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Above image, Michele de Lucchi’s Pavilion Zero providing an introduction to the Expo Milano 2015 Site.
If you couldn’t quite make it to Milan this year, let us get you up to speed with this guide to the world’s largest design fair, Salon de Mobile, otherwise known as Milan Design Week: a marathon four days in April where every gallery or showroom opens its doors and design literally pours out onto the streets of the cosmopolitan city.
The general idea of ‘Fuorisalone’ which translates to fringe event, commenced as a spontaneous group of happenings initially named Salone de Mobile in the Rho Fiera area with the aim of making design accessible for everyone. This same energy now attracts some of the leading names in design and young designers alike, the idea of design for all and the tradition of design week have evolved symbiotically throughout the years and have nicely carve out a unique cultural and urban niche for Milan.
Themes for this year’s fair are set to include the role, function and design of the modern workplace, the cross cultural role of kitchens and the toning down of luxury giving way to minimalism or the newly coined ‘pauperism’. We are also likely to continue to see the ‘re-edition’ phenomenon continue with established heritage brands resurrecting iconic and oft long forgotten designer pieces.
San Babila Design Quarter is launching as Milan’s newest design destination. Situated in the heart of the city centre, the Quarter unites the finest design showrooms, eateries and fashion stores in the area offering a new and exciting destination for design enthusiasts to explore. Showrooms in the area will include: Alessi, Artemide, Axor, Brian & Barry Building, Moroni Gomma, Porro, Rimadesio luxury living, Marazzi, Caeserstone, Vivienne Westwood, SMEG, Interni Mobile & Design.
Milan is a layer upon layer of events and showcases. As you delve deeper into San Babila one is sure to stumble upon Designjunction. Showcasing more than 35 leading international design brands including: Tom Dixon, Jaguar, Case, Nyta, La Chance and New Works. Back for its fourth appearance in Milan, the internationally occurring showcase – designjunction also takes place in New York and London throughout the year – will make its home inside the Casa dell’Opera Nazionale Balilla – a 1930s former school building and ex-theatre.
Another longstanding and significant fixture at Milan is Tortona Design week, set in and around Via Savona, Via Tortona and Via Forcella it will be a key destination for the international design community for the few days. 180 exhibitions and events are scheduled in the area alone over the next four days, from interactive installations, art performances, young designer showcases to established players such as the always large scale and impressive Mooi launch.
Tokyo Design Week will feature amongst the Tortona Design Week schedule for the second time after gathering 90,000 visits last year. Based on this success the Japanese roadshow will also expand its genres this year to include ‘Cool & Kawaii’ and ‘Edo & Tokyo’ in addition to ‘Tokyo Creativity in Design, Art, Fashion Music, Technology and Food.’ A feature of the Japanese exhibition is sure to be ‘Tokyo Girls’ Room’ by Sebastian Masuda the poster child of Harajuku and Kawaii culture.
French design will also have a stage at Tortona Design Week as VIA e 14Septembre present the third edition of ‘France Design’. Consisting of two exhibitions. VIA Design 2015, where 14 prototypes of furniture, lighting elements and installations financed by VIA and designed by 12 young designers in search for a producer and ‘Talents & Economy’ where 50 new products of daily life, by great brands and known or emerging French talents are displayed.
Salone Satellite which started in 1998 aims to bring together the most promising young designers from all over the world and expose them directly to the important design business people and talent scouts. The bigger names however, are sure to cause their usual stir with collaborations like Nendo for Glas Italia at Rho, Jaime Hayon’s nod to Le Corbusier for Cassina and the GamFratesi curated show Mindcraft pulling together the best Danish designers.
We will be bringing you more products and new releases all week as they launch, so stay tuned for more from Milan.