Milan—once home to enfant terrible Ettore Sottsass
, one of the most influential Italian designers of the 20th century and one of the first designers to offer furniture in limited editions—is well known as the world’s capital of design. The city is spattered with iconic furniture companies (Danese, Kartell, Poltrona Frau), hosts Salone del Mobile, one of the design world’s most important calendar events, and is home to the prestigious Triennale Design Museum
—so it makes sense that miart, the international modern and contemporary art fair, has devoted a section solely to limited edition design. In a chat with Artsy, Milanese curator and critic Frederica Sala, who curated the design section (titled “Object”), opens up about the dual identities of Italian design, the savoire faire
typical of Italy, and the new “previously unthinkable” possibilities for contemporary works—including one made entirely from lava.