Design enthusiast Mark Cowden, pictured checking fire
curtains during production at Escea, is looking forward to
a trip to Italy next week. Photo by Sally Rae.
For years, the Milan furniture fair has been on design
enthusiast Mark Cowden's list of ''must-go places''.
The annual event, also known as the Salone Internazionale del
Mobile di Milano, is touted as the largest trade fair of its
kind, highlighting the latest in furniture and design from
around the world.
Mr Cowden, brand manager at Escea, is heading to Italy next
week for the event and while it was a personal trip, he would
be looking at design trends, what was going on in the design
world and where Escea's products could fit in, he said.
The fair was spread over 140,000sq m. To put that in
perspective, Escea's factory at Green Island is 3000sq m.
''So, sore feet,'' he quipped.
Buses ran around the area, both internally and externally,
and it attracted more than 300,000 visitors, of which about
6500 were media.
There were more than 950 Italian exhibitors and more than 300
from other countries.
Mr Cowden was particularly looking forward to seeing an area
set aside for about 700 young designers, chosen from
universities and design schools around the world, to display
He had never been to Italy before and for an artist,
photographer and design enthusiast like himself, it had to be
a place that was ''pretty fun'', with such a design focus, he
As far as Escea was concerned, it was very, very early days
in Europe for the company but the potential was ''huge''.
It had distributors based in Norway and the United Kingdom.