After being alerted to all the Inhabitat-worthy designs that had yet to be uncovered in the Tortona district of Milan during the week of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, we made our way towards the site of the Zona Tortona Design Event. An initiative of Recapito Milanese, the event was inspired by a smaller affair organized by Giulio Cappellini from Superstudio in April 2001. Last year, Zona Tortona generated 60,000 visitors with over 194 companies from all over the world displaying their wares. For the design community, the event has become synonymous with ‘alternative’ or ‘independent’ design garnering a reputation for more experimental work than the mainstream-oriented Salone Internazionale del Mobile. Read on for more details of all the great stuff we found!


Werner Aissliner’s Loftcube is a pre-fab, sci-fi bachelor pad which offers its inhabitants compact, stylish living in just 36 square meters. Though its materials – largely plastic and wood – don’t exactly rank high on our list of “green,” the environmentally-conscious customer does have the option to outfit the Loftcube with solar paneling. Plus there is something unbelievably cool about your house being airlifted to anywhere you want via helicopter.


Sarah Giuria Pad kiddie armchairs are made out of 100% recycled cardboard and come DIY in nice compacted packages, making the ideal project on a rainy Saturday afternoon with the little ones.


Toyko’s Tonerico INC created this Cell Plantbed with space for seeds and twigs within its tiny compartments, paving the way for flourishing, miniature gardens.


Brooklyn-based designer Jason Miller’s lightweight lamp is made from used popsicle-sticks.


We loved this layered-bamboo workstation from Italian furniture company Remigino – sleek and sensibly built, it can be accessorized with plexiglass pockets and compartments.



Working in collaboration with the Flower Council of Holland, Dutch designers Niels Van Eijk and Miriam Van der Lubbe’s amazing, sculptural flowerboxes utilize the concept of Lego building blocks.


Belgium radiator designer Jaga’s Energy Savers are made from aluminum and copper – reusable materials which generate ample heat the instant you flip on the switch – enabling you to conserve 20% of the energy used with a conventional radiator, hence minimizing the cost of your monthly heating bill.



Last but not least, Canadian design studio Molo wowed crowds with their compactable honey-combed, paper lounges and wall dividers.