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Milan 2013. The power of curiosity

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The Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, which recently closed its 2013 edition, is one of the leading furniture industry and accessories fairs in Europe, featuring the latest innovations in design and manufacturing.


As soon as you walked into the bulthaup showroom on via Durini, you found yourself standing in a kitchen, but everything seemed to have changed. The water point was set so high that you had to stretch to reach the faucet. You looked down and saw a cooktop at your feet. And the countertop across the way invited you to take a seat.

This vibrant collage had been assembled from a selection of bulthaup b3 units in different colors and materials placed at varying heights on steps and platforms made of concrete, stone, hand-painted lava tiles, and wood flooring. As the visitors moved around the room, they discovered striking juxtapositions and new points of view: the perspectives kept on changing.

The installation encouraged visitors to relax and strike up conversations, but also to consider and discuss what living spaces mean to us in the 21st century.

bulthaup addresses each particular space so we can experience it with our five senses: sight, taste, touch, smell, and hearing. For the kitchen of the 21st century, this implies flexibility and adapting to specific individual needs. It means a landscape created with bulthaup b3 that changes our perspectives and opens our minds up to a broader conception of the kitchen, as bulthaup CEO Marc O. Eckert explains in the following video:

No two bulthaup kitchens are the same. Each one is designed and manufactured in line with the unique requirements, lifestyles and traditions of families, couples or individuals. And people leave their own personal stamp on the kitchen space, as they use it, live their lives in it and make it their own by adding items over time. With this in mind, the Milan exhibition included a selection of utensils and accessories grouped by type and purpose: preparing, cooking, serving, storing, and washing.

Artist and photographer Florian Böhm and art director Annahita Kamali, who jointly orchestrated the bulthaup mise-en-scène in Milan, gathered these items from all over the world. They also set up a library of 200 cookbooks at the back of the exhibition area, in a particularly cozy atmosphere that enticed visitors to settle down and read for a while.

We develop special relationships with the objects around us. We collect and introduce cherished pieces from different places and styles that we have picked up along the way throughout our lives. Acknowledgment of these relationships has influenced some of the latest trends in kitchens and living spaces, stimulating industrial and interior designers to adapt the way they think, develop, and propose new solutions–such as the extraordinary wall panel introduced by bulthaup, which unleashes its functionality both inward and outward.

bulthaup offered a fresh twist on the multifunctional wall: personal objects–from valuable heirlooms to contemporary objets d’art–can be stored and displayed in the space behind the panel. Cherished items can be showcased in an open-fronted brass cube, which you can position freely on the horizontal plane. In another section, the panels slid open vertically with a gentle touch. An exceptionally wide pull-out on the bottom revealed functional prisms lined with leather, where a selection of fine wines, spirits and drinking glasses were displayed.

bulthaup showcased the full potential of the b3 system to open up an architectural landscape and have it speak to our five senses. By experimenting with materials, surface finishes, colors, and shapes, it demonstrated how a kitchen’s aura evolves: through the interaction of predefined elements with the individual imprints of people’s lives. Just like the traditional Japanese wabi-sabi philosophy, the resulting contrast celebrates the beauty of imperfection. The true context emerges at the moment when the specific individual comes into play.

Click here for more information and images.



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