Milan Design Week 2014 – Tortona Around Design, Design Junction

Tortona Around Design


Having arrived on the Tuesday we visited the Zona Tortona on the Wednesday. This for us is known territory as Hidden Art exhibited here three times in the past, xxx and link.

Temporary Museum for New Design

Like previous years the 6th Temporary Museum for New Design took place in Superstudio 13 and Superstudio Piu.

Superstudio 13

We always like to go back to Superstudio 13 where we exhibited and say hello to the people we know there. There was a very interesting show, Green Village with the main focus being on the environment. Strangely enough though lot of the publicity material was in Italian, catering more for an Italian than a foreign audience. Generally though there were no young designers but established companies. There were seven thematic areas: Home, Food, Kids, Wellbeing, Sustainable Transport, Alternative Energies and Mindful Tourism.

Manuel’s favourite was, Smart Flowera’s Solare Fotovoltaico “Smartflower” – A quite innovative product not so much in energy generating terms but in its functionality and design. The full project was piloted in Austria. They also invited the Germans and the Italians to contribute with technology and design. Not surprisingly, its price may seem expensive. But looking at its state-of-the-art technology and utility it is good value for money. It is primarily designed for domestic use. In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger  “Even though I like size, sometimes something small is very effective. And when it comes to  photovoltaic solar there is nothing better than, for instance, the smartflower™. I mean what a brilliant idea, you put this in front of the house, you plug it in –no installation, nothing- just plugging it in and play.” You only need to have a garden/patio with a small area of concrete foundation to place it.

Manuel paid particular attention to a product which agrees with the conservation of our environment. What would you do with old duvet jacket covers you no longer want to use because it’s been damaged or else? Nowadays many people take their old cloths to a recycling centre or deposit them in the appropriate bins provided by the Local Authorities. But Milan based Italian designer, Giacomo Serrati, had the idea of recycling these duvets/jackets to design and manufacture puffs, armchairs and sofas. His company, Tatras, has also other lines of eco-friendly products.

Outside Superstudio 13 we bumped into Valentina Gonzalez-Wohler who was doing the rounds as well. The weather was great so we sat outside to enjoy the sun.

Close by they were handing out Yellow Archiproducts bags which were definitely trending this year during the Milan Design Week. They are very handy and of a convenient size.

Unfortunately the distribution of the Interni Guides were not as extensive as previous years. A pity as they are so useful to see what is going on when. This year the information was much more localised by cluster.


Superstudio Piu

Superstudiu Piu had some lovely exhibitions and gems.  There were many young designers exhibiting with some great innovations and ideas. I specially liked Superdesign the exhibition curated by Cappellini with 29 objects selected from young designers worldwide including two from the UK. This included Grillo, let’s barcecue. The portable barbecue Formaxion, Italy and Meogranoblu – Elements

Manuel liked the chair from Francesco Raimondi, Art Designer based in Rome, Italy. Constructed in steel it is one of those designs which can fit in any environment, outdoors an indoors, casual or sleek.

In addition the Ermini car was showcased revisited by Giulio Cappellini. The car was recently presented at the Genoa Motor Show and the “Print-à-Porter” of

Brother in collaboration with


France Design, VIA

I have been following VIA the French collective now for many years and each year I visit their exhibition. This year they were back in force, taking a big space in Superstudio Piu showing 17 prototypes for furniture and lighting, which included some very interesting work and collaborations.  With a great list of supporters VIA managed to pull off an impressive show.

Open Edge, folding 3d printer, emmanuel Grilloz,

Even Ebay was present with a selection of designer products

Peugeot Design Lab

Peugeot Design Lab presented an exhibition that covered 200 years of Peugeot Industrial Design., which spanned from coffee mills, to sewing machines, bikes, food mixers and a stunning piano in addition to cars.


Tokyo Imagine, Tokyo Designers Week in Milano 2014

This exhibition was an absolute gem.  It presented Tokyo creativity and technology in design, art, media art as well as food amongst others. We particularly liked the Oh! Furoshiki Exhibition. The original Japanese culture of ‘furoshiki’, which is 1200 years old is to wrap which aims to express a sense of beauty. The exhibition showed furoshiki drawn by a wide range of designers and artists, both in and outside of Japan.  Including Marcel Wanders and Piero LissoniTokyo Creators showed Japanese leading designers from chairs, lighting to food and electronics.

Studio Job

I love what the Dutch designers are producing and Studio Job is no exception. They were launching their new wallpaper collection and the whole of the space was papered with the wallpaper, contrasted with clean and simple furniture.  Studio Job is the brainchild Piet Hein Eek and Rick and Esther Vintage. We arrived during the private view and sitting in the comfortable chairs we were noticing that many of those present were typical Dutch and not many British. Different circuits indeed.


From there it was on to Moooi, also Dutch and one of my favourites from Milan last year. This year was even better. The 1700 ms space again was transformed into product displays that were placed in front of massive splendid photographs by Massimo Listri creating timeless room sets in historical contexts and different environments.

Inspired by masters like Piero della Francesca and Vermeer Massimo Listri has photographed some of the most important and restricted momuments in the world. For the exhibition his photographs were produced on a very large scale of 4.5 metres.



EDIT by DesignJunction 9-13 April
Palazzo Morando
Via Sant’Andrea, 6

The second edition of EDIT by Designjunction took place at the eighteenth-century Palazzo Morando located at Via Sant’Andrea 6, a historic eighteenth-century building

In the evening we went to the private view of the Green Room at DesignJunctionCurated and presented by UKTI, Milan the Green Room showcased eco-sustainable furniture and furnishings made by British Companies and designers. The audience was mixed Italian, British as well as other nationalities.  It is always nice to bump into people you know and catch up on what else to see.

The Green Room was nice and good to see work from designers that are on the Hidden Art E-Shop, such as Kukka. There were also other UK designers such as Donna Wilson, Lovemydog and Tom Raffield.

Kukka exhibited the DIY Wooden Table Lam, Blocks, wooden desk accessories and the Balata Ruler from recycled floor tiles. You can purchase them on the Hidden Art E-Shop here


Next to the Green Room were more sustainable products which we particularly liked …


The Zava Collection from Italy presented some ingenious lighting,such as Ariana a light that is a spool and the Icon X Mini candle light, a candle holder. They had some you could take with you and assemble yourself

The Brits do know how to organise a party and it was busy and enjoyable.