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Salone del Mobile.Milano to spread design world-over

By Sushma Arora

MILAN, Feb 14: The six-day 58th edition of Salone del Mobile.Milano, beginning April 9 here, would host more than 2,350 exhibitors across more than 2.2 million square feet of showroom space at the Rho Fiera Milano.

Speaking at a press conference, the Mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala reaffirmed the city’s link with the Salone and its finely honed ability to interpret the spirit of Milan and to lay itself open to new things with pragmatism and originality.

Stefano Boeri emphasised the importance of the dialogue with the Salone as a hub of experimentation and research into design.

Emanuele Orsini confirmed the positive results seen by the sector.

Minister Alberto Bonisoli looked forward to an ever-stronger Salone with the power to promote design all over the world.

Claudio Luti then touched on three crucial issues for maintaining the event’s leadership position: nurturing creativity, increasing connections and creating a system. He also announced the new exhibition formats for the 2019 edition, responding to the demands of a growing and evolving market. Workplace3.0 will become more widespread and crosscutting, while S.Project is being launched as a new multipurpose space devoted to design products and decorative and technical interior design solutions.

The President of the Salone del Mobile discussed the new word that is being integrated into the Manifesto: genius, i.e. the ability to create and think in a way that will trigger fresh ways of looking at the world and coming up with brilliant and effective solutions. This is a talent that the companies and designers that are the protagonists of the Salone possess and are constantly developing and which, symbolically, they have inherited from Leonardo, to whom the Salone is dedicating two great events, curated by Marco Balich and Davide Rampello.

Two videos, by Steven Holl and Neri&Hu and by James Bradburne and Alexander Pereira, will be testament to the international nature of the Salone and to the close relationship between design and art.

The conference also saw announcement of a three-year partnership between the Teatro alla Scala and the Salone, born of the desire to share common values, with the dual aim of promoting the talent of the Filarmonica della Scala and allowing the design community an opportunity to be involved in a unique experience.

This year's show will comprise six major exhibitions, each with a distinct focus in design: the annual Salone Internazionale del Mobile (furniture), the International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition (furnishing accessories, decorative accents, and textiles), the biennial Euroluce (lighting), Workplace3.0 (contract), SaloneSatellite (for work by designers under the age of 35), and S.Project (decorative and technical interior design solutions and products).

At the press conference, organized by Salone del Mobile's international press office, six manufacturers previewed product lineups that will be on display at Salone and shared insights about upcoming show events.

As part of a new rebranding campaign, Fritz Hansen is jettisoning the Republic of Fritz Hansen name, which the Danish furniture manufacturer had adopted in 2000. Although it will still target the luxury furniture market, the company is hoping to broaden its appeal to the younger generation with a series of upcoming launches that global public relations manager Line Blomqvist says are more “democratically” priced. The company is also entering the case goods category with the release of its McCobb Planner shelving collection, as well as debuting new lighting fixtures and accessory products.

Known for producing iconic pieces by Italian designers, such as the Castiglioni brothers, Carlo Mollini, and Ettore Sottsass, Zanotta will be debuting several new product collaborations, including Echino glass tables by Sebastian Herkner, Tusa armchairs by Rodolfo Dordoni, a small armchair by Constance Guisset, and a series of tables by Pierre Charpin. Additionally, the company will also be celebrating the 50th anniversary of launching the Sacco beanbag chair at its Milan showroom.

Italian furniture manufacturer Jumbo Group will introduce new products from each of its five brands: Jumbo Collection, Roberto Cavalli Home, Etro Home Interiors, JCP, and Gianfranco Ferré Home.

Milan-based Nemo Lighting will be exhibiting products from its Masters collection, which includes never-before-produced concepts by architects and designers such as Le Corbusier, Vico Magistretti, Franco Albini, Charlotte Perriand, and Kazuhide Takahama. The collection also features more recent pieces, such as Bird by Bernhard Osann, which won a Design Plus award at Light+Building last year. Nemo Lighting will also hold a special event featuring Mario Bellini’s Cloud.

At this year's show, Living Divani will unveil a limited-edition furniture collection and Floyd-Hi bed by Lissoni, a floor-to-ceiling shelving system, lighting fixtures, and accessories. The family-owned furniture manufacturer, based in Como, Italy, will feature a special exhibition at the Palazzo Crivelli in Milan to celebrate its 50th anniversary and its 30th year of collaborating with Italian designer Piero Lissoni.

In conjunction with its 70th anniversary, Kartell will debut “The Art Side of Kartell,” an exhibition charting the company's notable milestones and product introductions, and their relationship to the evolution of trends in contemporary art and design. The exhibition will run from April 10 to May 12 at the Palazzo Reale in Milan.

While exploring the packed streets of Italy’s second largest city, visitors can also stop by the 22nd Triennale di Milano "Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival," a group exhibition curated by MoMA senior curator Paola Antonelli that explores the power of design to deter climate change. The show, on view from March 1 to September 1 at La Triennale di Milano building, includes a multimedia installation by Arup and Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the life cycle of materials.

Turkish president Recep Taayyip Erdogan says time has come for Hagia Sophia to be a mosque

ISTANBUL, March 28: President Recep Taayyip Erdogan said Wednesday it was time to rename Istanbul’s landmark Hagia Sophia as a mosque, saying that it had been a “very big mistake” to convert it into a museum.

“Hagia Sophia will not be called a museum. It will be taken out of that status. We will call Hagia Sophia a mosque,” Erdogan told A Haber television during an interview.

“Those who come to Hagia Sophia will visit Hagia Sophia mosque,” he said.

The former church and mosque, now a museum, often sparks tensions between Christians and Muslims over Islamic activities held there, including the reading of verses from the Koran or collective prayers.

Its secular status allows believers of all faiths to meditate, reflect or simply enjoy the astonishing architecture of a building dating back to the sixth century.

Erdogan is campaigning for votes for his Justice and Development Party (AKP) ahead of municipal elections on March 31.

The Turkish leader said the plan would be discussed after the elections.

“We think the time has come to take such a step given there is a demand” from the Turkish people, he said.

Such a move is likely to cause anger among Christians and raise tensions between historic foes Turkey and Greece, both NATO members.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visited the Hagia Sophia in February.

Asked about the criticism, Erdogan said: “There are attacks targeting Al-Aqsa mosque,” referring to the compound in Jerusalem known to Jews as the Temple Mount.

“Those who remain silent on this cannot dare to give advise to us on (Hagia Sophia),” he added.

Iconic Barbie doll celebrates 60 years of evolution

NEW YORK, March 10: Barbie, the fashion doll famous around the world, celebrated her 60th anniversary on Saturday with new collections honouring real-life role models and careers in which women remain under-represented.

It is part of Barbie’s evolution over the decades since her debut at the New York Toy Fair on March 9, 1959.

To mark the milestone, manufacturer Mattel Inc created Barbie versions of 20 inspirational women from Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka to British model and activist Adwoa Aboah.

The company also released six dolls representing the careers of astronaut, pilot, athlete, journalist, politician and firefighter, all fields in which Mattel said women are still under-represented.

Barbie is a cultural icon celebrated by the likes of Andy Warhol, the Paris Louvre museum and the 1997 satirical song “Barbie Girl” by Scandinavian pop group Aqua. She was named after the daughter of creator Ruth Handler.

Barbie has taken on more than 200 careers from surgeon to video game developer since her debut, when she wore a black-and-white striped swimsuit. After criticism that Barbie’s curvy body promoted an unrealistic image for young girls, Mattel added a wider variety of skin tones, body shapes, hijab-wearing dolls and science kits to make Barbie more educational.

Barbie is also going glamorous for her six-decade milestone. A diamond-anniversary doll wears a sparkly silver ball gown.



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