Highlights from Milan Design Week that’d make any home look like it just stepped out of the Salone del Mobile.
There was way more to write home about at this year’s Milan Design Week than we can include here, but one of the key things that excited us was the popularity of using experiential settings to display collections of furniture, lighting and lifestyle accessories. Our favourite was formidable female creative duo Studiopepe’s installation, Les Arcanistes. Exploring the connection between matter, archetypes and symbols, the Milan-founded agency populated a series of rooms with bespoke and historical pieces that showcased their multi-disciplinary, avant-garde talents.
New Zealand design company Resident released four new products for lighting exhibition Euroluce, including this elegant Fulcrum table lamp by Auckland-based Cheshire Architects. It combines a sand-cast bronze or cork base with a paper shade that can be swivelled to create sophisticated new forms and alter the intensity of the glow.
Another experiential triumph was The Socialite Family’s Parisian Apartment by Constance Gennari (founder and artistic director of online magazine and interiors store The Socialite Family), who created a space that reflected both her Franco-Italian identity and the DNA of her brand. Visitors admired her pieces amid family photos and heirloom trinkets — snapshots of her own home life.
Having engaged bright international minds like Patricia Urquiola, Michael Anastassiades, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec and Antonio Citterio, Italy’s Flos released a host of experimental lighting. We were most impressed by WireLine by Formafantasma, a playful suspended piece that uses a pink rubber cable to support a ribbed glass tube (two are combined below).
Calico Wallpaper of NYC teamed up with UK designer Faye Toogood to create Muse —wallpapers that celebrate women via sweeping brushstrokes representing the female form. They also collaborated with New York’s Ladies & Gentleman Studio and Mud Australia to present Still/Life, an exhibition exploring tranquility and vitality through objects, lighting and a site-specific version of one of their signature ombré wallpapers.
Marble’s popularity is nothing new, but for Design Week Italy’s Bloc Studios set designers the task of using innovative processes to explore the material in unique and futuristic ways. When 3D digital liquid painting is used to create a technicolour table (far left), it’s a reminder that design should incite curiosity and truly inspire.