Dezeen Magazine

Avocado seed project by Fragmentario

Five emerging designers to watch from Salone Satellite

Tables that can charge mobile phones and bricks made from avocado pits were among the projects shown by up-and-coming designers at Salone Satellite during this year's Milan design week.

Every year at Salone del Mobile, the world's largest and most influential furniture fair, emerging designers from all over the world get the chance to show their products in the Salone Satellite exhibition.

This year, their contributions ranged from steel chairs in striking colours to organic-looking lamps made from recycled plastic.

Read on to find out more about five of the most exciting emerging designers showing at Salone Satellite:

Les(s) collection by Studio WA+CH

Les(s) collection by Studio WA+CH

Milan-based Studio WA+CH, which last year won third place in Dezeen and LG Display's OLEDs Go! competition, showed its innovative Les(s) collection at Salone Satellite this year.

Containing a side table, a mirror lamp and a wall lamp, the line was created to reflect the trend of integrating smart technology into furniture, but to do so in a "quiet" way.

"For this project, we're trying to imagine that in the future, furniture and lighting are going to be simpler, and then it has to have this seamless experience across to a different product," Fuhua Wang, who co-founded the studio together with Weichih Chen, told Dezeen.

The studio's wooden side table has an integrated cable to wirelessly charge phones and lamps on its surface, while its wall-mounted light series lets users attach lamps magnetically and wirelessly. Organic shapes give the high-tech designs a softer feel.

Blooming by Jisun Kim

Blooming series by Jisun Kim

Seoul-based designer and founder of Studio Round Jisun Kim's Blooming series of diaphanous lighting was named for the way in which it resembles a blossoming flower.

But despite its organic texture, the light is made from recycled plastic bags that Kim transforms by ironing them.

"I experimented with creating materials using heat – it's an artificial material but it created some naturalness after adding the heat," she told Dezeen. "After I found this technique, I can handle all kinds of shapes."

The series is part of Kim's larger work with recycled plastic, which aims to inspire viewers to look at the material with fresh eyes.

Fold Chair by Hampus Penttinen

Fold Chair by Studio Hampus Penttinen

Designer Hampus Penttinen's challenged himself to use as few materials as possible for his Fold Chair, resulting in a chair made from just one piece of sheet metal and two steel tubes.

Its bright colour stood out among the stands at Salone Satellite, where it was showcased against a pastel-colour background.

"Colours carry nostalgic and emotional values that are sometimes hard to describe if you're just attracted something, and I like playing around with these ice cream palettes," Penttinen told Dezeen.

The designer created the chair after exploring industrial sheet-metal manufacturing, drawing on methods and techniques such as paper planes and origami to create its distinctive shape.

Avocado seed brick

Avocado Seed Brick by María-Elena Pombo

María-Elena Pombo is the founder of the Fragmentario design and research practice, which was shortlisted for emerging design studio of the year at Dezeen Awards 2022.

At Salone Satellite, she showed her research around the use of avocado pits (top image), including her Avocado Seed Brick (above) – a brick made from crushed avocado pits combined with binders made from Sargassum algae and pine resin.

Her work focuses on creating innovative new materials using existing resources that don't damage the environment.

"I also do other research projects with oyster shells and all sorts of materials," Pombo told Dezeen. "The bottom line is that we use very few materials today, and we have to move on to other materials, be imaginative about it and not see it as a chore."

"It's like, how do we actually make a new aesthetic with these materials that are more attractive?" she added.

Arc lights by JBNG

Arc by JBNG

Design studio JBNG, which was founded by Birkan Gülöz and Jonas Nussbaum, showed a selection of its product designs at this year's fair.

Among the pieces was Arc, a two-piece lighting collection made from aluminium that the studio designed to "use the full potential of a material".

"We only have to make one cut of the aluminium profile and we get two individual lamp objects," the studio told Dezeen of the design.

By using an arc-shaped laser cut it creates two lights, one for direct illumination and one for indirect illumination, which together form a matching pair.

"We thought about how you can use an already-existing material to create something unseen and new, and how to shape products using the whole potential of material and give it a very characteristic and outstanding look," JBNG added.

Salone Satellite takes place from 18 to 23 April 2023 at Milan Fairgrounds, Rho, Milan, Italy. See our Milan design week 2023 guide on Dezeen Events Guide for information about the many other exhibitions, installations and talks taking place throughout the week.