Housewarming – An Experience by Fabrica & Airbnb at Milan Design Week

photos: Cristian Castelnuovo and iHeartBerlin

What makes you feel welcome in a new place, a new city or a new home? When I came to Berlin for the first time it was the free seat in the subway at Warschauer Straße waiting for me every morning to go to the university in Dahlem. I expected the subway to be a hostile and neurotic place and yet it was very relaxing for me to spend the 45 minutes just sitting there to observe the different kinds of people Berlin had to offer (and still has).

While traveling the world I discovered that there are many rituals and even traditions of welcoming strangers in a home. For the Milan Design Week that took place from April 14-19 this year we had the chance to see a very diverse and interesting interpretation of the topic. The social home sharing platform Airbnb partnered with the creative design and innovation center Fabrica to create Housewarming, an experimental exhibition celebrating simple welcoming traditions and the connection experienced by guests and hosts through sharing their home.

The exhibition took place at Palazzo Crespi, a historic and impressive private mansion that was open to the public for the first time for this year’s Milan Design Week. Embedded into the different parts of the Palazzo we discovered the installations and performances of 19 international designers who showed their versions of the welcoming traditions from their home country. Enjoy our impressions after the jump.

The installation was open to the public and everybody could stop by. Compared to the other presentations of big brands we found Airbnb’s Housewarming exhibition really unconventional. Inside the impressive palace the installations and performances of the designers were really authentic and the time we shared with the designers was quite intimate and thoughtful. It is not a very easy task to give people the feeling of being at home in a giant mansion with real Canalettos hanging on the walls. Yet we left the house with a beautiful memory and a nice energy.

And this was actually not the only place that made us feel at home in Milan. During our stay we were living in the beautiful apartment of Marta and Valerio. Their welcome was so much more than we could have asked for. Not only did we get a private insider tour of one of the most exciting parts of the Milan Design Week and were treated for dinner on the first night, we were also served with fresh smoothies every morning during our time in their magnificent house. It was so nice to meet local people through Airbnb that could help us navigate through the city and recommend the best restaurants in the neighborhood. I was always a little afraid to live in the home of strangers, but after this experience I think I will do this more often in the future.

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<a href="" target="_self">Claudio</a>