Best of Milan Design Week 2016

Moroso’s showroom was devoted to the playful mind of Ron Arad. Javier Mariscal pitched in with fun graphics.
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Arper’s brilliantly colourful booth at Salone, designed by Lievore Altherr Molina.
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Nendo’s 50 Manga Chairs at Chiostro Minore di San Simpliciano, where each chair expresses a graphic element lifted from Japanese comic books.
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Andy Warhol's Factory was the theme used by FontanaArte to show off its high-tech collection at its flagship store on Corso Monforte.
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Dutch designer Mark Sturkenboom’s light, called Ark, includes a barometer that can predict coming storms. Seen at Ventura Lambrate.
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In the 5 Vie district, dinnerware manufacturer Casalinghe di Tokyo exhibited their wares in the inspiring setting of Palazzo Litta, including this striking tapestry.
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Patricia Urquiola was on hand at the Cassina’s Via Durini showroom, there to discuss her latest collection.
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Berlin architect Diébédo Francis Kéré (who originated from Burkina Faso) installed a typical African village inside Palazzo Litta.
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Diesel Living and Scavolini joined forces to a create a kitchen that encourages social interaction with friends and family.
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Dolce&Gabanna detailed 100 Smeg refrigerators with the intricate patterns once used on Sicilian horse drawn carts.
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For all but one evening during Milan Design Week 2016 the weather was clear, sunny and with temperatures in the mid-20s.
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Elica – manufacturer of high-end kitchen hoods – adorned walls, floor and ceiling of their Salone booth with an array of selfie-style portraits.
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Where do design ideas come from? Everywhere. These brilliant sconces by Foscarini with Diesel were inspired by air vents.
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Designer Piero Lissoni knocks it out of the park again with this stunning all-glass credenza for Glas Italia.
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Danish brands Hay and Wrong.London impressed crowds with a series of colourful, half-submerged rooms accessed via ramps and stairs.
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One of the new furniture pieces to be launched by Hay, designed by Iskos Berlin of Copenhagen.
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Ilkka Suppanen's single-flower vases for be & liv, covered the floor at Palazzo Litta. The vases are laser cut in stainless steel and plated in 24k gold.
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Under the banner of SuperDesign, watchmaker Citizen suspended 100,000 watch parts in a dazzling blizzard-like display.
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At La Triennale di Milano, Naihan Li displayed architectural monuments, including OMA's CCTV Headquarters and Mecanoo's Birmingham Library, reimagined as wooden cabinets.
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Architect Sou Fujimoto created a pulsating, ethereal forest of light-only "trees" in a former theatre for clothing retailer COS.
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British designer Lee Broom’s exhibition of new lighting traveled the city in the back of a lorry.
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At the entrance to Salone Satellite, Ini Archibong presented In The Secret Garden – seating, pendants and tables with gradated colour highlights rendered in solid glass.
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Kartell turned its massive booth into a maze of smaller rooms, each celebrating such long-time collaborators as Philippe Starck and Piero Lissoni.
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At the new Carl Hansen & Søn showroom, master weaver Benny Larson was on hand to demonstrate the skills involved in making the company's trademark Wishbone chair.
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At Nilufar, the plates of Martin de Ceulaer’s Sundial chandelier are embedded with tiny LEDs that cast eccentric shadows.
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At Venture Lambrate, Studio Mieke Meijer crafted lights based on such archetypical building shapes as arcs, trusses and columns.
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Paint-maker Lechler hinted at a trend toward golden finishes, presenting features like this gold-framed greenhouse in Ventura Lambrate.
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The Boring Collection of office staples, by Space Encounters for Dutch manufacturer Lensvelt, allows people to take the foreground.
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Designer Antonio Citterio spotted at the B&B Italia showroom on Via Durini. The esteemed company is celebrating its 50th year with a series of exhibitions, films and a new book.
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Concept faucet for Axor by Swedish duo Front. The two brass dishes create a babbling waterfall every time you wash your hands.
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Herringbone, an ongoing experiment by Raw Edges explores the techniques used to develop a herringbone effect on wood by dipping slats into buckets of coloured ink.
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Naoto Fukasawa's sculpture made of Geoluxe’s Pyrolithic stone took centre stage inside a pebbled courtyard at via Savona 37.
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One of Milan bike maker Luca Agnelli’s retro-styled electric bikes with a 1950s fuel tank. For the traditional cyclist.
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The shape of Paul Cocksedge’s Compression sofa for Moooi resembles a squeezed block of foam, but is actually made from solid marble.
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Another vision from Moooi’s Via Savona showroom: Amami sofas that seem to float thanks to an ombré-tinted fringe.
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At Artek, the Kiki Collection, originally designed by Ilmari Tapiovaara in 1960, was looking in sharp in yellow-and-beige upholstery.
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Jerszy Seymour's conceptual stools and tables for Magis. The Italian company is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
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The Campana Brothers' Aquário Collection, which includes this see-through table, was a hit at the BD Barcelona booth.
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Mindcraft16 was a stunning display of Danish design, presented on a field of red platforms, some of which spun slowly in circles.
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Theatrical temporary exhibits are found at every turn, including Baccarat’s displays of glass-pedestal tables by Marcel Wanders.
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Dozens of ironic and iconic Gufram products, including Studio 65's Colonna column, float in a sea of blue foam. On display at 10 Corso Como.
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The open atrium of Nilufar was blanketed with rich rugs – and lit with flying-carpet inspired lighting.
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No Milan design week is complete without saying hello to the doyenne of design, Rossana Orlandi.
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Giopato & Coombes’ Bolle lighting comes as floor lamps, sconces and pendants.
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This cork-surface tub, by Koning Willem I College students Micha van der Palen and Sten van Helvoort, was part of the Dutch Slow Design show in Ventura Lambrate.
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Marleen Kaptein’s Fibre Placement Chair, spotted in Ventura Lambrate, is constructed from carbon-fibre tape.
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Lasvit transformed Palazzo Serbelloni with installations of massive glass chandeliers and pendants, like these slab-like Lollipop pendants by Boris Klimek.
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Ferruccio Laviani's ornate Kabuki table lamps show off Kartell’s signature material: plastic.
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One of the most inviting modular sofas seen at the fair this year, by Piero Lissoni of Living Divani, the maestro of soft seating.
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The Restaurant by Caesarstone and Tom Dixon consisted of four conceptual kitchens inspired by the elements - air, water, earth and fire. The menu was curated by Arabeschi di Latte.
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In Moooi’s Via Savona exhibit, Marcel Wanders' Space Frame chandeliers cast a soft glow thanks to with tiny cut-glass shades.
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A elegant wooden framework at the Nanimarquina booth showed off new rugs by Neri + Hu and the Bouroullec Brothers.
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At Spazio Rossana Orlandi, Patty Johnson displayed matching bowls in lacquered CNC'd wood and hammered iron.
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Milan Design Week has wrapped for another year and we’ve had a chance to download thousands of images snapped over the seven-day, city-wide event – the largest furniture fair in the world. Here are some of our favourite moments from Milan Design Week 2016.

For one week each April, Milan turns into one of the most vibrant and beautiful cities imaginable. Salone del Mobile, now in its 56th year, brings with it hundreds of furniture-related events that fill the city’s streets, palazzos and university campuses. Even restaurants and shops devote spaces to celebrate design.

One of the funnest aspects of the week-long event is spotting the designers who take part, from the famous to the newest and youngest. On hand at any given showroom or booth are the likes of Patricia Urquiola, the Bouroullec brothers, Antonio Citterio and Marcel Wanders. We found Citterio holding court at the B&BItalia / Maxalto showroom on via Durini. Wanders was happily talking to press at the sensational Moooi exhibition on via Savone 56 while seated in the new Charleston chair – a sofa that has been mounted on one end to make a very tall lounge seat. Only Moooi could come up with a product like that.

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At the other end of the career scale are the designers filling the various venues that make up Ventura Lambrate, where hundreds of new graduates present prototypes and small-batch products in spaces found throughout the Lambrate neighbourhood, in the city’s north end. One designer who caught our eye was Micha van der Palen, who we found standing next to her cork-surface bathtub – one of a dozen clever ideas that were part of the Dutch Slow Design exhibition at VL.

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There was also a special focus on kitchens this year, with the biannual showcase EuroCucina filling four halls of Salone del Mobile and serving up a mind-boggling display of some 100 kitchen systems and large appliance from international manufacturers.

We’ll be rolling out more new product launches and exhibition highlights in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, here are our 50+ bests from Milan Design Week.

Selections by David Dick-Agnew, Catherine Osborne and Nelda Rodger.

 

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