Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan officially kicks off on April 17, with hundreds of off-site events, installations, press previews and cocktail parties happening all week. Here are five must-see events.
Tom Dixon‘s design extravaganza at Milan’s National Museum of Science and Technology bursts with innovative works that explore communication, food, culture, design and the digital realm. While U.K.’s Faye Toogood creates an environment for those seeking respite from the madness that is Salone, David Weeks Studio, Quinze + Milan and Areaware will build a massive robot. Brands including Blu Dot, Molo, SCP and Resident will all unveil their latest works. Museo Nationale della Scienza e della Tecnologia, via Olona 6B. April 17 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., April 18 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., April 19 to 21 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., April 22 10 a.m to 6 p.m.
In addition to launching a slew of new furnishings including works from Doshi Levien, Front and Alfredo Haberli, the Italian manufacturer fêtes its 60th birthday with a top-secret exhibit by Chinese architect Zhang Ke. Called “The Way of the Water Garden,” the installation pays tribute to the water dragon (which represents the closing and opening of a cycle that is completed every 60 years). Moroso, via Pontaccio 8/10. April 17 to 22 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
This design-architecture fest fills the ancient colonnades and courtyards at Universitá degli Studi di Milano with sprawling installations created by architect-manufacturer teams. This year, Alessandro and Francesco Mendini partners with Elegant Living, a wood flooring company; Odile Decq with Granitifiandre; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill with Carrara Marmotec; and Scholten & Baijings with BMW Mini. (Tip: It shows best at night, so hit this after sunset.) Universitá degli Studi di Milano, Aula Magna via Festa del Perdono 7, April 16 to 22, 9 a.m. to 12 a.m.
4. Japan Creative
This exhibit invites industrial designers Jasper Morrison, Peter Marigold, Paul Cocksedge, Inga Sempé, Nacho Carbonell and Yongkyu Yoo to explore Japanese technology and evaluate the evolution of country’s making skills, materials and industries through a series of works. The designers will partner with such Japanese companies as Mihoya Glass and and ceramics studio Koubei Gama. Museo Minguzzi, via Palermo 11, April 17 to 22, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Nendo, Francesco Rota and Front all reimagine KME’s copper and copper alloys, now branded as Tecu, for a unique display inside the manufacturer’s showroom. Nendo presents its Mist side tables, Front shows off a skirted lamp and Rota presents a line of trapezoidal trays that interlock to create one large platter. KME, via Francesco Sforza 2, April 17 to 22, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.