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"My creations are the result of a combination of art and design; utmost care for details, painstaking search for the harmony of shapes and poetic style characterize my projects. One of my work’s priorities is the search for the expressive language of objects, which may fascinate people by evoking emotions."

Italian product designer and artist, Elena Salmistraro lives and works in Milan.

After studying at the school of art in Brera, she graduated from Polytechnic University of Milan in Fashion Design in 2003 and later, in Industrial Design in 2008.

Together with architect Angelo Stoli, she founded her studio in 2009, working projects ranging from architecture to design, from art to fashion, from illustration to visual arts in general.

Close tied to contemporaneity, her work draws inspiration from illustrations, street art, fashion and masks, animals and nature in general, but also from traditions, mythology and different cultures across the world.

Her eclectic, joyful and imaginative creations are the result of the union between art and serial production design, and her language is one very personal, authorial, characterised by the use of tridimensional texture and vivid colours full of energy.

One of the priorities of her work is the meticulous study of the harmony of shapes, researched in the expressiveness of the objects, the animism, the poetry of her stories and the emotions.

For Elena, emotion is in effect a function of the object.

She works as a designer with major international companies such as Disney, Steinway, Apple, Vitra, Nike, Timberland, Ikea, Huawei, Microsoft, Moooi, Scarlet Splendour, Petit Bateau, Moooi Carpets, Tai Ping, La Manufacture Paris, Leblon Delienne and Houtique. And with Italian ones including Alessi, Cappellini, Florim, Cedit, Natuzzi, Bosa, De Castelli, Cc-Tapis, Marella, Lavazza, Driade, Technogym, Replay, Ceramica Flaminia, Cinelli and Alcantara to name a few.

She collaborates with prestigious Art and Design Galleries such as Rossana Orlandi, Antonio Colombo Gallery,  Duson Gallery Seoul - Korea, DilmosCamp Design Gallery, SecondoMe, My Own Gallery, Punta Conterie and Subalterno1.

The vase collection “Primates”, designed for Bosa Ceramiche in 2017, an expression of contemporary primitivism, through the years have become iconic objects of the Italian design. That same year, the Salone del Mobile of Milan, awarded them the important “Salone del Mobile Milano Award” as “Best Emerging Designer”, for the ability to introduce her own expressive imaginary into the dialogue with large-scale serial production, enriching it with new insights.

Since 2017, she has also been World Ambassador of Italian Design on the occasion of “Italian Design Day”, an initiative promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in collaboration and with the support of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Cultural Activities. Since then, she has taken part in the meetings of Zurich 2017, Rome/Farnesina 2018, Kiev 2021, Miami 2022, Abu Dhabi 2023.

In 2018 she was appointed Ambassador of the Brera Design District for Fuorisalone, on the occasion of Salone del Mobile in Milan, and for this occasion she designed a tridimensional installation for Timberland right in the heart of the district.

From 2019 AD Italy, Germany and France list her among the 100 most important figures in the world of design, and in 2021 Marie Claire Maison lists her among the 50 leading figures in the art and design scene.

In 2022, she was awarded the very important 'Frame Design Award' as 'Best Designer' by the international architecture and design magazine - Frame.

In 2023 Forbes included her among the 100 most successful italian women of the year, and in the same year she was named designer of the year for the Frankfurt Ambiente Fair, for which she designed the lounge area.

In the course of her career, she has won numerous national and international awards such as the Good Design Awards, Frame Awards, Salone Del Mobile Milano Award, ADI-Ceramic&Bathroom Award, Archiproducts Awards, Lombardy excellence - Adi Design Index, Vogue Living Design Awards Hong Kong, Big See awards, Icon Award, ADI Design Index Selection to name a few. And several mentions such as EDIDA Japan, European Product Design Award.

She participates in various initiatives and talks, one among many being the TedX in Padua in 2022.

She is active in the world of teaching at institutions such as Istituto Marangoni, Abadir University and Milan Polytechnic.

Her projects have been selected for some of the most important art exhibitions including: Animalità at the Triennale di Milano or "The New Italian Design", a travelling exhibition organised by the Triennale Design Museum in Milan, curated by Silvana Annicchiarico and Andrea Branzi, with stops in San Francisco, Santiago de Chile, Cape Town; the exhibition "The New Aesthetic Design" at the Shanghai Biennial 2013 for Triennale Design Museum and at the Gwangju Biennial 2015, South Korea.

In 2016, during the 21st International Exhibition of the Milan Triennale, she participated in W-Women in Italian Design, the ninth edition of the Triennale Design Museum.

In the same year, she painted a hand designed by the artist Mimmo Paladino, which was exhibited at the Triennale di Milano, for the art event 'Normali meraviglie La Mano' curated by Alessandro Guerriero and Alessandra Zucchi. 

Her works have been exhibited at major Italian and international trade fairs and in some of the most important museums such as Triennale Design Museum, Guggenheim Venice, ADI Design Museum, Pinacoteca di Brera, Design Biennial Porto - Portugal, Mad museum Singapore, Design Museum - Centro Cultural la Moneda-Santiago de Chile, Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnica, The Lookout - V&A Waterfront - Cape town - South Africa, Cantù Lace Museum, Altare Glass Museum, Alto Adige Archaeological Museum, Mac Museo d' Arte Contemporanea di Lissone, Museo delle Ceramiche di Faenza.


Elena Salmistraro Designer.jpg


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