I'm back from Milan, feeling a combination of exhausted and inspired. There was an undeniably contagious sense of creativity and innovation through out the city last week. Each year around this time, the city hosts one of the world's leading design weeks. Most major brands introduce their new collections at the Salone del Milano, a monumental convention centre just a little outside of town. After a customary look around the fair, I headed to the streets of cities to catch its many design districts, amid the seemingly endless events, exhibitions and installations by emerging and established designers.
Here's a look at some highlights.
Max Lamb & Dzek
British designer Max Lamb collaborated with Dzek, a material-based design studio in London for a stunning installation at Project B in Milan. Dzek's Marmoreal is an engineered stone which combines four Veronese marbles. The material combines the coloured marble with a polyester binder to create a durable stone for architectural applications. Marmoreal can be used for anything from flooring tiles, to workshop surfaces, furniture and objects. Lamb designed six pieces of furniture like a chair, a coffee table, a shelf etc to showcase the materials capabilities. The furniture was then displayed in a space lined with Marmoreal tiles creating a chromatic space reminiscent of one of Yayoi Kasuma's immersive spaces.
Charlotte Perriand at Galleria Carla Sozzani, 10 Corso Como
In her 30 years of practising architecture, urban planning and most importantly furniture design, Charlotte Perriand travelled across Europe photographing various subjects that became the inspiration for her designs. Galleria Carla Sozzani brought together these extensive photographic collections of monochrome images that document everything from landscapes, architecture and found objects. Perriand's furniture is as unique and elegant as her images. Several examples of her furniture were juxtaposed with the monochrome photographs giving viewers a detailed insight into her creative process and practice.
Dimore Studio, Brera Design District
One of Milan's most exciting design galleries, Dimore Studio was definitely a highlight. The space featured new designs by owners Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci. The designers create everything from lighting to rugs, tables and seating, combining contemporary and vintage designs creating refreshingly unexpected combinations. The space appears as a house of curated pieces. The studio is planning to expand to Paris and London.
100 per cent Brazil
Held at the Palazzo Giureconsulti, the event was dedicated to Brazilian design.
Showcasing designers like Adolini+Simonini Associati, Henrique Steyer and Jader Almeida the exhibition showcased an interesting blend of Brazilian practices in Milan this year. My personal favourites included eucalyptus wood chairs by Estudio Bola.
Untold curated by Rossana Orlandi at Museo Bagatti Valsecchi
Rossana Orlandi's exhibition of contemporary design at the Museo Bagatti Valsecchi, a 19th century palazzo brought together designers like Jamie Hayons, Jacopo Foggini, Womin Park and many others. The palatial rooms are an interesting dialogue between the old and new. Barons Fausto and Giuseppe Bagatti Valsecchi's collections from the 17th and 18th century meet pieces of contemporary furniture, lighting, tableware and a range of whimsical installations.
Highlights from Salone del Mobile
Despite all the activity around town, as always the fair was nothing short of average. Even Salone Satellite, a part of the fair dedicated to young designers, lacked its usual appeal. Nevertheless considering the scale of the convention centre, it's impossible not to come across some interesting finds.
Poltrona Frau introduced a re-edition of Gianfranco Frattini's adjustable bookshelf from the 50's, 'Albero'. Armani introduced a fabulous range of wall coverings, British designer Tom Dixon unveiled furniture and lighting inspired by London's gentlemen's clubs. Highlights from Salone Satellite included the Rúna table by Isabel Ahm, Interlace by Viichen Design and 'Carronade' lamps by Markus Johansson.
Pasta Party on Pasta Lane
The Mumbai Art Room is hosting a pasta-themed party this Tuesday starting at 6pm. Along with Bungalow 8's pasta jewellery making class and Busaba's pasta inspired dish, on view is Scott Myles's ongoing show as well as a screening of Japanese artist Michiko Tsuda. See you there!