Salone del Mobile Milano

Trend research: SuperNormal – Small&Smart


Simple objects that achieve great things could be the pay-off to this microtrend. In this sense, design responds to the emergencies of everyday life by creating small, and sometimes invisible, “helpers” that act within the microphysics of daily life.

In this trend, small size goes hand in hand with high perceived and functional value in a design process that ennobles apparently marginal elements or creates new practical and intelligent devices that help domestic life run smoothly. 


What looks like a simple stool turns out to be so much more: Shoe Stool is a functional, compact object designed to improve the daily routine of putting on and taking off your shoes. Designer Koichi Futatsumata, has produced a limited edition to celebrate the tenth anniversary of fashion brand FUJITO.

It’s an ergonomic and practical piece of furniture that makes an everyday action easier, providing somewhere to sit or lean against while undoing or doing up one’s shoes. But that’s not all. The stool is also equipped with a small shelf for storing the necessities for looking after and cleaning shoes: shoe brush, cloth, cream, spray, etc. 

The metal structure is handmade, and is available in gold, silver copper effect finishes or in the more minimal black and white. A curious object, but, equally, a dedicated tool for a “requisite” daily practice. 


Stacks is a Californian company that believes in the inspirational power of small things. This is why it has developed and funded through Kickstarter an elegant, minimal solution to a problem that affects all the study-areas in contemporary houses: the forest of cables that clutters up desks and the areas around them.

Their tiny/great idea has already attracted converts on the crowd-funding site, testament to their having identified a gap in the market, and it has now become a reality: small, sophisticated “industrial” steel cable organiser cubes, like tiny objets d’art that tidy and bring lustre to homes and offices.

While created with a specific purpose in mind, these objects are also sophisticated decorative elements that have their own part to play in the overall living style. The Stacks vision actually transcends the individual object, in the belief that order and functionality generate productivity and that innovation, in turn, generates creativity and inspiration.