This was my first time at Milan design week and I have to say that I was very impressed by the amount of effort people made in preparation for the design week. I got there a few days earlier and saw that even small design shops were refurbishing. Here I am not talking about things like repainting the walls or tidying up. People were actually going in there with saws and heavy equipment to build structures especially for the design week. There were so many places to visit that even a month wouldn't be enough to see all. Here I would like to share with you my experiences during that week.
If you ever visit Milan and you are interested in crafty, artistic interior furnishings and accessories or looking for a cute place to have your afternoon tea, Spazio Rossana Orlandi is definitely your choice. All the items on exhibition or in the shops are selected by Rossana Orlandi. She also gives residencies to young designers. This year's resident designers were from London, James Russell and Hannah Plumb. Their company called JamesPlumb create one-off pieces from discarded antique lampshades, suitcases and so on.
James Russell and Hannah Plumb next to their work.
Nika Zupanc graduated with honors from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana in 2000. Since then she has received numerous awards and designed for companies such as Mooi. Her new collection Selfdiscipline is about tools we use to organize ourselves. You have oversized files that serve as wardrobes, a rug that looks like a page torn from a notepad, chairs like file systems. The idea is executed beautifully with a femine touch of ribbons and refined shapes.
Leaving materials out and seeing underneath the shell
This year's Milan design week both at Poltrona Frau and at Porro, designers have thought about allowing viewers to see into a shell. In the case of Poltrona Frau, they exhibited a sofa collection whereby the cover is made out of transparent plastic and with the fillers left out viewers can see the wire structure underneath. Porro's showroom went for a minimalistic approach The immaterial house whereby rooms are marked out by metal rods, leaving a clear view of the furniture inside.
One of the most exciting stands to visit was the Swedish *Love* Stories. Lukas Dahlén's oversized lightbulb melted and held up by wooden sticks really made me laugh. It is so clever and funny. Roberto Cárdenas exhibited a dressed up chair and oversized paper clip lampshade. His work is about combining art, design and poetry. Tengbom & Gemla' s chair collection reminded me of a mad artist let loose with his pen, only that the lines are not drawn but made out of metal.
Fashion and the Design Week
Even though the Design week is mainly about interior products, furnishings and accessories many products found crossovers into fashion and many fashion stores have collaborated with product designers. For the design week anteprima created a set of deers made out of their semi-transparent, glittering material. With a light glowing from within the deers, they showed off the properties of the material extremely well.
I could totally imagine Valerie Dekeyser's lampshades as hats turned inside out. The hair hanging down on one of her lampshades even gives the suggestion that someone is already wearing it. I love how she combines the soft decorative materials with the hard metalic structure of the lampshade.
Yukiko Terada's hat was exhibited as an art piece. I love how she cuts pieces out of the felted hat and reattaches them as embroidered butterflies.
This is a very practical and yet beautiful lamp from Moooi. A beautiful lamp and an electric fan built all in one. The bulb itself is capped with a cut glass jar that creates a shimmering effect.