We’ve been on many a design jaunt, but no festival has been as intense, rich and exciting as the Salone del Mobile and its citywide celebrations–a dizzying design whirlwind, Italian style. Last week, D-C jet-setted to Milan to join in on the fun. The influence and popularity of Milan’s Design Week and the #iSaloni was evident right upon arrival. Fortified by Alitalia lasagne and the ironic Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies the airline served for breakfast, we hopped into a cab. The driver’s first words were “You are here for Salone del Mobile?” We said we were. He was very knowledgeable, telling us all about the Fair, as well as about the #Fuorisalone (events outside the fair) and how everyone in town was buzzing about the Design Week. “The city really comes together,” he said. While one can draw comparisons to the design shows and festivals in U.S. cities, we realized there’s rarely the same enthusiasm from the general population as there is in Milan for this event.
Now, onto our design finds! We are lucky to have a friend who lives in Milan. She showed us the ropes and helped us navigate the city. For Part 1 we’ll focus on Fuorisalone fun. Here are some highlights:
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI MILANO
Coming to a Sephora near you? Thousands of colorful and shiny lipsticks make up this cheery entryway installation.
“Autoban” with Deborah Milano and Gruppo Pozzi. Lighting by iGuzzini.
In the courtyard of the university, the structure below is composed of natural ﬁr beams and posts. The external bas reliefs show plaster faces, hands and noses of classical statues, as well as eyewear. Some of the eyeglasses let you peek inside, where mirrors reﬂect animated images. The videos, produced by Saﬁlo with the ﬁlmmaker Mario Greco, “narrate the world of eyewear and technologies in an ironic, surprising way.”
“Sguardi Indiscreti” by Michele De Lucchi with Safilo and lighting by iGuzzini
MOST (MUSEO NAZIONALE DELLA SCIENZA & DELLA TECNOLOGIA)
We loved MOST, because, as with many venues in Milan, it showed the contrast between classical and modern design that makes the city so magic. The Museum is full of gorgeous old ships, trains and aircraft, as well as Leonardo Da Vinci’s flying machine. During design week, installations and pop up shops were also scattered throughout the building:
One of several designers set up in the museum, Fatima Fazal is the creative force behind the “Heart Part Cutlery Kit,” a cool, reusable utensil, which can be used as a fork, spoon, and knife and is made in India of biodegradable polystyrene…
Raw-Edges’ BLOOM has been commissioned by the British Council to showcase the works of Granta‘s eighty Best Young British Novelists. A clever combination of room divider and book loom, it’s formed of a light wooden frame and string book supports.
The TEMPORARY MUESEUM FOR NEW DESIGN is a yellow splashed industrial compound of new products and interactive displays.
Tagina. Dot-to-Dot. Ceramic Pixels for Architecture[...]
Now, to the TRIENNALE!
Massimo Iosa Ghini’s SPORE and ARIA Lights for Leucos
The Talented S. Iosa Ghini (far right) with Guests
After the Triennale, we headed to Effeti for the latest in kitchens & custom bouquets on the fly.
Effeti’s Floral “DJ”
Then we popped over to Sicis‘ “Le Bois Vivant” Party with Vanity Fair & Architectural Digest
Finally, on our way to a delicious dinner in the Brera area, we took in the gorgeous sights at the ACCADEMIA DI BRERA