instagram.

Under continual pressure to pump out fresh goods, design companies now rely on photogenic displays to mask the distinction between old and new products. Substance is giving way to spectacle. And if that doesn’t bode well for innovation, it does make for a heck of a party.

Free-form designs spilled onto rugs. Joost van Bleiswijk, a Dutch designer, creates Dadaist carpets inspired by ripped-up paper fragments. (

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By Julie Lasky