photos: Alicia Kassebohm
Exploring new cities has always been a pleasure for us. We come back with a bag full of new inspiration, ideas and urban concepts that we might want to see also in our beloved hometown. Last week Alicia Kassebohm and I had the great pleasure to travel to Milan to visit the prominent Milan Design Week invited by the Belgium Design initiative: Belgium is Design. Like last year we visited The Salone del Mobile which is the biggest fair for contemporary design products and the Fuorisalone (outside Salone) the uncountable mass of side-events happening all around the city. In over 5 districts of Milan the complete neighborhood is transformed into a walkable showroom where young and upcoming designers and small manufactures present their products. This brings not only a lot of creativity to the neighborhoods but also involves the inhabitants in what is usually a very elitist topic: design. This kind of urban participation is something I really miss in all the fairs and big events happening in Berlin. So this would be something I could really imagine in a Berlin of the future. After the jump you find our favorite impressions sorted out by districts, a little art museum adventure we had and the best pieces from the exhibition of our partners from the Belgium Design Initiative.
1. Ventura Lambrate
This neighborhood is the hotspot for young designers and design universities. We did not only enjoy some really great exhibitions but also had an amazing sun downer on a rooftop with a small pool.
The inner city district has a lot to offer for the more grown-up design lovers. We managed to see some really nice pieces and exhibitions over there. Really spectacular was the exhibition in the university of Milan where 24 architects, designers and artist were involved.
3. Zona Tortona
Packed at night this district has some big companies that have nothing to do with furniture design but also show their expertise. The hanging clock installation by Citizen was mesmerizing and one of my favorites installations of the whole week. A surreal space generated with dancing light reflected in 100.000 main plates.
4. Fondazione Prada
This recently opened museum/gallery for contemporary art founded by the Italian luxury fashion brand does not need to hide from any big art institutions. In diverse exhibition spaces the Fondazione Prada has some very well curated and intellectually challenging (and not only insta-worthy) exhibition to offer. The Wes Anderson inspired cafe is super nice and makes a great spot for an afternoon break.
5. Belgium is Design
The small country of Belgium has become not only synonymous for avant-garde fashion from Antwerp but also for refined product design. The exhibitions we saw at Palazzo Litta and at Salone Satellite showed a great variety in forms and materiality. We had the chance to speak to several designers and take a closer look at their products and we wished numerous times to bring home one or two of their master pieces.
The two exhibitions where featuring the newest upcoming designers, but also presenting their collaboration with established Belgian Design firms. This combination of boldness and expertise is a great way to enforce creative collaboration inside an industry.
I hope you enjoyed our little photographic diary. We hope to go back to Milan next year to make more discoveries and enjoy this unique city again. If you are craving for more design inspiration check out last year’s highlights.