Milan Design Week 2019

Milan receives approximately half million visitors every year to carry out its most important event, Milan Design Week. The world’s biggest annual design gathering that includes the furniture fair at Rho Fiera -Salone del Mobile-, and hundreds of events around the city in the venues of Ventura Centrale, Brera Design District, Tortona, 5 vie and Lambrate Design District, in conjunction known as Fuorisalone. This fair brings together people from all around the world including entrepreneurs, journalists, collectors, intellectuals, critics, designers and architects. They all have one thing in common: passion for beauty, innovation and creativity. The Salone is an EMOTION transmitting positivity, enthusiasm, initiative and cheerfulness. 

SALONE SATELITE 2019 | Photo by PJ Almera

SALONE DEL MOBILE 2019 (Clockwise from top left) : CARL HANSEN & SON, SALONE SATELITE FEATURED WORKS, FCOGZZI, ALIZARINA, VITRA, and MAGIS) | Photos by PJ Almera

As for last year’s fair, Rho Fiera launched Euroluce. We are talking about 24 halls, around 2,000 brands and 450,000 visitors throughout the week. Let’s imagine a stadium during a Grand Finale game, but replacing all their chaotic fans with design addicts. The International Lighting Exhibition has been held every two years since 1976 and presents the most innovative solutions in the field of light for interiors and exteriors. Euroluce is known for championing avant-garde products that are ECO-SUSTAINABLE and ENERGY SAVING. The wide variety of products includes not only the latest in devices but also new systems, technologies and software.

SALONE DEL MOBILE 2019 | EUROLUCE (L-R) : DAVID POMPA, UTU, BOMMA, ARTEMIDE, and SLAMP) | Photos by PJ Almera

Standing in the iconic Piazza del Duomo we could find The Up5 Armchair by Gaetano Pesce. A piece that has become a manifesto on the treatment of women in our patriarchal society and gender inequality. The chair, by B&B Italia, representing the body of a woman, and set up aside an ottoman attached with a chain. The colored installation conceived by Pesce was pierced by 400 arrows and flanked on each side by the heads of wild animals. 

THE UP5 ARMCHAIR, DUOMO, FUORISALONE 2019 | Photo by Matteo Piazza from Dezeen

For the Statale exhibition, which took place in Università degli Studi Milano, projects offered a wide and original perspective on interpreting “Human Spaces”. Over thirty installations were set, in different scales and dimensions, envisioning a future in which nature and the planet are protected, resources are saved and artificial intelligence is applied for the common good, promoting PERSONAL WELLBEING. Understanding the human being and its needs, putting them at the center of design. Some of the most popular installations were “Help the Planet, Help the Humans” by Maria Cristina Finucci into the main courtyard: two tons of plastic caps forming the word ‘help’ as a warning against the pervasive ocean pollution. “Human Proportions” by Massimo Losa Ghini, a pavilion giving spatial experience of accentuated perspective. “Passaggio in blu” by Parisotto + Formenton Architetti, a double entrance blue tunnel offering a peaceful space surrounded with the sound of the sea. “Regeneration”, a modular wall composed of large square rings which stacked and twisted created an enclosure in recycled plastic. Not to mention Estudio Campana with Apex brazil installation, which suggests a dialogue between the organic lines of nature and the curves of architecture, creating a harmonious symbiosis of landscape, time and space.

HELP THE PLANET, HELP THE HUMANS by Garbage Patch State for INTERNI HUMAN SPACES, FUORISALONE 2019. | Photo by PJ Almera

INTERNI HUMAN SPACES at Univeristà Statale, FUORISALONE 2019 (Clockwise from top left) : GIRAFFE IN LOVE by MARCANTONIO for QEEBO, SLEEPING PILES by ESTUDIO CAMPANA, MULTIPLY MILANO by WAUGH THISTLETON ARCHITECTS, THE PERFECT TIME by ICO MIGLIORE with MS LAB + WHIRLPOOL. L.U.C.E. by MARCO WILLIAMS FAGIOLI, and BRAZILIAN STONE SCAPE by VIVIAN COSER | Photo by PJ Almera

At Tortona, Sony launched an artificial intelligence-themed exhibition, taking a step into the future with “Affinity in Autonomy”, featuring a field of white spheres that moved as if they had their own personalities. By means of Aibo – robot dog- and other products, several zones were staged to explore autonomy in an abstract way.

Alongside Milan’s Central Station, Ventura Centrale was created on abandoned warehouses, causing sensation. Seventeen exhibitions took place, creating unique experiences, dynamic spaces and innovation at its best. Italian lighting company Aria presented Come to Light reinventing the “Trentacinque” linear model to compose a large wireframe cube occupying the entire section of the tunnel, tracing luminous colored landscapes to the rhythm of the music. The Americans at Rapt Studio looked forward to participatory architecture with “Tell Me More”, a social experiment that lead the visitor to enter in a tent where they had to respond — in writing — to a question left by the previous visitor, while leaving a question of their own to the following visitor. The responses were then hung in the following room, where sofas and a lounge area became a space to address and encounter the rest of this spontaneous, makeshift community. Sky-Frame, the Swiss frameless window company, introduced “A Piece of Sky”, an installation from Stephan Hürlemann taking visitors to the limits of the cosmos, an exploration of different dimensions, perspectives and spaces. A large glass prism becomes the simulator of luminous landscapes, inviting guests to lose and rediscover themselves in a single journey.

PIECE OF SKY MILAN, VENTURA CENTRALE, FUORISALONE 2019. | Photo from www.a-piece-of-sky.com

VENTURA CENTRALE, FUORISALONE 2019 (Clockwise from top left) : COME TO LIGHT by ARIA, BODIES IN MOTION by HUMANSCALE, PATTERNS AS TIME by DNP, UNFLUENCER. DESINNING THE DESIGNER by GEORG LENDORFF for FREITAG, | Photos by PJ Almera

Brera as well as 5 vie, were two districts where art, fashion and design created a unique atmosphere. Fascinating proposals, in the historic center of Milan, expressed creativity and willingness of exploration. Fancy places, narrow streets, and the enchantment of its neighbors make these districts the most popular of the city.

FUORISALONE 2019 (Clockwise from top left) : DIMORE STUDIO, VERSACE HOME, JPDEMEYER, NILUFAR GALLERY, CAPPELLINI, LOUIS VUITTON, TARKETT x NOTE DESIGN STUDIO, and TOM DIXON | Photos by PJ Almera


Everybody wants to attend to Salone del Mobile, to come across creative and innovative people, people that produce and consume, companies, trend-seekers, designers. Milan drew a record crowd with some 450,000 people in attendance last year. With over 2,000 exhibitors at the Furniture Fair, and around 1,200 satellite events scattered around the city, how can one possibly answer this seemingly harmless little question? Awesome? Epic? Intense? Overwhelming? A combination of sheer joy and intense moments of frustration?  

Written by: Mechu Giambastiani ACIIID Editor and Researcher

Edited by: Denisse Guzman ACIIID Copy Editor.

Mercedes Giambastiani is a 27-year old Argentine passionate for Design, Innovation and Cultural studies. Ever since she graduated as an Architect, she has been devoted on creating a more sustainable and generous world. Her curious spirit, took her to study Contemporary Interior Design, in Milan, where she discovered her great passion for Trend Forecasting and awakened her sensibility towards society. She's now working as an Interior Designer and Architect, contributes to several platforms globally sharing her vision on socio-cultural shifts worldwide.

ACIIID is your digital platform for trends, news, and inspirations on design, fashion, arts, & a whole lot more.

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