Porträtfoto der italienischen Designerin Elena Salmistraro

An ode to playful design.

She is the first to hold the title: Elena Salmistraro is “Ambiente Designer 2024”. Her designs in the fields of architecture, design, graphics, art, and fashion have won numerous international awards and can be seen in museums around the world. At Ambiente, she designed the special presentation “The Lounge – A Serious Game”. The trade audience experienced a joyful, emotional and playful installation with exhibitor products at the thematic interface between interior design, hospitality and contract business.


“I chose a theme that allows a cheerful look at contemporary design”, tells us Elena Salmistraro. The Milanese designer succeeded with her special presentation in creatively merging furniture and space-dividing elements into an inspiring backdrop for all kinds of activities – colourful, geometric and with high recognition value.

The Lounge – A Serious Game

In her other design projects, her idiosyncratic, energetic and eclectic style is always recognizable. “I mostly draw my inspiration from various cultures, myths and traditions, from nature, fashion, or street art”, says Salmistraro, who has already worked with renowned companies like Apple, Alessi, Disney, IKEA, Lavazza, Microsoft, and Nike.

Back to “The Lounge” and its unique spatial concept: Sculptural cubes in orange and pink become the perfect background and provide a stage for products from the Dining and Living areas. Semi-open bays in blue allow for a quiet conversation. Two houses invite you to linger, shielded from glances and noise. Round shapes in the seating, tables, and carpets playfully contrast with the wall design.

View into one of The Lounge houses
Cheerful mix of materials and colours

And how did the trade fair visitors react to the colourful installation? “The visitors were enchanted and overwhelmed by a surprising explosion of colour that triggered a feeling of happiness and well-being. That’s exactly how I wanted it to be”.

A visual and emotional pleasure: The Lounge
The Lounge invites you to marvel and linger.

Sustainability plays a major role in Salmistraro’s work – as was also the case with the special presentation at Ambiente: “We preferred wood for the houses and the walls, while we opted for large cardboard tubes for the blue screens. The carpet is made of completely recyclable materials.”

Next year, Ambiente will once again be the meeting place for the international design scene and will take place from 7 to 11 February 2025. The new Ambiente designer for 2025 will be announced at the beginning of September.