Craftsmanship Heritage – Italian and Swedish Design Through The Ages – Kasthall

During Fuorisalone 2021, Kasthall presents a journey connecting Swedish and Italian design.

A journey through Swedish and Italian design history is the concept of ‘Craftsmanship Heritage – Italian and Swedish Design Through The Ages’.

The exhibition takes place at Kasthall Milano Flagship Store during Fuorisalone 2021, from September 4th to 10th, and will be open until September 30th.

By placing icons of Italian design side by side with historical Kasthall rugs, the installation focus attention on the craftsmanship, quality and attention to detail that unite the two realities.


Kasthall, who has been crafting tailor-made artisan rugs since 1889, invite visitors to immerse themselves in a mise-en-scene curated by Stefano Gaggero. On display are rugs from Kasthall’s vast archive of original sketches, ranging from the ’50s to the ’80s, in a timely decade setting combined with refinedicons of Italian design. The rugs are selected from the new 2021 Collective Impressions collection, which reinterpret some of the brand’s most iconic historical pieces as: Påfågel, Balders Hage and Square.

The exhibition is divided in four rooms, one for each decade – with a conceptual settingthat places a selection of icon furniture of the period alongside each rug.


“The installation is articulated as a journey through four decades that have profoundly marked the history of design. The work done by Kasthall, with the re-editions of some iconic rugs, has initiated a reflection on the similarities that unite the worlds of Italian and Swedish design: the great masters, the production culture, quality, craftsmanship. In choosing furnishing to match the rugss, I deliberately chose objects that were not necessarily iconic, but particularly significant for the historical era to which they belonged”.

Stefano Gaggero

The room dedicated to the ‘50s, are furnished with the rug Airfield, a hand tufted reinterpretation of Astrid Sampe’s classic rug in wool and linen. The designer was on an airport when she got the inspiration to create the Airfield rug. The rug embodies the feel of an airport’s black asphalt, brown earth, puddles, and glittering rain along with the white-streaked brake tracks from the airplanes landing. The classic setting recalls, in terms of rigor and colors, the interiors of the architects of that period. Airfield is surrounded by furnishing designed in the 1950s: the LB7 bookcase by Franco Albini for Poggi, the Sleep-o-Matic sofa by Marco Zanuso that is illuminated by the VV Cinquanta floorlamp designed by Vittoriano Viganò, now remade by Astep, and a set of T8 coffee tables designed by Vico Magistretti.

With a jump to the next decade, the room of the ’60s welcomes Balders Hage a re-edition of Ingrid Dessau’s 1960s woven rya rug, that is now produced in the iconic quality of Moss, a hand tufted rug in wool and linen, with a lively, cheeky design.

The style, in line with the mood of the period, defines an informal, unstructured domestic environment, characterized by the new interiors. The colorful atmospheres recall the imagery by Slim Aarons, a photographer who photographed some of the most famous homes of the decade. A folding screen with original textile of the period is the background to a pair of Palla armchairs by Giovanni Travasa for Bonacina 1889 and the Wood Bench designed by Lucio Roncalli, surrounded by natural elements, completes the room.

In the center of the ‘70s room, and the central focus of the entire installation, is Påfågel: a rug characterized by a black and white graphic pattern. The original, designed by Berit Woelfer, was a woven rug in Kasthall’s quality Malaga, a chenille yarn in wool and linen and originally available in eight color schemes. In the 2021 edition it has been revived in Stubb quality, made in black and white wool and linen. Despite its floral design, it’s named after a bird – the Peacock with its magnificently patterned feathers which is easy to understand why when you see the unfolded feathers. The homage to the 70s refers to a rigorous glam, made of precious materials and clear-cut shapes: the Bacone sofa by Cini Boeri for Arflex in the warm tones of leather, the Four Corners coffee table by Nanda Vigo for Driade and the Eros marble coffee table by Angelo Mangiarotti for Agape Casa.

The last setting of the journey is the ‘80s. The room hosts a re-edition of a rugdesigned by Berit Woe, Square, produced in a 100% wool tufted version in the same colors as the original: a black frame with a bright red square in the center. The mise-en-scene reflects the graphic style of the rug, configuring itself as a sort of conceptual installation. A closed and dark space, where the rug is illuminated by the Shogun lamps by Mario Botta for Artemide flanked by a bench that recalls the colors of the carpet. Inevitable in the scenography is the homage to Memphis, the avant-garde phenomenon of those years.

The exhibition is four timely and sophisticated, elegant rooms, that suggest Italian combinations and domestic settings around the iconic Kasthall rugs.