Milan Design Week is one of my favourite times of the year. I mean, what’s better than design AND sun? I always come back from the week feeling both inspired and pretty darn tired, but the latter tends not to matter. As always I’ll be hunting out the colourful and the maximalist, so stay tuned on my Instagram for live updates. For now, if you’re headed there, here’s my colourful preview of Milan Design Week 2018. Ciao!
ONE | COS X PHILLIP K SMITH III
The COS installation is always both a showstopper and a crowd-pleaser with queues for the perfect Instagram shot normally going a little crazy. My advice; get in on the action early. For 2018, the cult fashion brand has collaborated with American artist Phillip K. Smith III on a large-scale sculptural installation at the 16th century Palazzo Isimbardi. Inspired by the sky above the Palazzo’s courtyard and the architecture of Milan, the semi-circle structure plays with the viewer while showcasing the beauty of the surrounding landscape. Here’s hoping for bright blue skies, eh?
Where? Palazzo Isimbardi, 35 Corso Monforte, 20122 Milan
TWO | MARNI LA VEREDA
For some reason every year the fashion houses swoop in on Milan Design Week and manage to get it right. No wonder, I’m inherently more and more interested in what they’re getting up to. Marni is jumping on board this year with Marni La VeredaI – an evocative voyage into the colours and sensations of Colombia and a discovery of artisan traditions to preserve, traditions to which Marni brings an innovative approach.
The Marni Vereda is a place where colours, tastes, and folklore are the backdrop to the new collection of furnishings and accessories of the brand that, this year, is enriched by new crafts and materials. Think unexpected forms, geometric patterns and woven effects. Playful yet well-meaning. This one is gonna be good.
Where? Viale Umbria 42
THREE | CHEZ NINA BY INDIA MAHDAVI AT NILUFAR
India Mahdavi – the goddess behind the pink design at Sketch London – has designed an exclusive club for Nilufar Gallery.
Chez Nina, named after the Nilufar Gallery founder Nina Yashar, has been created by the Paris-based architect and designer as a celebration of Nina’s and India’s complicity.
Coloured velvet banquettes and acid candy glass tables have been designed specifically for the space to contrast with the silk mural geometric landscape produced by French tailor of the homes, de Gournay. Other additions include a rare lamp by Angelo Lelii, Hans Agne Jakobsson pendants, four “Casa e Giardino” armchairs by Gio Ponti, and a fine Joaquim Tenreiro table; contemporary pieces range from a scenic room divider to a selection of stools designed by Martino Gamper. This one is potentially too exclusive, but if it is, I’ll be sure to people watch those going in.
Where? Via Della Spiga 32
THREE POINT TWO | INDIA MAHDAVI FOR BISAZZA
If Chez Nina proves too exclusive than fear not, for India Mahdavi has also created and new bathroom concept with Bisazza as part of the BISAZZA BAGNO series. Mahdavi has turned the clinical white bathroom on its head through injecting her distinct design aesthetic using playful forms and rich pastel colours – I think I’m in love.
If you were thinking of getting rid of that mint green or rose pink bathroom suite anytime soon, perhaps take a look here for pistachio, strawberry and blueberry colourways are very in. The bold use of colour and overtly pop aesthetic recurring traits in India Mahdavi’s projects lend a sophisticated yet contemporary vibe to the collection, one that evokes the designer’s fascinating cultural heritage. To complement the bathroom collection, Bisazza and India Mahdavi will also launch Pinstripe; a new mosaic pattern that as the name suggests reproduces the formal texture and vertical lines of pinstripe fabric.
Where? Via Senato, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
FOUR | THE DINER BY DAVID ROCKWELL
New York architect David Rockwell and his studio the Rockwell Group has teamed up with Surface magazine to celebrate its 25th anniversary with The Diner, a celebration of American design, presented as an unforgettable contemporary interpretation of the archetypal roadside restaurant. Fast food has never looked better.
Housed in one of the Milano Centrale vaults as part of Ventura Centrale by Ventura Projects, the installation aims to immerse visitors in four distinct environments. Drawing on an expertise in hospitality and set design, Rockwell and the LAB at Rockwell Group are using the rituals of the diner as reference and departure points, linking the past and the future of an essential American icon. The entrance, inspired by the Airstream, will feature fresh coffee and homestyle pie (erm, hello). The journey will continue with an East Coast-style luncheonette, where visitors can enjoy milkshakes before moving on to the third space where a branded version of grilled cheese sandwiches will be served. The experience will conclude with a laidback West Coast lounge concept. Bring your bib!
Where? Via Ferrante Aporti, 15, 20125 Milano
FIVE | MONO MANIA MEXICO
Bethan Laura Wood is curating the main space at Moroso’s Milan showroom with her Mono Mania Mexico. Just the name is enough excitement for me. The whole of the Moroso space will be dedicated to tapestries and textiles, a collaboration with Limonta, one of Lombardy’s historic textile firms. Wood’s contribution is inspired by her personal journey into the great culture of 1970s Mexico, while contributions by Tord Boontje, Gabriella Giandelli, Front AND Alessandro Paderni mean this has the potential to be something REAL special.
Where? Via Pontaccio, 8, 20121 Milano
SIX | DIMORE GALLERY BY DIMORE STUDIO
Dimore Studio always brings a good exhibition to its ever-changing show space and Dimore Gallery for 2018 will be no exception. The installation will showcase iconic 20th-century design as well as the studio’s latest pieces from the collections Progetto Non Finito and Oggetti. Alongside the Dimore Gallery, an installation named Limited Edition will see six shop front windows filled with items from the late 1800s and early 1900s that have been deconstructed and updated with modern lacquers and materials.
Where? Via Solferino 11
SEVEN | VITRA TYPECASTING
Typecasting by Vitra will be an assembly of iconic, forgotten and new Vitra models curated by Austrian designer Robert Stadler. Taking place in a former sports hall, the exhibition will present a colourful display of iconic objects, prototypes and designs that never made it into production. The exhibition explores a critical assessment where pieces are typecasted into a particular role repeatedly. As someone who is intrigued by the process of what makes it and what doesn’t, I’m excited to see what’s amongst the “unfinished” Vitra archives.
Where? La Pelota, Via Palermo 10
EIGHT | HAY x WEWORK x SONOS
HAY, Sonos and WeWork have come together this year after HAY took a back seat in 2017. The threesome will present a shared vision for the future of design, collaboration and living spaces, driven by innovation, passion and the unlimited possibilities that evolve from the desire to create better experiences for everyday life.
The 1500m2 space will explore the best in design, sound, living and work, clashing against the ornate atmosphere of Palazzo Clerici and celebrating the past while evolving for the future. With HAY being a firm favourite in the EJP abode, right down to the toothbrushes, I’m excited to see the brand back in business in Milano.
Where? Via Clerici, 5, 20121
NINE | STUDIO JOB AT GARAGE TRAVERSI
Novelty is at the heart of Studio Job, reminding us not to take life so seriously and with a whole bunch of products launching a Milan Design Week 2018, the design brand is conveying its love for the Italian city. After years of neglect, Garage Traversi has been emblazoned with a love letter from the renaissance design duo; a pop art-inspired piece exclaiming “Oh Oh, Milano, I Love You too”. What a way to declare.
Where? Garage Traversi, via Bagutta 2
TEN | NORMANN COPENHAGEN
For the first time in 10 years, Normann Copenhagen has left the sterile surroundings of the fair to partner with Design Republic in the Monforte Tricolore area. Focusing on a subdued, earthy colour palette, visitors can expect to see timeless chairs in smoked oak and dusty shades situated around monochrome all-purpose tables adorned with subtle brass details. The stunning setting makes me think I might just need to bed down here for the week.
Where? Design Republic, Piazza del Tricolore 2, Milan