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The largest and most prestigious furniture show in the world, Salone del Mobile, which serves as the focal point of Milan Design Week, is taking place from April 18 to April 23. A mere six days of the fair is a blink of an eye for the amount of time needed to cover it all, with installations springing up all over the city as part of Fuorisalone and hundreds of new products dispersed throughout the halls of Fiera Milano. We’ll tell you everything you need to know in this article to make the most of Milan Design Week.
This article offers advice on how to navigate Milan’s countless installations, product launches, exhibitions, and social gatherings. All the details about Milan Design Week have been gathered together, from helpful tips for first-timers on where to eat and drink to a neighborhood-by-neighborhood breakdown of what to see and do.
The Fiera Milano convention centre, located in Rho, about a 30-minute commute by car or train from the heart of Milan, is home to the 61st edition of Salone del Mobile, the Milan furniture fair that attracts nearly 2,000 industry brands from around the world. The Milan-based showroom events and design installations known as Fuorisalone take place from April 18 to 23.
Those looking to see as many new designers and product launches as possible should stroll quickly through Salone del Mobile. Allow several days to explore the 16 halls and thousands of industry exhibitors, with categories covering every room of the house (including home spa, office, gym, and outdoor spaces). Euroluce, the biennial lighting expo presenting what’s new and next in illumination, is also held at the Milan furniture fair. The SaloneSatellite display, the always-inspiring section showcasing the work of emerging designers, will also be back.
We recommend preparing a list of priority exhibitors before visiting Fiero Milano, so you don’t take the risk of overlooking one of your favourite brands while navigating the busy hallways.
They specialise in a wide range of work, from luxury hospitality, cultural, and healthcare projects to educational, product, and set design, and are based in downtown New York with satellite offices in Los Angeles and Madrid.
Rockwell Group is a multidisciplinary organisation that emphasises innovation and thought leadership in every project, with global offices to support a far-reaching vision. They create amazing experiences and built settings all around the world, having been founded in 1984 by David Rockwell and directed by partners Shawn Sullivan and Greg Keffer.
Home’Society is a brand group that strives to provide a one-stop shop for anyone looking to create unique interiors and reconnect them to a modern contemporary design. Exploring interiors room by room to provide complete solutions and support to those who wish to update their homes or produce interior projects that will stand out.
They rely on modern design to link individuals to their work, life, and the world around them. They have been recognised globally for developing office and residential furniture that inspire, adapt, and endure since 1938.
Today, their attention to modern design, understanding of the nature of work, and commitment to sustainable design have resulted in a one-of-a-kind portfolio of intelligent goods that respond to and adapt to evolving workplace and residential needs.
The power of the concept is vital to every creative process, evolving logically from the analysis of the idea to the three dimensions of the thing, before becoming the essence of living. This ongoing process ensures a sense of connection with contemporary style, which is then enhanced by the use of high-quality materials and cutting-edge technology, while always referencing an important tradition, to avoid the danger of conflating style with passing fads and design with simple mass production. Inevitably, a family’s experience is mirrored in the locations they live: a company’s headquarters mirrors the individuals who work there and the ideology to which they aspire.
LASVIT is a Czech designer and manufacturer of custom lighting installations, ready-to-shine collections, and architectural glass. Despite being formed in 2007, the company is part of Northern Bohemia’s lengthy glassmaking tradition.
They combine the expertise of skilled artisans with cutting-edge technology. LASVIT lighting installations can be found in over 2200 hotels, private residences, cruise ships, and other public and private venues worldwide.
Gebrüder Thonet Vienna GmbH (GTV) has developed edits work in a successful blend of the old and the modern, of continuity and renewal, with a new production programme that begins by re-editing a selection of Gebrüder Thonet classics. At the same time, GTV stands for modern furnishings. Innovative designs and material usage are combined with advanced manufacturing techniques to create extremely desirable, versatile furnishings. Truly creative, modern solutions that fit well with the more traditional products in its inventory, which have been redesigned.
Brera and its environs are the pulsing core of Fuorisalone, with a crush of both temporary and permanent showrooms that might keep you busy for all six days of Salone del Mobile. While veterans like Dimoregallery, Memphis Milano, and Fornasetti are always reliable, some newcomers are expected to change things up this year: SolidNature is planning an immersive exhibition in the basement of a private home with architecture firm OMA, giving Sabine Marcelis, Laila Gohar, and Iranian artist Bita Fayyazi full reigns to reimagine the garden, and Nemo Lighting will present Enlightenment, a solo exhibition of previously unseen works by Ron Gilad, at Via Borgonuovo 19.
Nearby, Eugeni Quitllet, Sutherland Furniture’s first design director, will debut his first outdoor collection for the American company.
Meanwhile, London-based creative studio Blond has planned a week of workshops in their temporary headquarters, Casablond, and newly established gallery Sofia Zevi will open its doors with a wunderkammer-like installation imagined in collaboration with textile designer Chiarastella Cattana, architect Edgar Jayet, and glass artist Akira Hara.
Across town, during design week, the convoluted streets of Cinque Vie (Milan’s oldest neighbourhood) are buzzing. The courtyard of Via Cesare Correnti 14, which has a lineup of exhibitions, is an excellent place to start. Artemest has taken over a 1930s flat this year and tasked six design studios (including Styled Habitat, Moniomi, and Anne-Sophie Pailleret) with reimagining the interiors for the L’Appartamento show. Bocci, which celebrates the official opening of its new Milan shop in an early 20th-century residential building on via Lorenzo Mascheroni, is also channelling a domestic vibe
Buccellati will reopen its Piero Portaluppi-designed offices to showcase its new collaboration with historic Muranese glass maker Venini, which will be accompanied by an installation by landscape artist Lily Kwong. Teatro Albers, a collaboration between master weaver Laura de Cesare and London-based designer Marco Campardo inspired by the work of textile artist Anni Albers, is located on the northern outskirts of the neighbourhood, within the Teatro Istituto Marcelline Tommaseo. A solo show by French designer Constance Guisset at Palazzo delle Stelline is supposed to evoke the impression of a surprise party.
Brands are increasingly foregoing the Fiera Milano in favour of investing their resources in their showrooms, many of which are located in the central Durini neighbourhood. For example, Roche Bobois commissioned Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos to construct an oversized artwork titled Valkyrie for their Milan showroom. (A similar impulse fueled the artist’s stunning work for Dior’s current Paris show.) B&B Italia, Poliform, Cassina, Flos, Artemide, Natuzzi, and CC-Tapis design showrooms are also scattered around the neighbourhood.
Bottega Veneta aims to continue its work with designer Gaetano Pesce in the Golden Quadrangle fashion zone, creating a spectacular exhibit in the label’s via Montenapoleone boutique. Diesel Living will present its partnership with Moroso just around the corner on via della Spiga, while Loewe will debut a new exhibition in the courtyard of Palazzo Isimbardi. Independent labels will be strongly represented as well: accessories firm Boyy will open the FOS-designed showroom on via Bagutta, while Venetian footwear label Marsèll will host an exhibition by fashion collective CFGNY, directed by Pin-Up magazine’s Felix Burrichter.
La DoubleJ, a Milanese lifestyle company, will launch its first wallpaper collection, sure to delight in the colourful patterns and hues for which the brand is well recognised. To fête the launch, La DoubleJ is taking over the restrooms of 10 restaurants, cafes, and design spots across the city (namely Pasticceria Cucchi, Pasticceria Cova, Giacomo Bistrot, Giacomo Ristorante, Giacomo Rosticceria, Apophis Club, Fioraio Bianchi Café and Vasiliki Kouzina), redressing each from floor-to-ceiling in the new maximalist wallpapers, which will be only available for trade special requests.
During design week, Ralph Lauren will reimagine its Via della Spiga flagship and The Bar at Ralph Lauren (its first restaurant in Italy) in celebration of American style—but, unlike last year’s invitation-only affair at the brand’s Milanese Palazzo (you’ll likely recall the scroll-stopping centrepiece on Instagram), this year’s celebration will be open to the entire design community.
What else is going on in the fashion world? Armani Casa, which will present its current interiors line inside its Palazzo Orsini offices for the first time. In their showrooms, Fendi Casa, Loro Piana Interiors, and Dolce & Gabbana Casa will debut new collections.
Alcova, an independent design platform in its fifth year, has relocated to an abandoned abattoir in the Porta Vittoria neighbourhood, which offers more square footage and a more central location than prior years. (The larger space will also have a food court, a high-concept bar and an Older pop-up shop.)
The location will include new work from Lindsey Adelman Studio, Stories of Italy, and Marion Friedman Gallery, as well as a large-scale installation by research platform Atelier Luma, with over 70 exhibitors ranging from individual designers to big brands. Alcova Project Space, a group show produced by Alcova creators Valentina Ciuffi and Joseph Grima highlighting the work of 12 emerging designers, is new to this season.
Though there is much to keep you occupied within the fair hall and the city centre, there are other spots sprinkled across Milan’s north end that are worth your attention and effort. Begin with Cristina Celestino’s Clay Court Club, a humorous reworking of Giovanni Muzio’s renowned Tennis Club Milano Bonacossa. Then proceed to Nina Yashar’s Nilufar Depot on via Lancetti, which is hosting a major exhibition of new work by young designers such as Objects of Common Interest, Audrey Large, and Hsin Min Chan. Conveniently located nearby, the new Convey space will bring together burgeoning firms such as Bloc Studios, Very Simple Kitchen, and Vero.
Drop City, an experimental architecture project space in the renovated railway arches beneath Centrale station, welcomes Jorges Penades, Daisuke Motogi, and Studio Ossidiana for a series of research-driven shows. Moving on to Porta Venezia, see Capsule Plaza, a new design platform by Capsule Magazine that features work such as Gufram x Snarkitecture and Dozie Kanu for Byredo. Oxilia Gallery in the fashionable NoLo neighbourhood is hosting a solo show by British-born, Zurich-based designer Grace Prince.
Gubi will take over the Rationalist-style swimming complex Bagni Misteriosi on the opposite side of town with an exhibition of ten artistic reinterpretations of GramFratesi’s Beetle Chair. A little further south, Galerie Philia relocates to a deconsecrated chapel near Fondazione Prada for a group show comprising Rick Owens, Faina, and Arno Declercq. Meanwhile, in the industrial Corvetto district, Form magazine and Berlin-based design studio Loehr are hosting a week of events at Dopo Space. Finally, in the Tortona neighbourhood, you’ll find Ikea’s Assembling the Future exhibition, which delves into the company’s previous 80 years, as well as Paola Navone’s Take It Or Leave It exhibition, in which the famed designer will raffle off objects from her personal collection.
During Milan Design Week, installations cover practically every square inch of the city, so it seems to reason that pubs and restaurants would participate as well. Mix beverages and design at Dry, a cocktail bar where Lucia Massari, the Venetian designer of color-blocked Murano tumblers for Strega Alberti, can be found. Meanwhile, natural wine bar Palinurobar, one of the city’s hippest hangouts, boasts a design-loving clientele. Bar Flora, a special exhibition of the Flora lighting collection, will be hosted this year by the bar in collaboration with Brooklyn-based firm In Common With and Sophie Lou Jacobsen.
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