Milan Design Week 2017: Highlights
Milan Design Week 2017: Highlights
Eight stand-out experiences and presentations happening right now
by Kyle Raymond Fitzpatrick
Milan Design Week is happening now, and continuing through 9 April with events scattered all over the city. While the Fuorisalone offerings might overwhelm with options, rest easy knowing you can turn into almost any space for a well designed display. There’s something for everyone, too—museum shows, retail pop-ups, industrial showcases, cocktail parties, etc.—but the following eight were our favorite showings across all of Design Week this year.
Jamie Hayon’s Stone Age Folk with Caesarstone
Hayon worked with international quartz manufacturer Caesarstone to create a harlequin wonderland called Stone Age Folk. Within, Hayon presented furniture items (like a dresser that looks like a clown head) in addition to a large pavilion filled with two functional stone merry-go-rounds. It’s perfect for selfie taking and, if your photo is catchy enough, you could win a prize by tagging it #csmilan2017.
Light brand Foscarini bypassed exhibiting new work in the traditional sense to let architecture firm Giovanni Maria Filindeu create a series of rooms that meditate on forms of light. Their Brera store is currently home to multiple installations like a tiny mirrored room that offers a bright infinity vantage, in addition to a single candle lit stone chapel for design meditations. The highlight here is a stretched glowing line reminiscent of a James Turrell work that starts at your feet and ends in the sky.
Milan’s Triennale museum houses an assortment of shows capturing specific design scenes from around the world and within specific industries. Here, Confluence 20+ displays the best design works from creators based in, or from, Hong Kong. The works are extensive—Sammy Or’s ocean scenes created with Chinese characters, Julie Progin and Jesse McLin’s composite pots formed from lost mass produced forms, Gary Chang’s architectural installation dedicated to small living—and suggest a deeper understanding of contemporary, caring life.
If you can’t make it to Hayon’s Stone Age Folk for a selfie, Brera’s hidden Façades should do the trick as it's a mesmerizing wall of flowers. It is an easy springtime delight (to swing by for a quick snap or two) and it exaggerates the beauties of Milan’s many palazzos.
The Toiletpaper Bar at Holy Handmade
If you missed the debut of this concept at Art Basel Miami Beach or the Visionaire-hosted run at NYC's Cadillac House, hit up the Toiletpaper Magazine bar tucked inside Wallpaper*’s Holy Handmade. The bright, manic style of the art publication spreads all over a multi-tiered space that is not only a representation of various Toiletpaper works but also the town’s most unique watering hole.
If you were unable to get an appointment to Studiopepe’s The Visit, Rossanna Orlandi is housing a quaint cousin of their interior design dream space courtesy of Se’. The collective gathered a selection of talents like Nika Zupanc and Calico Wallpaper to offer appropriately lux inspiration for your space.
Ever want to play around with the fragrant bubbly droppings of a mechanical tree? That’s exactly what Studio Swine’s delightfully bizarre New Spring is: a robotic creation designed to burp up bubble “blossoms” that do not break on textured fabrics (like COS clothing). It’s certainly a uniquely atmospheric entry into the week’s functions.
CH favorite design duo’s store concept for the bag brand is an ethereal retail cloud that is so lovely it actually stole this year’s Milan Design Prize. While Snarkitecture always delights, this is perhaps their most delicate work to date.
Valextra image courtesy of Snarkitecture, Façades and Fare Luce images by Bobby Solomon, and all other images by Kyle Raymond Fitzpatrick