Milan Musings

By Shannon Brien

PR director for Industry Publicity, Emma McNiven, made a whirlwind tour of Salone del Mobile and has given .Cent a list of her favourite things the fashion capital had to offer. Emma has been fortunate in her job to fly over to Milan to work with clients who were holding events there and “get a handle on trends, materials and anything else interesting”.

Her first day was allocated to the fair and the other two were spent in the city where she covered a lot of ground, literally, walking around the fair then navigating from dinners to launches. Although it was primarily a working trip, she still had the chance to consume amazing “Ossobucco with risotto Milanese at the legendary Bagutta” before heading to Bar Basso for a nightcap. Unfortunately there wasn’t time for shopping in the fashion capital, despite finding out about two designer outlets in the heart of Milan.

Risottos aside, here are Emma’s “Milan musings”:

Another collaboration from the fashion brand that was as simple as it was stunning; Snarkitecture used thousand of ribbons suspended to create a cavern-like space, with contemplative benches and secret corners to create COS.

COSxSnarkitecture installation

An extensive retrospective of Nendo Works 2014-2015 for over 20 manufacturers in the last year. Jaw-dropping in its variety, reach and presentation.

Nendo Works 2014-2015

Spend an hour in the company of Giovanna Castiglioni absorbing the potted history of one of Italy’s most influential industrial designers, her father Fondazione Achille Castiglioni. Full of touching insight and family anecdotes, make this a must-do on your next trip to Milan.

Fondazione Achille Castiglioni
The super brand Moooi has developed a new collection of printed (yes, printed!), contact-quality carpets by using a Chromojet 800 printer which reproduces images at nine dots per mm² in an unlimited mix of colours.  We wanted them all. 

Eden Queen by Marcel Wanders for Moooi Carpets
Photography and Product Design students from ECAL (University of Art & Design Lausanne) presented a series of interactive installations exploring the ‘selfie’ phenomenon.  Hugely entertaining and full of clever, and wacky, ideas. Extra marks for slick, wallpaper-esque photography.

ECAL_TheSelfieProject_Kévin Gouriou & Calypso Mahieu

I loved the marriage of simplicity and structure in this small, but perfectly formed collection from this quiet Japanese brand, Yamakawa Rattan.

Yamakawa Rattan
Norwegian Presence, a beautifully edited and curated exhibition, showcasing the best in Norwegian design. Highlights for me were the Core lamp by Runa Klock, and Flip it! tables by Marte Frøystad.

Core lamp by Runa Klock_Norwegian PresenceCore Lamp by Runa Klock

MU presents: Kneeling, Five Years of We Make Carpets, where pasta to clothes pegs, drinking straws and even washing-up sponges are used to creat ingenious aesthetic patterns that are built up from the inside outwards. Marcia Nolte, Stijn van der Vleuten and Bob Waardenburg, the three people behind We Make Carpets, work on their knees to make these amazing carpets. 

Five years of We Make Carpets

MINDCRAFT15, curated by GamFratesi, is an exhibition showcasing some of Denmark’s most talented craftspeople and designers. The mirrored floor, at the beautiful Chiostro Minore de San Simpliciano, which had dazzled in the sunshine earlier in the week, lost none of its magic in the rain.

Point of View bench_Jakob Wagner_Mindcraft15

In the heart of the Brera district the former sports arena, La Pelota, takes on a new guise each design week; this year it was Austrian Design Pioneers. The Tilda stool by designer Nina Mair was my favourite thing there; simple, elegant and beautifully made in brass and leather.

Tilda stool_Nina Mair_AustrianDesignPioneers


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