Milan 2014 / Salone Internazionale del Mobile / designjunction – LWSY EDIT

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It’s time! We’re just a few days away. I’m not going to even begin to list all the locations I’d recommend you visit during this years Milan’s annual design week (click here for last years posts). Every year it seems there’s a new design district, exhibition, gallery, design collective or installation. Every year I spend 3 days running around like a headless chicken fuelling myself nightly with copious amounts of paste and red wine, completely visually overwhelmed to the point of total exhaustion. Dramatic? You go, you’ll pity those fashion week girls in heels. We know to take bags with wheels and trainers to get ourselves around this huge expanse of design space.

I’ve been visiting Milan since university (9/10 years then?!!!), and I’ve watched it evolve tremendously.  A few years ago it all clicked, and I really got organised before I landed. There is no hope if you land and then say, “right, where shall I go?” You’ll be doomed. So below, is just a brief outline of some of my favourite spaces, and some exhibitions I’m looking forward to…

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These past fews years, I’ve been travelling to all the fairs with two heads on, one to source, the other to be inspired. That’s quite the clash sometimes though. I’m swooning over totally unfeasible designs at Spazio Rossana Orlandi’s  (usually prototypes that you can never specify) or getting lost (and de-hydrated) in the bazillion design halls over at the Salone whilst i’m looking for feasible products to specify for jobs or features. So below, is just a brief outline of some of my favourite spaces, and some exhibitions I’m looking forward to… 

Rossana Orlandi has two locations this year – Spazio Rossana Orlandi, Via Matteo Bandello 14 & Mueo Bagatti Valsecchi, Via Gesu’ 4. Both 8-13th April. These locations are featuring works by Seletti, Bokja, Piet Hein Eek, Nika Zupanc for Sé, Nacho Carbonell, Studio Job and Marcel Wanders. It’s a fabulous place to explore and grab a bite to eat. Great work by emerging designers here.

I first heard about the American furniture brand BDDW at designjunction in London a few years back. Bringing over a handful of designers with furniture and ceramics by Lindsey Adelman, David Weeks and Natalie Page. Via Santa Marta 19/A.

Tokyo Designers Week at Padiglione Visconti, Via Tortona, 58 completely wowed me last year. You can zip through this in 30 minutes, and there’s lots to see in the surrounding area.

While you’re in the area head to Moooi. Always an incredible installation this years theme “Unexpected Welcome” is set to transform this 1700 m2 space into a typically Moooi space. Think vibrant colours and playful designs by the likes of Bertjan Pot, Studio Job, Joost van Bleiswijk and of course Marcel Wanders.

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If I just had a day though, I’d head to EDIT. Every year this team score the best designers and brands, a truly international showcase of leading global designers. This year the location has changed, just to the south of the Brera Design District in the Palazzo Morando on Via Sant’Andrea, 6. If you see Holy Hamburger you’re almost there. Brands such as Stellar Works (a relatively new brand and my absolute top 5 fav brands) Resident (Scott Bridgens used to be at Tom Dixon before moving home to NZ) who I went to see at EDIT during New York Design week are a Kiwi design brand making waves worldwide, also London based Baroncelli, Innermost and de Allegri Feldkamp to name a few…

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This year marks Tom Dixon’s debut at the Fair for Milan Design Week, where he’s showcasing  new furniture, lighting and accessories under the theme of the Club.

Tom says : ‘A misspent youth in the London warehouse club scene, and a more recent series of experimental interiors designed for the new breed of private clubs are the reasons why we have chosen to reinvigorate the fabled British Members Club into a futuristic social environment.’ Check out his collection in Hall 20, B06.

Go to the Hermes installation at Palazzo Serbelloni. Last year was incredible (pic below), definitely get here if you have a spare hour. This brand always present highly produced exhibitions so well worth the effort if you can.

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Wallpaper* Handmade can be found at Leclettico, Via San Gregorio 39. I visited Fiona Barratt’s furniture store on Pimlico Road this weekend and was blown away at her collection. Fiona will present a men’s valet in wood, bronze, brass and crocodile skin in collaboration with Alexander McQueen at the exhibition. 8-12 April. 

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Lee Broom is launching ‘On the Rock’, a new glassware collection using lead crystal and Italian Carrera marble at the Spazio Pontaccio dinner party. The dinner, ‘Supperscene’ is an installation covering the three huge windows overlooking Via Pontaccio, a dinner for us lucky guests. The table setting is going to remain as an installation after our dinner and will act as a pop up shop selling tableware that was specially commissioned for the event. Super cool idea. Spazio Pontaccio Showroom, Via Pontaccio, 18.

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