This year we asked Australian design industry figures for their views on the Milan Furniture Fair. Here, Gavin Harris of Futurespace shares his thoughts on a year he describes as "multi-faceted". What key theme did you see this year?
There were many themes – wood again was in high use as both a main product, but also in detail. Colours were also more vibrant and challenging compared to the previous year.
Who were this year’s interesting designers, brands, or both?
Doshi Levien. They never do many products but this year they did products for B&B Italia, Hay, Moroso, BD Barcelona and rugs for Nanimarquina. Their aesthetic is always a little off-track. They are husband and wife team, one from England, the other from India who used their rich cultural backgrounds to develop different social parameters in the pieces they produced.
What was the overall highlight for you this year?
The highlight for me was the mixed use of colour and the upholstery detailing on some of the collections, it was fresh and interesting. To me it showed that the industry is again gaining confidence in itself.
How would you describe your own personal design direction?
I like the use of colour. I focus on commercial fit-outs where colour is always a difficult subject to include, but it can add so much to our working lives. It just needs to be handled with subtlety and not as ‘fashion’. Second item is always detail, the element that you can feel and interact with, when you sit in a chair and you notice the leg to arm junction. That is very interesting to me and it adds quality to peoples lives.
Describe the Milan fair in one word.