May 27, 2015

Behind the Scenes with Gensler at Salone del Mobile

Gensler Designers Milan Furniture Fair

Gensler designers in Milan. Photo courtesy of Gensler.

How do architecture and design influencers recharge their creative batteries? By attending mega furniture event

Salone del Mobile

of course. This year, 30


employees made the April journey to Milan to visit the trade show and its offsite events as part of a trip organized by Gensler design director Yishio Kuo and members of the firm’s Houston office. Participating designers also hailed from the firm’s London, Mexico City, New York, Boston, Tampa, Chicago, San Francisco, Seoul, and Los Angeles offices.

“We learn from others and from each other how to hone our craft,” explains Kuo. “This is essential in the pursuit of excellence.”

milan Installation Gensler

An installation in Milan stumbled upon by Gensler employees. Photo by Elizabeth Norman.

The Gensler employees used the Fair to both seek and share their inspiration. Along the way they discovered gems including a vibrant red ceiling installation in a hidden courtyard, visited furniture manufacturer

B&B Italia

‘s factory showroom, met the CEO of textile manufacturer Kvadrat, soaked up a pool deck installation by furniture manufacturer

Paola Lenti

, who Kuo calls “simply magical,” and browsed “Unexpected Welcome” at the Moooi showroom, an installation juxtaposing nine home environments with large-scale portraits of unusual faces by photographer Rahi Rezvani.

A visit to

Piero Lissoni

‘s design studio became a revealing look at the Italian architect and designer’s studio structure, talent recruitment, and method to stay true to his mission and aspirations while consistently producing quality design.

A major highlight of the trip? A chance encounter. “Bumping into people like Alberto Alessi on the street and saying hello personally without a big fanfare was really special,” Kuo reveals.

milan Moooi Installation 2015

“Unexpected Welcome” at the Moooi showroom. Photo by Jeannie Wu.

Paola Lenti Pool Installation Milan

A pool installation at the Paola Lenti showroom. Photo by Jeannie Wu.

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