Every year in april designers and design aficionados travel to Milan Design Week. Born in 1961 the endless halls of the Salone del Mobile at the RHO Fiera formed the center of the event. Over the years the showrooms spread out into the city – one district at a time. New shows pop up in exciting new spots each year turning empty cinemas and palazzos into glamorous galleries for the week. And every passing year I (Sophia) cannot shake the feeling that there is so much more to see than time allows. As FRAME magazine put it so adequately
“Sets are dismantled, muscles are recovering, hangovers are subsiding: Milan Design Week is done and dusted. In the aftermath of the increasingly overwhelming event, what will be remembered?”
Here a few impressions of what I (still) remember:
‘May I Have Your Attention Please?’ Marten Baas for Lensvelt. After last years intriguing show, presenting their Boring Collection in an anything but boring way, I was certainly looking forward and they did not disappoint: They filled the space with metal speakers purposefully placed around the chairs. Each one whispering their very own opinion in your ear up close and all of them filling the room with a whispering choir – putting the collection of chairs in the center of whispering attention.
A set of futuristic chairs that are actually constructed of LG’s ultra-thin OLED lighting panels and placed on a grid facing backwards to the enormous ‘wall of the sun’ which is compiled by hundreds of tiny panels. The natural movement of shapes and lights created by the dynamic lightning elements leaves one with the impression that you can in fact interact with them and somewhat influence them – although this isn’t actually the case.
Taking reflection-selfies in shiny Tom Dixon lights. A welcome break at the Tom Dixon cinema. Delightful detail: The party scene from the movie ‘La Gran Belleza’ was on show while promotional drinks where served from the whiskey bar.
COS X Studio Swine. Another anxiously awaited show. Clothing label Cos has made a name for itself with their extravagant past shows as ‘forest of light’ and ‘ . This year they created an oversized bubble tree. The oversized bubbles would burst into dust when touched directly but with a set of gloves one could actually interact and play with the fragile shapes.
Exploring possibilities of light with Formafantasma. A series of 16 lighting pieces that focus on the light they will create, rather than the forms of the lamps themselves.
A trip to Milan Design Week isn’t complete without stopping by at Rosanna Orlandi’s. Not only does her courtyard offer some welcome rest but one stumbles upon a lot of different projects and directions in design while wandering through the multiple room complex that hosts the gallery. Personal favourite from that show was the set of 53 handcrafted stones created by Studio Brynjar & Veronika, commissioned and presented by Thomas Eyck.
Until next year in Milan!