All that you need to know for this Season’s Design week.
Milan’s Design Week features two main fairs: the Salone del Mobile, a fair with over two thousand exhibitions held at Rho Fiera, and the Fuorisalone. The Fuorisalone is not an organised function or fair, but rather a set of events distributed around Milan during the dates of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile (17-22 April). If you’re interested in reading about the showgrounds at the Salone del Mobile, rather than the events in the city you might want to read our other article here.
The main aim of the Fuorisalone is to portray design exhibitions as dynamic by integrating them in stores, boutiques homes and the city in general, this allows people to see design from a different, perhaps more personable, light. The Fuorisalone, with parties around the city, music, entertainment, exhibitions, longer opening hours for stores and most design districts introducing their new collections; is the most exciting part of design week!
Although the Fuorisalone is scattered throughout the city, a few ‘design’ districts of Milan are must-see’s: 5 Vie, Sant’Ambrogio, Tortona, Porta Venezia, Brera and most recently the Isola district. We recommend stopping by the Duomo area as well, this year this popular neighbourhood will be featuring some of the most significant installations design week offers.
So, enough rambling, we are going to get down and dirty and divide the top events and shows for each district.
Fuorisalone 2018 Events (by District)
Despite being located in the city centre, between Sant’Ambrogio and the Duomo, the ‘hidden’ 5 VIE district does not enjoy as much tourism as its surrounding areas. The district is formed of five main streets that converge (hence the name): via Santa Maria, via Santa Maria del Podone, via Santa Maria Fulcorina, via Bocchetto and via del Bollo. This district is perhaps one of the oldest and most culturally rich preserved in Milan, dating back to the Romans. However, what characterises it is the emphasis placed around design and artisanal boutiques all year round. 5 Vie has also, since 2014, begun its 5Vie art+design project which aims to relaunch this area. Needless to say, 5 Vie a must-go during design week.
Unterwasser (from German, Underwater). This exhibition by Marzio Rusconi Clerici uses his homeware designs to connect his spectators with the underwater environment. A fluid and slow connection. The exhibition will be presented in the designer’s studio, which he defines as a ‘non-studio’ – allowing viewers to examine the designs within their intended context – at home. Via Amedei 3.
Curator Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte asks seven designers to produce unedited pieces without the knowledge of the context or location. Via Cesare Correnti 14
The historic hardware Meazza store (opened in the post-war period and recently closed) will feature Valentina Cameranesi’s exhibition – a mix between her usual materials and new disturbing elements. This encapsulates 5Vie’s nature in refurbishing unused urban spaces. Via San Sisto 9.
Vegan Design-Or the Art of Reduction
Designer Erez Nevi Pana will present his designs entirely created through re-used mineral materials, demonstrating that design without using harmful material is possible. Via Zecca Vecchia 3.
Stanze Sospese (Suspended rooms)
Inside the SIAM building (Società incoraggiamento Arti e Mestieri) an exhibition part of the ‘FurnitureforAll!’ movement will be exhibited. The exhibition will have its designers create furniture that has the purpose of social inclusion. Such as fittings with the purpose to entertain children forced to live in prison with their mothers. Via Santa Marta 18.
The Litta Palace
As usual, the historic Litta Palace will be hosting a series of contemporary design exhibitions.
The Litta Variations/ 4th movement
This edition will be inspired by musical practices and investigate the concept of variation in the creative processes of variation.
Tempietto del Bosco
In the Great Courtyard of the palace, an exhibition by Asif Khan will be held. London based designer is known for many installations such as the Coca Cola Beatbox in London at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and the Hyundai Pavillion in PyeongChang during the 2018 Winter Olympics. This installation wants to explore elements of forests whilst simultaneously exploring the natural elements of the Renaissance structure of the building.
The Sant’ambrogio district is one of the most historically relevant areas in the city. Its important landmarks include the ancient Sant’Ambrogio Church, the Science Museum, the Franco Albini Foundation and many more.
This years 6th edition of DOUTDEsign will, as usual, feature a collection of under 35 up-and-coming young designers’ work. Via San Vittore 49.
La Ricerca Della Leggerezza
This smaller exhibition held at DOUTDEsign will feature some of Franco Albini’s studio’s most prominent design works. The major one being the ‘Poltrona Sospesa’ (Suspended Chair), as conceptualised by the designer in 1943. Via San Vittore 49.
Once a working-class industrial district, Tortona has rapidly shifted to become one of the youngest most ‘cool’ districts in Milan. This change occurred in 1983 when Vogue art director Flavio Lucchini and photographer Fabrizio Ferri opened their innovative photography studio there. The rest of the design world followed. Residing in this area are now some of the most independent, creative and young boutiques in Milan. The area, contrarily to 5 Vie, represents the more ‘alternative’ scene of Milan.
Casello Giallo was a successful event during Expo and in this design week it is brought back by the exhibitor Tortona Locations. It is a secret garden facing railway station (and the rails) of Porta Genova. Think industrial Milan meets a green oasis. It is the perfect spot where you can take a break, have a drink and taste artisanal beers, refreshing cocktails and yummy snacks. Via Savona 5a.
In Moooi’s “extraordinary exhibition of eclectic diversity” two big design names, Megan Grehl and Concrete Architectural Associates, will give you a taste of their unique philosophy and aesthetics, exploring and praising the diversity of nature in the Museum of Extinct Animals through textures, colours and shapes. Via Savona 56.
LabSolue is a unique and magical perfume lab located on the first floor of the à Parfum Magna Pars Suites Hotel. This year the co-founding sister Giorgia e Ambra Martone, promise a new sensorial experience aimed at discovering 39 scents (wood, flowers, fruits….). 39 just like the number of Suites at this hotel. Via Vincenzo Forcella 6.
A collab between Design and Architecture Norway (DOGA), Klubben (Norwegian Designers Union), Norwegian Crafts and The Federation of Norwegian Industries, will bring the latest Nordic design trends to Milan. The focus? Sustainability, quality and fellesskap – the Norwegian word that denotes a focus on the community. The exhibition will include all sorts of products and prototypes, ranging from furniture to textiles, sculptures and installations. Via Tortona 31.
Élitis, this year, celebrates its thirtieth anniversary. At this Fuorisalone it will present a new sophisticated collection with a mise-en-scène specifically structured for the event. Their latest wallpapers, wall coverings, fabrics and accessories will be displayed. Keywords? Sophisticated, elegant and ephemeral. Pop-up showroom Elitis. Via Tortona 30.
This area of the city is rich and diverse: it combines a contemporary city with historic architecture and Art Nouveau.
This kiosk in the heart of Porta Venezia will host the 21st of April (starting from 9m till late evening) the marble company Frigerio 21 exhibit: “Light and Lightness” with a special cocktail “21” created just for this occasion. Moreover, another specially concocted cocktail will be featured during design week, “Porta Venezia in Design”: a truly energetic drink to get you through all the exhibitions of this wonderful event!
In this showroom, working at the office is presented and re-thought in 3 different ways:
- Apollo – a new operating system, green and sound-absorbing, designed by Shane Schneck.
2. Undecided Collection – the expansion of a system of armchairs and sofas, light and cosy, by Raffaella Mangiarotti and Ilkka Suppanen.
3. Litta – rechargeable desks and tables by design Raffaella Mangiarotti and Ilkka Suppanen. Via Melzo 7.
Spazio Folgosa will host two projects: the Flying Jacket by the designer Andrea Folgosa and the graphic works of Chiara Passigli. Innovative materials, extreme elegance, and technology are keywords for these two exhibitions.Via Nino Bixio 27.
Phillip K. Smith for COS
Swedish fashion brand COS together with American artist Phillip K. Smith III creates an engaging installation in Palazzo Isimbardi. The architecture of the XVI century building meets the ever-changing Milanese sky thanks to a sculpture located in the palazzo’s courtyard. Corso Monforte 35.
The Isola district is also one of Milan’s up and coming ones and last year showcased a lot of innovation for design. Isola Design District is Milan’s youngest design district: strong of its fresh take on the field, it promotes absolute freedom and an experimental approach which is far from operating on market-based mechanisms.
Milan Design Market
Milan Design Market, now at its 3rd edition, is confirmed as one of the main events of Isola Design District. The format is completely renewed: there will be a real Pop-up Concept Store where visitors can discover and buy products from emerging international designers, handpicked between more than 1.000 applications. In addition, there will be 5 areas dedicated to Italian startups and design studios, with a total of almost 100 projects displayed, between interior design and furnishing accessories. Via Pastrengo, 14
Alchemica is an augmented reality exhibition of original illustrations. 32 stories will be presented and they will take you on a journey between digital and print. The cherry on top? Super interactive! Download the app and you’ll embark on a magical adventure! Via Antonio Pollaiuolo 15.
ArchitectureInFashion.com is the first platform ever that sells clothing that explores the intersection between architecture, fashion and technology. Via Pastrengo 2
Ambroeus is a vintage and second-hand shop where rethinking materials is quintessential. For this Design Week it will be the home of Lukas Luttgen’s Moonscape Stools, inspired by asteroids and space objects created with polyurethane rotational moulding foam. Via Pastrengo 15
The Brera district is what we recognise as the Milanese “Montmartre”. This pedestrian district features cobbled stone flooring, small independent boutiques and some of Italy’s most prominent art schools such as the Brera Academy of Fine Arts. Needless to say, this artsy area is always a must-see during design week.
A 70s themed design discotheque in the middle of Milan. The Disco Gufram exhibition revisits ad renews classic disco furniture; every piece of furniture here is meant to invoke a person that influenced disco culture in the 70s. Via Della Moscova 28.
Since Lee Broom launched in 2007 it has been one of the most prominent events at the Fuorisalone. This year the brand will launch their Celestial lighting collection. The seven new experimental pieces will play with concepts of LED and rounded forms. Via Lovanio, 6.
Designer Koji Iyama presents an MT masking tape exhibition ‘Sprout’. The tape can be used in many alternate ways and this explores a creative way we can spice up our decor. Via Ciovasso 17.
Other Events Around the City:
Since its success in 2016 Design week has been featuring ‘Design Pride’, organised by Seletti. This is perhaps one of the craziest parties of the week and will be held on the 18th of April from 6 to 12 pm going from Piazza Castello to Piazza Affari.
This exhibition, created by Carlo Ratti aims to explore the relationship between nature and human living spaces. It will exhibit a form of greenhouse where different climates will coexist to attempt to show how design innovation can interact with nature. The Installation will take place in front of Palazzo Reale at the Duomo. Piazza Duomo.
This installation created by DDN, in collaboration with Killer Kiccen and Unconventional Events creates a 10,000 square metre ‘model’ city showing the future of housing and living in a more sustainable city. The exhibition shows what housing will look like after we have responded to the many needs that humans have now: from natural concerns to spacial lack, to contracts. Piazza del Cannone and Piazza Castello.
Are you ready for the FuoriSalone? Remember to tag us in your posts with #themilanese.