Milan Design Week 12-17 April 2016
By Dieneke Ferguson and Manuel Ruiz-Adame
This is one of a series of articles about our visit to Milan for the Milan Design Week in 2016 and to visit the Salone del Mobile and Salone Satelite. You can see the other articles here:
Visiting Milan 2016: Salone del Mobile, Salone Satelite, Bright Potato
Visiting Milan 2016: Airbnb, Makers and Bakers, Dossofiorito, Piet Hein Eek
Visiting Milan 2016: Ingo Maurer, Tom Dixon, Kukka, Curvalinea
Visiting Milan 2016: SO KLARA
Visiting Milan: Kukka shows Spectra
Visiting Milan: Airbnb presents Makers and Bakers
We didn’t have long in Milan. Manuel and myself arrived on Tuesday 12 April in the evening and flew back on Saturday 16 April. We are always struggling with time as our list of what we would like to see never works within the limited time available.
This year we were pleased that 4 of the designers that are selling on the Hidden Art E-Shop were exhibiting in different places across Milan. We have written about their shows alongside other designers whose shows we really liked. They are Bright Potato, Curvalinea, Kukka and SO KLARA.
There was a lot to see this year in Milan and it takes time to digest it all back at home. But some of the trends we spotted were:
- The eclectic nature of the shows – with a myriad of inspirations
- Indirect focus on Brasil and the Rio 2016 Olympics. Jungle plants and design; bright and bold colours
- Focus on materials, its uses and sustainability
- Food and design
- The craftsmanship behind the design
Thursday 14 April
The Zona Tortona has an industrial past, which had imposing factory buildings with life in the past being characterized by industry. The industries left the area at the end of the 60s which would leave enormous factory spaces empty. This then led to Superstudio being set up in 1983 in a former locomotive deposit. This was followed by artists moving to the area.
On Thursday was our day to pay a visit to the Zona Tortona. Manuel always likes to say hello to the staff at Superstudio 13 where we exhibited from 2003-2006.
This year Pepsi Cola took over Superstudio13 With their Mix It Up exhibition
Superstudio Piu opened in 1983 as studios for fashion publishing and advertising. This has been a venue from when we started going to Milan. In the early years this would be the venue where Cappellini held his massive parties. This was before Poltrona Frau bought Cappellini in 2004. This was the must go to event, but unfortunately in those days we never managed to get in.
The second Edition of the SuperDesign Show had as theme WHITE PAGES, writing the key words of the world of tomorrow. I particularly liked Tradition in Evolution, a contemporary Chinese Philosophy of Life exhibition. The exhibition demonstrated the process of change from old to new, innovations with creativity and discipline and interactions with the Chinese cultural heritage.
We then went on to see Moooi in the Via Savona. Moooi has been exhibiting since xxx and their shows are absolutely stunning, mostly in the form of elegantly styled home settings. They are set within a 1.700 m2 space which is transformed into a surreal and imaginary universe. Some of the home settings have a backdrop of oversized prints of British Art photographer Rebecca Bathory. The room sets are complemented with Moooi’s Signature carpets. This year there is new furniture, lighting and carpet design by 17 different designers.
Our favourites were the Charleston Sofa by Marcel Wanders. This is a classic sofa that has been shifted into a vertical posture.
The Perch Light by Umut Yamac that is perched on a branch. The series of sculptural abstract lamps, made of folded paper and brass, come to light on their metal perches.
The Dreamstatic rug by David/Nicholas reflect a compilation of scattered images and details that resurface from a dream
Designersblock exhibited for the second year in what now is called Base Milano Design Centre based in the Ansaldo Building. The building is a former industrial facility which is set over four floors and had been vacant for a long time. The Base Milano Design Centre just open before the start of the Milan Design Week this year and aims to be a hub for creativity.
We were very pleased that So Klara, who is also on the Hidden Art E-Shop was one of the exhibitors. At Designersblock SoKlara launched a new range of Home Décor accessories. Using the same bold patterns as for her silk scarves, it is a feast for the eyes and visually striking and a perfect venue for her new range. Further information:
Salone del Automobile by Lee Broom
Lee Broom drove his Exhibition called ‘SALONE DEL AUTOMOBILE’ in his studio’s delivery van all the way to Milan from London. Showing his latest lighting collection Optical he would pitch his van on different days in the city’s key design hotspots, including Brera Design District, Spazio Rossana Orlandi, ZonaTortona, San Gregorio Docet, and Ventura Lambrate .