Salone del Mobile Milan 2018: Meet Zu Insider Michelle Macarounas

Salone del Mobile Milan is KE-ZU’s favourite time of the year. This year we enlisted three Zu Insiders to take over the Zu-Gram, giving our followers insights and experiences as they happened.

Salone del Mobile Milan is the world’ biggest design fair and growing exponentially. With more than 2000 exhibitors at the fairgrounds and 1000-plus installations all around the city, the fair is a must see for anyone in the design world. As thousands descend on the fashionable city, Milan is whipped up into a frenzy of energy and excitement.

This year we wanted our followers to feel that energy and excitement and to be part of the action as it happened, so we enlisted Zu Insiders – three cutting-edge, vibrant and social media-savvy designers – to take over the Zu-Gram and post their experiences. Our brief? Anything goes! We wanted to know what they saw, what they coveted, who they met and where they ate, drank and danced.

Meet Zu Insider Michelle Macarounas, principal and lead designer at Infinite Design. Michelle’s passion for good design stems from understanding the balance between form and function. This is the round-up of her Italian experience.

Which product by a KE-ZU brand is at the top of your wish list? 

La Isla by Sancal. I am absolutely in love with this piece. It has seductive curves and soft upholstery that makes you just want to relax into it. We have recently used this piece in a project as a dressing-room daybed. It’s beautiful for draping clothes and the client’s girls love to sit on it and chat whilst mum is getting ready.

Which new piece by a KE-ZU brand are you looking forward to specifying for clients? 

The gorgeous Frames for Expormim by Jaime Hayon. We have already specified this for an upcoming residential project to create a warm yet contemporary feel in an old grand manor. They will look stunning.

What was one of the main trends you noticed at the fair?

It was really sensory driven this year and installations were more dimensional in theme. Exhibitors created environments with smells and sounds for a complete sensory experience, and personal-assisted technology really added value this year.

Did you meet any product designers?

We were fortunate to meet the talented and divine Patricia Urquiola and Jaime Hayon among other design contributors who have designed new products for KE-ZU represented brands.

Patricia was extremely intoxicating with her philosophy on design flexibility and adaptability. She is one of the few designers that really designs for the people. Her priority is very customer drive, which shows a nurturing side to her work.

What were your favourite installations?

Local Design – They really showed Australia off in Milan this year. I am so very proud of the entire group representing what this country can do.

Henri Timi – It’s been a long time since I have seen someone brave enough to turn the direction back to such a simple form when the world is so focused on a decorative style. He is humble and restrained, almost Japanese-like in his approach.

Hay – For the exceptional use of colour and transparency and integration of spaces.

Moooi x Megan Grehl – We met the young team involved in the design collaboration, which was absolutely stunning.

How many days were at the fair and how far did you walk?

I spent a full five days, and not really sleeping at all, so that’s probably more like ten days! I feel like I walked every single street of Milan. I love Milan and Italy and Salone, by far, is the top of my list each year for inspiration and creative experience.

What was the best place you ate, grabbed a coffee or had a drink?

The amazing Ceresio 7 Pools & Restaurant for a glam night out. We sat poolside with the Zu-gang.

Al Pont de Ferr is a surprisingly creative restaurant in an unassuming space. The Boffi group introduced it to me, and it is part of the slow-food movement paired with a delicious selection of wines thanks to a creative young Italian female sommelier. Just beautiful.

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