The design and architecture world descended upon Milan this past week for the city's annual design week to see the latest work from around the world that pushes the boundaries of interiors, furniture and everything in between.
We were in Paris enjoying the sunshine but spent all week sifting through the countless blogs that documented the event and found our favourite pieces from this year's offering.
How chic are these lights? Delicate glass shapes resting on suspended metal rods that cut across the soft round lines of the balloon-like forms. There's something special about the brushed finish of the metal and the glossy surface of the glass that makes the materials work so beautifully together.
These Shape Lights by Federico Peri would look perfect shining down upon a beautifully set dining table or floating above a coffee table as a gorgeous centrepiece.
Texture is just as essential as colour when dressing a room and these kinetic Weathered Sculptures by Kneip add an element of movement to a striking blend of forms, materials and patinas.
Intricate details and mixed materials make these pieces more like beautiful experiments in balance than mere sculptures and we think their unusual shapes and finishes would look stunning as focal pieces in a meticulous room.
3D printing is here to stay and these incredible shoe designs demonstrate just what can be achieved by such a liberating technology. Previously impossible forms are now easily realised and delicate patterns can be printed at the touch of a button.
Innovative footwear company United Nude teamed up with architects and product designers including Studio Ombre favourite Zaha Hadid (who we mentioned in our post about women in design) to create mind-boggling designs that love to be stepped on.
Although some are a little reminiscent of shoes by Alexander McQueen, particularly from his Plato's Atlantis collection, these weird creations are still fresh and unlike anything you're likely to see on the streets.
We're completely mesmerised by these amazing Soft Tables by Nendo for Glas Italia. Each piece is made from panels of frosted glass with printed junctions along the edges to create a beautiful ombré effect, further enhanced by a soft bleeding effect printed on the interior of the glass.
These tables wouldn't look out of place in science fiction but they certainly have a place on Earth as fun injections of colour in minimalist interiors. We could see them being used in a classic, all-white salon in an old Haussmann apartment in Paris. Think Maison Martin Margiela meets Stanley Kubrick.
Something a little strange to finish our trip to Milan - these unusual chairs are both by Ron Arad for Moroso and serve as a great reminder that among all the serious architecture and luxury in the design world there's always room for dreamers and a little fun.
The Matrizia sofa was inspired by an old discarded mattress seen by Arad on a street in New York while the Glider sofa is carved from a single piece of foam and upholstered in Febrik fabric. They're both a little odd but strangely attractive in their own ways.