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.
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.
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.