Each year SaloneSatellite is geared to fostering contact between a selection of young designers from 5 continents with the exhibiting companies, press and other professionals from the design sector.

SaloneSatellite 2017: 20 Years of Design 

After so many results and major recognitions (including the 2014 Lifetime Golden Compass Award), SaloneSatellite continued to support young designers.

Many of the projects presented at the SaloneSatellite over the years have become successful products, even icons of design, while others have won prestigious prizes and still, others have entered the collections of the most important design museums. 

More than 10.000 young designers have come up through its rank many of whom have become acclaimed designers at the global level. From France’s Matali Crasset and Patrick Jouin to Finland’s Harri Koskinen and Ilkka Suppanen, Japan’s Tomoko Azumi and Nendo, America’s Sean Yoo and Cory Grosser, Sweden’s Front and Johan Lindstén, Belgium’s Xavier Lust, Norway’s Daniel Rybakken, India’s Satyendra Pakhalé, Argentina’s Federico Churba and Italy’s Lorenzo Damiani, Tommaso Nani, Cristina Celestino and Francesca Lanzavecchia, are just some of them. The list includes also 270 of the most prestigious international design schools. 

Since 1998, SaloneSatellite has endeavoured to seek out, valorize and offer concrete possibilities to young designers under 35. 

The founder and Curator of the SaloneSatellite is Marva Griffin

Fir branch, dried fir needle and fir needle panels, design  Tanya Repina and Misha Repin,  Studio Aotta  Picture courtesy Tanya Repina
Fir branch, dried fir needle and fir needle panels, design Tanya Repina and Misha Repin, Studio Aotta
Picture courtesy Tanya Repina

The year 2017 marked the 20th edition of the SaloneSatellite, again dedicated to the design stars of the future. It was held alongside the 56th edition of the Salone del Mobile. Milan at Fiera Milano in Rho Rho, concomitantly with the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition, Euroluce and, Workplace3.0. Approximately 650 designers all over the world took part in that year's event. They presented their ideas and design on the 3,000 m2 square meters in Pavilions 22 and 24 of the Milan Fairgrounds Rho. Young designers offered new prototypes to the more than 1.986 exhibitors presented at the Fair (total number of exhibitors was 1.986 exhibitors + 650 designers of SaloneSatellite = 2.636 exhibitors) while 34% of all of them were foreign companies.

Exhibitors exposed their product on a net exhibition area of 202.510 m2 (the SaloneSatellite area included in this exhibition space). 

SaloneSatellite gives the opportunity to promising young designers and helps to launch them on the market. The selected works of new rising stars in 2017 joined ranks with designers who have already taken part in previous editions of SaloneSatellite.Milano.

 About SaloneSatellite Award 2017

SaloneSatellite has always been the most important event in the design world for young designers. It became the premier meeting place for manufacturers, talent scouts and the most promising young designers. 

In the year 2017, The SaloneSatellite Award competition was in its 8th edition. It marked a further step towards facilitating the interface between demand and supply, between business people and designers and between creativity and production.

Conifer panel - texture. Design  Tanya Repina and Misha Repin, Studio Aotta . Picture Tanya Repina Facebook
Conifer panel - texture. Design Tanya Repina and Misha Repin, Studio Aotta.
Picture Tanya Repina Facebook

The theme of SaloneSatellite 2017 was DESIGN is ... ??: as an open, current and key issue. The theme was an invitation to explore new solutions, adequate to the moment of development of society, that could give us a better future. Technological progress and the evolution of the web over the last few years were redrawing the paradigms of design, opening up new fields of activity, from advanced research into materials to interface design, from service design to rapid prototyping. In this complex and multifaceted scenario, industrial design was looking to the future, attempting to respond to new needs and desires, in a constant dialogue with a changing world.

Projects by some 650 young designers taken from all over the world were chosen in October 2016 by a prestigious Selection Committee made up of internationally acclaimed figures from the design, planning and production. As always, the projects by the young designers followed a set theme which, for this edition, is DESIGN is...??

The participants in the SaloneSatellite were asked to present, in addition to their prototypes/ entries, one or more projects encompassed by the product categories of the biennial events that accompany the Salone del Mobile. Milano. For the edition of 2017, they were Euroluce and, Workplace3.0. This way, SaloneSatellite respond to the growing demand for quality products in both market segments. 

A Selection Committee also made up of prominent figures from the world of design, headed by Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, Architecture & Design-Director, Research & Development of MoMA in New York, chose the 3 best projects. 

Several collateral events were taking place alongside the trade show. That year was dedicated to the 20 years of SaloneSatellite. The anniversary was celebrated with a special edition designed for the occasion by 46 acclaimed international designers. Their careers took off at the various editions of SaloneSatellite. Some of these pieces were produced by the makers themselves, others were presented and marketed by companies taking part in the Salone del Mobile. Milano. The SaloneSatellite 20th  Years Collection  was exhibited within of SaloneSatellite exhibition space ( Pavilions 22 - 24).

SaloneSatellite’s anniversary was celebrated in the city too. The great retrospective exhibition  at the Fabbrica del Vapore, curated by Beppe Finess was entitled SALONE SATELLITE 20 Years of New Creativity.

The exhibits represent an anthology of works presented during twenty editions of SaloneSatellite. It showcased about 500 projects and their development path from prototypes to products for the market.

Tanya Repina, design Studio Aotta, at SaloneSatellite 2017 in Milan Picture courtesy Tanya Repina
Tanya Repina, design Studio Aotta, at SaloneSatellite 2017 in Milan
Picture courtesy Tanya Repina
  • The First Prize went to Pistacchi Design, from Taiwan for Comma Stool/Chair. This public seat was shaped like a modern sculpture made of contrasting materials. Its height and curve design are inherently inviting. The jury considered that the seat’s functional and formal solution shows an interesting use of materials. Comma Stool offers a new concept of urban design with appealing and intuitive features. 
  • The Second prize was awarded to Edmond Wong Studio, P.R. from China for X Bench. This two-seater bench for home use, turns into a training bench. Part of the seat can be raised up like a backrest, with a choice of four different angles. This project has an appealing design thanks to its dual-use, offering the opportunity to have a gym even at home in a small space.
  • The third prize went to Tanya Repina, from Russia, for Ëo, a new home decoration object. The designer used innovative sound-absorbing material with pine needles and a biodegradable binder. The material was with natural colour, its structure creates an indoor forest atmosphere. It also repels insects and harmful germs. The prize has been awarded for the material’s sustainability and innovation.
Conifer- pine, freestanding-panels ,design  Tanya Repina and Misha Repin, design Studio Aotta, at SaloneSatellite 2017 in Milan Picture courtesy Tanya Repina
Conifer- pine, freestanding-panels ,design Tanya Repina and Misha Repin, design Studio Aotta, at SaloneSatellite 2017 in Milan
Picture courtesy Tanya Repina

The chosen three best projects and their designers were awarded an attendance token. The winners were also qualified for a consultancy and press office service geared to ensure visibility for the winning product. 

In line with its mission to support young designers, SaloneSatellite has renewed its agreement with the ADI (Italian Industrial Design Association), to support those wishing to protect their work by registering it on the Project Register. Design protection only applies in Italy.

2017 marked two significant anniversaries: the 20th anniversary of SaloneSatellite and the 100th anniversary of Milanese department store La Rinascente. SaloneSatellite and la Rinascente have been collaborating and supporting young people for the fifth year in a row. La Rinascente chose a range of products designed by SaloneSatellite participants, which then were exhibited and sold at the Design Supermarket in Milan’s Piazza Duomo, from autumn to Christmas 2017.

Conifer panel – texture and colors. Design  Tanya Repina and Misha Repin, Studio Aotta .
Conifer panel – texture and colors. Design Tanya Repina and Misha Repin, Studio Aotta.

Banca Intesa Sanpaolo awarded another design prize of 5,000 euro for the innovative application of existing material.

Tanya Repina in 2017

In 2017 Tanya Repina was at the beginning of her professional career. She studied and graduated from Stroganov Moscow State University of Arts and Industry in 2014. 

Tanja was one of the founders of the Moscow design studio Aotta and took part in many design events, even before graduating. Together with Misha Repin, she designed Lo-Lo Capsular Microkitchen. This prototype was presented at SaloneSatellite WorldWide Moscow 2014 and Homi Milano 2015.

Sketches for LO-LO The Capsular Microkitchen, design Tanya Repina and Misha Repin (Aotta studio) Picture: Tanya Repina , Behance
Sketches for LO-LO The Capsular Microkitchen, design Tanya Repina and Misha Repin (Aotta studio)
Picture: Tanya Repina , Behance

The Lo-Lo collection of objects consisted of three standing modules with slim construction. The inside space with many drawers and shelves to allow storage of various gadgets for the kitchen. The functional organization of the module was with the idea of ​​setting up everything related to a certain activity in one independent module. So, each item was intended for one of the electrical appliances (microwave oven, coffee machine) and its accessories such as cups, plates, cutlery, tea, coffee. The collection was designed for the office kitchen, but I would say for any kitchen with a lack of space. With this design solution, designers showed a sense of functionality, offering an adequate answer to the needs of the users.

LO-LO The Capsular Microkitchen, design Tanya Repina and Misha Repin (Aotta studio) Picture: Tanya Repina , Behance
LO-LO The Capsular Microkitchen, design Tanya Repina and Misha Repin (Aotta studio)
Picture: Tanya Repina , Behance

In addition to functionality, the aesthetic characteristics of the product attract the attention of the user. The bird-like legs, on which the elements rely, are elongated while the body is colourful, painted with environmentally-friendly finishes. The graphic and design solution of the front part of the module simulates facial expressions. This design with character brings a cheerful mood to any space.

The first prize at the Salon Satellite WorldVide Moscow 2016 opened the door to Tanja Repina's success. As part of the award, she gained the opportunity to present her work at Salone Satellite 2017 in Milan. For this occasion, she prepared a sustainable series of Elkiigolki items, including furniture: a chair and a table and lighting fixture that were made entirely of pine needles and biodegradable polyester binder. The items for the interior like wall and ceiling panels together with freestanding, sound-absorbing partitions were part of the collection.

The idea of the project focused on the sustainable use of materials without harming the environment.  The pine needles, a material not normally used, were turned into useful raw materials. The natural color and texture of this material bring a part of nature into the interior.

LO-LO The Capsular Microkitchen, design Tanya Repina and Misha Repin (Aotta studio) Picture: Tanya Repina , Behance
LO-LO The Capsular Microkitchen, design Tanya Repina and Misha Repin (Aotta studio)
Picture: Tanya Repina , Behance

The judges awarded Tanya Repina's research work in the field of materials as well as the achieved sustainability and innovation. 

The magazine Interior + Design nominated Tanja in 2017 for 10 promising Russian designers.

Tanya Repina about herself

1.SaloneSatellite is an international event in the design world to help designers under-35s establish themselves in the industry. 

What do you remember about your taking part in SaloneSatellite 2017?

The idea of a new material from spruce needles was born in 2015 specifically for the upcoming Salone Satellite competition. The main idea is to preserve a unique natural resource - spruce needles, which is a waste during industrial forest harvesting.

I ended up in Milan thanks to the first place in the Russian stage of the SaloneSatellite Moscow 2016 competition, where I showed all the main ideas for the future exposition in Milan.

The sound-absorbing panels: hemp husk and campfire, design Tanya Repina and Misha Repin design Studio Aotta Picture Tanya Repina Facebook
The sound-absorbing panels: hemp husk and campfire, design Tanya Repina and Misha Repin design Studio Aotta
Picture Tanya Repina Facebook


For the April SaloneSatellite 2017, the idea of acoustic material was significantly refined and embodied in specific interior items - wall panels, ceiling clouds, a pendant lamp and free-standing partitions. There were a lot of prototypes, and of course, my friends helped me make them, and then take them to Milan.

2.Starting in 2010, the SaloneSatellite Award introduced a further opportunity to facilitate contact between young designers and businesses. 

With your Ëo, you were the Third Prize winner in 2017. Have the Award had much of an impact on your career? If so, how?  

I didn't get any amazing offers from well-known companies (although I would really like to meet someone from MOROSO, for example), but thanks to the exhibition, we received the first feedback from the global community of professionals and ordinary visitors about our design concept. It was an invaluable communication experience.

One of the strongest feedback and motivations for us was the fact that one very large Austrian company saw us as a potential competitor and even sent us a polite notice on behalf of the CEO. Although our idea and method of production was very different from their products. Thanks to them, after that we even more believed in the coolness of our idea.

Of course, the Win incredibly inspired me, my friends and partners to continue developing this project. Together with them, the company Eoacoustic was founded, in which I work to this day.

The EOACOUSTIC   Conifer panels- patterns, design Tanya Repina and Misha Repin, design Studio Aotta Picture Tanya Repina Facebook The EOACOUSTIC   Conifer panels- patterns, design Tanya Repina and Misha Repin, design Studio Aotta Picture Tanya Repina Facebook
The EOACOUSTIC Conifer panels- patterns, design Tanya Repina and Misha Repin, design Studio Aotta
Picture Tanya Repina Facebook

3.What is your opinion, why you received the Award? How your design was different from others and what additional values it carried?

The design vector at that time was already quite strongly directed towards Suitability, and everyone felt it - designers, companies and organizers. My freestanding spruce acoustic panel project was not only innovative in terms of the material used - sustainable and biodegradable - but also the piece itself was functional and aesthetically pleasing.

 4.What is most important in the process of development of the new product?

Creating something new, it is important for me to combine environmental friendliness and aesthetics, poetry and rationality, manufacturability and uniqueness of the product into a single whole. It is always a search for a harmonious compromise.

It seems to me that the main difficulty for most designers, researchers and inventors of the new is finding the means and opportunities for the implementation of prototypes.
Working with live material, layouts and prototypes is an essential component of design. And success, it seems to me, depends on diligence, perseverance and a bit of luck.

5. Design is very much connected to society and its changes. Today the changes are numerous: a new way of doing business, coronavirus pandemic conditions,circular economy… Designers have to look for solutions and responses to them. Do you think that the role of the designer changed now and how? 

The general trend of sustainable consumption, recycling and sustainable lifestyle is certainly gradually adjusting the role of designers and leading them towards more meaningful and honest design, which is based on deep research. The designer, creating harmonious products in the key of environmentally friendly and conscious production and consumption, is an important force that promotes these changes to the general public, popularizing this approach.

Now the designer, it seems to me, is increasingly aware of the need for such additional values ​​​​of products as a sense of peace, a sense of art in objects and the missing sense of nature, landscape in the interior.  And most importantly, the understanding that there are a lot of unnecessary things in the world and you need to create only the necessary.

The EOACOUSTIC panels-detail, design Tanya Repina and Misha Repin, design Studio Aotta Picture EOACOUSTIC site
The EOACOUSTIC panels-detail, design Tanya Repina and Misha Repin, design Studio Aotta
Picture EOACOUSTIC site

6.Do you have any piece of advice for young designers entering the design world?    

 Embrace the beauty in you. Get inspired by what you love.

Tanya Repina in 2021

In 2021, Tanya Repina has been working at Eoacoustic for six years. She, Misha Repin and Aleksandar Bolmat were the founders of the company in 2015. The EOacoustic project focuses on new composite materials, acoustic characteristics and usage for the sound insulation panels. Eoacoustic panels are natural, decorative, sound-absorbing. The raw materials used for the panels are from sustainable, biodegradable resources that are usually left to waste.

The panels are the result of close cooperation with Aotta studio and research into eco-friendly materials for a variety of purposes. The first Aotta’s acoustic panels were made of coniferous / pine needles, selected from renewable forests and biodegradable binders. The needles of felled trees, which are usually discarded as waste, are collected and turned into wall panels without harming the environment. In addition to the use of components of nature, production is carried out according to sustainable principles through harmless processes at all stages of production.

The aesthetical appearance of the panels was the result of the characteristic of the raw materials. By using needles of various types of trees - such as fir needles, pine, spruce, larch, cedar, and other coniferous trees, the designers create a range of textures and natural shades. The panels are available in different colours, varying from green to brown, and in different textures. In 2018, was realized the first interior where were applied coniferous panels. 

The same year, Aota launched another type of panel, made of hemp husk. The husks are formed after peeling the whole hemp seed. While hemp seeds are used to produce hemp oil and other edible products, the outer husks are usually discarded. This component of hemp is an industrial waste that is rarely used. Panels made from this completely organic material are biodegradable and anti-fungal. When used in an interior space, the material can absorb sound, reflections and regulate humidity and temperature. The use of natural and cheap resources positively affects the economic aspect of the final product. The new panels were first shown at DDW 2018 in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Ryaska tables , design Tanya Repina and Misha Repin design Studio Aotta Project won the first place in the competition for the Italian factory Tonin Casa Picture Tanya Repina Facebook
Ryaska tables , design Tanya Repina and Misha Repin design Studio Aotta Project won the first place in the competition for the Italian factory Tonin Casa
Picture Tanya Repina Facebook

Today, Eoacoustic offers natural acoustic solutions and panels in a variety of geometric shapes and sizes with or without patterns. The panels are adaptable to different purposes, designed to be easily installed on interior walls. The acoustic panels are functional, have high decorative properties, natural colours and textures. Panels made of composite materials are a tool for designers to create sustainable interiors, a pleasant and healthy atmosphere tailored to user needs

In her creative work, Tanya Repina did not neglect furniture design. Her collection of furniture "Christmas Needles" (2016) was made of conifer needles and biopolymer. Cooperation with the Italian company Tonin Casa began with a collection of Ryaska tables. Tanja Repina and Misha Repin won first place in the competition for this Italian factory (May 2019). More than 140 designers participated in the competition. The jury evaluated the production possibilities, versatility, scaling, modularity of ideas and aesthetics and awarded their proposal. It was a great success and satisfaction for the designers as  Riaska coffee table was introduced in the production of the factory and presented at many fairs, exhibitions in Moscow, Milan….

Tanya Repina continues to exhibit her design in the country and across the world: in Eindhoven (DDW 2018), Paris ( Maison & Objet 2018 and 2019), Moscow (Batimat 2019), London (Grand Designs Live at London 2019), St. Petersburg (KB. Recycle & Trash to fashion, 2021). 

Tanya Repina is very active in the professional world and participates in numerous conferences, round tables whose topics are related to design. At Design Mate (2019), whose theme was Design as a Beginning, she shared the experience of her entry into the design world. She talked about the first steps and skills that help a young designer to integrate into the professional community as soon as possible. Tanya together with Misha Repin participates in various competitions (Design and craft competition…), creates products for different purposes. Their Conifer panels won the contest "Invented and Made in Russia", in the nomination "design product" (2018).

Ryaska tables , design Tanya Repina and Misha Repin design Studio Aotta Project won the first place in the competition for the Italian factory Tonin Casa Picture Tanya Repina Facebook
Ryaska tables , design Tanya Repina and Misha Repin design Studio Aotta Project won the first place in the competition for the Italian factory Tonin Casa
Picture Tanya Repina Facebook

As always, the road from the initial idea to the industrial product is unusually long and difficult. It requires hard work, persistence, perseverance and a lot of experiments to start production, but it also brings great satisfaction to the creators. For Tanya Repina and members of the Aotta studio, their dreams became a reality with the realization of acoustic panels.

This post is a story about the SaloneSatellite Award and how it had a positive impact on the careers of young designers. The SaloneSatellite Award provided Tanja Repina with self-confidence and commitment to the further development of the idea. The award gave support to Tanja and members of the Aottu studio to follow the path of success in the business world.


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