| Apr 3, 2014 |
The interior designer’s guide to Milan Design Week
By Staff

Design aficionados from around the globe are filling their schedules and their suitcases for what has come to be known as Milan Design Week—Salone del Mobile—and the hundreds of ancillary events taking place throughout the city April 8-13.

From new product introductions to emerging talent, exhibitions and showroom events, Editor at Large has compiled a list of highlights and happenings to help navigate the week.

More than 300,000 visitors from 160 different countries are expected to attend the 53rd edition of Salone del Mobile, viewing the latest product across three categories: Classic, Modern and Design. More than 1,400 exhibitors from Italy and around the world will be showcasing their products, including for the first time companies such as Hästens, Kvadrat, Iittala and Tom Dixon.

From left to right: AHNDA chair, MEET sofa system, Fat Tony Sofa and Singular Chair

New product and collection highlights include Dedon’s AHNDA by Stephen Burks collection of outdoor furniture, Appia seating by Christoph Jenni, Offect and Fattorini+Rizzini+Partners’ collaboration on the MEET sofa system, Tagar’s Singular Chair collection by Manuel Torres Design, and JAB Anstoetz’s Fat Tony Sofa and Boss Armchair.

Material ConneXion has teamed up with its Italian counterpart to showcase 100 of the most innovative and sustainable materials from the world’s largest library of materials at the entrance of pavilion 9-11. The booth is designed by Giulio Marzi and guests will be able to touch and discover these materials and learn more about them.

SaloneSatellite, which is devoted to creative young designers, will be held in pavilions 13-15. This year marks the 5th edition of the SaloneSatellite Award for the three best projects being showcased at the fair. More than 600 young designers (under the age of 35) will be showcased and put up for the award.

Shigeru Ban and Zaha Hadid

Each year, Salone is accompanied by a collateral installation created by some of the leading architects and designers from around the world. This year, “Where Architects Live” is curated by Francesca Molteni and Davide Pizzigoni and includes a look at the homes of architects Shigeru Ban, Mario Bellini, David Chipperfield, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, Zaha Hadid, Marcio Kogan, Daniel Libeskind and Bijoy Jain/Studio Mumbai. The exhibition aims to broaden the vision of domestic architecture as the most predisposed to evolution and the most suited to experimentation. The exhibition will be on display in pavilion 9.

Salone is among the sponsors of the exhibition “Bernardino Luini e i suoi figli,” a major retrospective dedicated to a key figure in the history of Renaissance art in Milan, curated by Giovanni Agosti and Jacopo Stoppa, in collaboration with Piero Lissoni. The exhibition, which will be open to the public from April 9 – July 13 on the main floor of Palazzo Reale, will document the entire artistic career of Luini and his sons over the course of the 16th century through a selection of more than 200 works. (There will be an exclusive, invitation-only viewing for guests of Salone del Mobile on the opening night of the show April 7.)

In addition to this exhibition, Salone del Mobile has organized free entry to Milan’s city museums: the Museum of the Twentieth Century, the Archaeological Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Sforza Castle Museums, Palazzo Morando, the Civic Aquarium, the Gallery of Modern Art and the Risorgimento Museum, giving visitors to the fair a chance to view important artistic, scientific and natural collections.

Although many designers head to Milan specifically for Salone, hundreds of events take place throughout the city in separate venues, and on the streets throughout the week.

2013 Ventura Lambrate exhibitor

Now in its fifth edition, another major fair—Ventura Lambrate (Via Ventura 6)—welcomes attendees of Milan Design Week to view displays by 170 international exhibitors from April 8 – 13. Exhibitions by Jaime Hayon, Lidewij Edelkoort, Lago, Design Academy Eindhoven, the University of the Arts London, IN Residence, Vij5 and GVM with Robot City, among others will be showcased.

The Ventura Lambrate design district has added new venues this year, including the Ventura Living Room at Via Ventura 14. This industrial hall will showcase creativeness in all its facets, with the pop-up restaurant of Amaro Creative Industries and partners Lago, Mosa and Lovethesign and work by cutting-edge brands and talented young designers.

This year’s special project, Ventura x Maarten Baas features the creative world of renowned designer Maarten Baas, coming back with his first solo show in years, based on Baas’ ever experimental, entertaining, yet critical way of working. The project will be on display in the city center of Milan.

"Poke" stools will be on display at EDIT. The stacking stools with a series of holes allow the stools to nest together fo storage

EDIT by designjunction, which launched in April 2013 and attracted 22,000 visitors, is set to showcase another powerful line-up of international brands including Modus, Stellar Works, Adentro, EOQ, Resident, Afghan Made, Innermost, Baroncelli and Utopia, among others. Set against the backdrop of Palazzo Morando (6 Via Sant'Andrea), a historic 18th century building in the heart of Milan’s fashion district, attendees will be able to view the latest products including sofas, chairs, desks and lighting. (A press preview will be held on Thursday, April 8, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.)

Held five times a year as part of the Habitare fair at Messukeskus, the international EcoDesign special exhibition will now move to Milan and be on display at La Triennale di Milano. A total of 50 designs considered to best address the annual environmental theme have been selected for the exhibition.

Material Connexion Italia has created the first edition of Materials Village, a platform of events and initiatives dedicated to promote the culture of materials. Nine houses, located in the gardens and a VIP Lounge in Material ConneXion showroom in the gardens of Triennale di Milano, will interpret materials in the most updated way. The houses are set up by the following architecture firms: Giulio Ceppi Total Tool, Studio Collesi, Massimiliano Mandarini Studio Marchingenio Workshop, Federica Pastonesi, Studio Marco Piva and Matteo Ragni Studio.

Italian designer Paola Navone is set to transform the LINTELOO showroom in Zona Tortona (Via Tortona 37) into an exotic, African-inspired installation. Among the pieces in the display will be the company’s new wooden home accessories and furniture pieces, made in Africa for LINTELOO.

The annual Milano Design Film Festival will run concurrently with Salone del Mobile at Sala Stampa Brigida (Piazza della Scala 2) daily.

Bloggers from left to right: Joanne Kandrac, Kelly Kole, Pamela Copeman, Krista Nye Schwartz and Tami Ramsay

Throughout the week, Modenus’ BlogTour bloggers will be buzzing through the streets of Milan, attending events and covering new products and trends. This year’s bloggers include Pamela Copeman, Joanne Kandrac, Kelly Kole, Carmen Maria Natschke, Eric Schimelpfenig, Holly Hollingsworth Phillips, Tamara Matthews Stephenson, Krista Nye Schwartz, Tami Ramsay, Robin Plaskoff and Lisa Smith. Design enthusiasts can keep up with BlogTour Milan by following the Twitter hashtag #BlogTourMilan.

Below is a list of showroom events and cocktail parties, sorted by day:

Monday, April 7

6:00 – 10:00 p.m. Venetian glassware company, Carlo Moretti (Via della Spiga, 48 Milan), will celebrate the opening of its first dedicated showroom in Milan. Located in the Brera district, the 1,400-square-foot space will feature a range of new introductions in tabletop and lighting products designed and produced by Carlo Moretti.

7:00 p.m. Boffi will celebrate its 80th anniversary, following the preview, with a special party at Via Solferino 11.

7:00 – 10:00 p.m. Richard Lampert will host a preview of his new “Mono“ step stool at “Glam Hair & Design,” the hairdressing salon located in the same building as the legendary Bar Basso (Via Plinio 39). Mono’s creator, Steffen Kehrle, will present the step stool, which consists of a single plastic block, in a suitable setting in the salon’s shop windows.

Tuesday, April 8

5:00 – 6:30 p.m. The Zetel Foundation and Connecting the Dots will host a discussion titled, “The Art of Commissioning Design,” supported by and organized with the Embassy and Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The following experts will discuss the topic: Matylda Krzykowski of Depot Basel, MATANDME; Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin of Formafantasma; Sarah van Gameren of Glithero; and Kris Callens, head of exhibitions Zuiderzeemuseum. The debate will be moderated by Mariska van der Burgt, director of Zetel Foundation, and David Heldt, editor-in-chief of Connecting the Dots. A cocktail reception will follow the debate. (This is a private event, by invitation only.)

Harnais collection by Michele De Lucchi (Photo Credit: Yann Deret)

5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Hermes (Palazzo Serbelloni, Corso Venezia, 16) will host a preview for the launch of its new collections, including two lighting collections—Pantographe and Harnais—created by Italian designer Michele De Lucchi; and the portable, modular La Lanterne d’Hermès lamp, designed by French visual artist Yann Kersalé. A new collection of furnishing fabrics and wallpapers, each with their own stories, will also be unveiled, together with some bespoke pieces—the Curiosités d’Hermès and re-editions of pieces by Jean-Michel Frank.

5:45 p.m. Moroso (Via Pontaccio 8-10) will host a preview where "The Chair Lift" installation by Martino Gamper and Peter McDonald will be on display.

6:00 – 8:00 p.m. La Perla will host a cocktail party at its newly redesigned store on Via Montenapoleone in celebration of La Perla’s special project with the Instito Europeo di Design in a design competition. The evening will showcase the winning luxury lingerie case, which is inspired by the new La Perla boutique concept designed by architect Roberto Baciocchi.

6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Alessi (Via Manzoni 14-16) will host a cocktail party with a special exhibition by Mario Trimarchi, FRAGILE. Both Alberto Alessi and Trimarchi will be present. RSVP for this event.

6:30 p.m. Kartell (Via Filippo Turati Angolo via Carlo Porta 1) will host a cocktail party for its new line "Kartell in Tavola,” Kartell's first tableware collections since the 1970s. RSVP for this event.

7:00 p.m. Missoni Home (Via Solferino 9) will host a “Wonderland Cocktail Party.”

Pieces from the Office Landscapes collection by Rodolfo Dordoni and Jean-Marie Massuad for Poltrona Frau

7:00 p.m. Poltrona Frau (Via Durani 1) celebrates the launch of new pieces in its Office Landscapes collection by Rodolfo Dordoni and Jean-Marie Massaud, who will both be present at this cocktail party. RSVP for this event.

7:00 – 10:00 p.m. Fendi Casa unveils its new collection by Thierry Lemaire, who will be in present at this event. (This is a private event, by invite only.)

7:00 - 10:00 p.m. COS+Nendo (Via delle Erbe 2) will host a cocktail party.

7:30 p.m. la Rinascete (Milano Piazza Duomo, Il Bar, 7th Floor) will showcase its new collection “In a State of Repair,” by Martino Gamper. RSVP for this event.

7:30 p.m. Foscarini (Via Fiori Chiari, 28) will host a cocktail party for the launch of their new products.

Wednesday, April 9

9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Hermes will host a private, invitation only breakfast.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Dedon (Via Savona 50) will preview its latest creations by Burks, Daniel Pouzet and Glyn Peter Machin. RSVP for this event.

6:00 –  10:00 p.m. BDDW’s opening party will celebrate its new Milan showroom, featuring designs from David Weeks Studio and handmade furniture and ceramics by Tyler Hays. (This is private event, by invitation only.) 

6:00 – 10:00 p.m. Donghia will launch its exhibition “From a Thread of White Silk” at the Rubelli showroom (Milan Fairgrounds, Rho).

6:30 p.m. Grimshaw Architects and Poltrona Frau (Via Durani 1) will host a cocktail party in celebration of the ELEMENTS exhibition, a selection of collaborative furniture projects featuring industrial design and architecture work by Grimshaw. A cocktail reception will follow. RSVP for this event.

Osmosi by Emmanuel Babled, part of the Venini Artlight and Artglass collection

6:30 –  9:30 p.m. Venini (Milan Fairgrounds, Rho) will celebrate the new Artlight and Artglass collections with Tadao Ando, Emmanuel Babled, Alberto Biagetti, Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas, and Philippe Nigro.

7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Bisazza (Via Senato 2) will showcase a new collection of mosaic patterns, artistically influenced by Emilio Pucci Prints.

7:00 – 10:00 p.m. Lasvit (Via Stendhal 35) will host a cocktail party for designers and guests.

9:00 – 11:00 p.m. Dedar (Via Fiori Chiari 18) will host a cocktail party. RSVP for this event.

9:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. Trussardi Casa (Piazza della Scala 5) will celebrate its new Home Collection. RSVP for this event.

Thursday, April 10

6:00 – 9:00 p.m. FLOS (Corso Monforte 15) will feature Konstantin Grcic’s Panorama exhibition.

6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Fritz Hansen will host an event for VIPs. (This is a private event, by invitation only.)

6:00 p.m.  12:00 a.m. Lalique (Fuori Mobile, Palazzo Durini, Via Santa Maria Valle 2) will display its interiors collection for this cocktail event.

6:30 11:00 p.m. Marni (Viale Umbria 42) will celebrate its "Animal House" design installation, which features handmade Columbian furniture pieces and animal sculptures. In continuation of Marni’s philanthropic efforts, the pieces featured in this year’s exhibition were all made by Columbian artisans that gained their economical emancipation and independence through working on this project. The limited edition furniture pieces will all be available for purchase and a portion of the proceeds will go to charities benefiting foundations that care for terminally ill children.

Cassina's Maralunga sofa designed by Vico Magistretti

7:00 p.m. Cassina (Via Burini 16) will have a ‘70s-themed birthday party to celebrate its 40th anniversary of the Maralunga sofa by Vico Magistretti. RSVP for this event.

7:00 p.m. Vionnet invites guests to view the exhibition “Untold,” featuring a light installation by Jacopo Foggini, at the Museo Bagatti Valsecchi (Via Santo Spirito 10).

7:30 p.m. Foscarini will host a cocktail party to celebrate its exhibition “The Soft House Between Art and Design‚” at the Museo Poldi Pezzoli (Via Manzoni 12).

Want to stay informed? Sign up for our newsletter, which recaps the week’s stories, and get in-depth industry news and analysis each quarter by subscribing to our print magazine. Join BOH Insider for discounts, workshops and access to special events such as the Future of Home conference.