It was her “The Diary of a Designer” blog that launched her into the world of digital stardom and allowed her to establish herself as a design influencer, to the extent that she has now been named the Italian representative on the Discovery Jury at Maison&Objet.
Born in Siena in 1986, Camilla Bellini – an Industrial Design graduate – has conquered the world of design with her infectious millennial enthusiasm, a quality that saw her take advantage of the limitless potential of the internet to channel a high-brow, often exclusive industry like quality design into an engaging, conversation-style blog touching on anything and everything. This approach – underpinned by her undeniable passion – has won her 72,000 followers, no less.
We caught up with Bellini to look back on the recently concluded Milan Design Week and the legendary Milan Furniture Fair.
If you had to pick three key words to sum up the trends we’ve seen at this Design Wek, what would they be?
I would definitely go for neutrality, classicism and re-issues. I’m hoping that the time is right next year for interactive design and that companies are more prepared to embrace the kind of technological innovation that actually has an impact on the lives of their end users – people.
Is there a particular product or brand that you think really stood out from the crowd this year?
I really liked the displays put together by Zanotta, which succeeded in making history and contemporaneity happy bedfellows. They took some of the brand’s historic designs and products and gave them a modern makeover.
How much of a role did colour play and what kind of shades did we see?
Colour is a vital component of design, regardless of whether you’re talking about products, interiors or sets. Colour always plays a massive role. There was a definite focus on neutral, natural shades at this edition of the Furniture Fair, but there were also a few flashes of brighter colours too.
Which was the best display concept?
I liked the CC-tapis stand because it struck the perfect balance between art and craftsmanship. The visitors were immersed in a really engaging atmosphere made all the more pleasant by the use of pastel colours and gentle tones. It wasn’t just about rugs – these were works of art. I loved the concept.
Do you think the focus was on creativity or emotion in the display areas?
I would say that the majority of the display areas opted to mix emotion and functionality. Dom Edizioni, Poltrona Frau, Gallotti and Radice – to cite but a few – are brands that have invested a great deal from this perspective, staying true to their aesthetic styles.
In the field of emerging design (particularly SaloneSatellite), what were the main trends adopted by young designers?
Just like for Milan Furniture Fair, I didn’t really see one or more recurring style/design trends at SaloneSatellite. There was a lot of homogeneity, and in fact if I was to make one criticism, it would be that there wasn’t much creativity or desire to take risks. That said, the work of Stefano Carta – the first Italian to win an award at Satellite – and his Cucina Leggera concept were worthy of note in my opinion.
What were the unmissable events at FuoriSalone?
The first one that springs to mind is Moooi. It was an exciting exhibition with meticulous attention to detail – it was pure poetry, based on a really original, evocative, suggestive concept. Moooi rebuilt entire furniture and accessory displays drawing inspiration from ten extinct creatures. It was a good event for children too. Design knows no age and it was great to see that first hand, with the venue full of families with children.
Special mention must also go to the Studio Nendo and Giulio Cappellini exhibitions at SuperStudio and Gubi in the stunning setting of Palazzo Serbelloni.