Milan Design Week is back. Here are 7 stops you can’t miss

The long-delayed festival gets super-sized

His first Salone del Mobile is predictably quieter than past Milan Design Weeks. Yet Stefano Boeri’s tightly curated festival has no less energy, pulling from a full 18 months of design innovation. The main show, at the fairground in Rho, outside the city, is renamed Supersalone this year: a veritable supermarket elegantly interspaced with untreated-wood display “walls” and full-height trees (in another nod to sustainability, the entire display will be recycled).

Molteni&C at Supersalone

Photography: Molteni&C

What first got our hearts racing in the main hall was Molteni&C’s presentation by Ron Gilad, showcasing a single reissue from the Gio Ponti archives: his Round D.154.5 chair, designed in 1954 for Alitalia lounges. Gilad transformed Molteni’s long allocated space into an immersive airplane cabin (swish midcentury-style, not Ryanair), complete with overhead announcements. The chair respects the original soap-bar shape at every angle but gets new jewel-toned upholstery.
Milan Fairgrounds, Rho, Porta Est, Porta Sud and Porta Ovest entrance gates

The Lost Graduation Show at Supersalone

Photography: Yunosuke Ishibashi

Also in the main is The Lost Graduation, exhibiting work from 48 design students from schools in 22 nations. The young designers ask and answer the more pressing questions of their generation – how to truly disrupt, reduce waste, design for longevity, for health. Even the concrete blocks brought in as display will be dumped back into the production cycle.
Milan Fairgrounds, Rho, Porta Est, Porta Sud and Porta Ovest entrance gates

New lighting effects at Luceplan

Photography: Luceplan

Back in town on Corso Monforte, Luceplan filled its flagship with experimental designs by Mandalaki Studio, Marco Spatti and Archirivolto Design, as well as their new outdoor lamp collections, shown in person for the first time. Meneghello Paolelli’s Doi cable system incorporates a magnet that gently pushes the direction of the spotlight around a disc. Spatti’s Levante chandelier is composed of a translucent biological material.
Corso Monforte 7, luceplan.com

Hem Gallery & Garden

Photography: Hem

The new collection by the always instantly marketable Swedish brand Hem gets prime position in a Brera gallery and garden. They give the floor to Sabine Marcelis’ Boa poufs and a new Puffy Lounge by Faye Toogood, styled alongside some big-hitters from Hem’s existing offering. Toogood also gets in a new line of Stump tables, slated for production later this autumn.
Corso Garibaldi 117, hem.com

Past and Future at Dimoregallery

Photography: Silvia Rivoltella

Dimorestudio designers Emiliano Salci and Britt Moran transform their eponymous gallery into a museum exhibiting 1930s desks, lamps, sofas and embroidered wallpaper by stalwarts of Italian Rationalism like Piero Bottoni and Portaluppi. Titled, unsurprisingly, Past, it’s complemented by a second exhibit called Future, celebrating the architect and industrial designer Claudio Salocchi. It goes back three decades to look forward at Salocchi’s avant-garde geometric lamps and deep modular sofas.
Via Solferino 11, dimoregallery.com

‘Cheerfully Optimistic About the Future’ at ICA Milano

Photography: Marco Guastalla

London-based designer Michael Anastassiades is Cheerfully Optimistic About the Future, according to his solo exhibition at the elegantly peeling Fondazione ICA, launching this week. The works – mostly his bare-bones lighting – are handmade and irregular, from materials like bamboo, linen, raw cables and functional neon-like glass cylinders. Anastassiades has also tried his hand at a sofa design for Karakter, exhibited this week at the Cassina showroom on Via Durini 16.
Via Orobia 26, icamilano.it

A beach in the baroque 

Photography: Sistemamanifesto

And for the requisite midday pitstop, Portuguese architect Manuel Aires Mateus has been brought in to take over the courtyard of Palazzo Litta. Eager to amp up the conviviality of the cloister – and fantasising about a visit to Les Bains Douches in Paris years ago – he brought in a vintage ice cream cart and designed a red and white striped beach cabana that appears to float on the sand-coloured surface. With ample space to lounge with refreshments, the courtyard serves as the perfect forum for spontaneous post-pandemic conversation.
Corso Magenta 24, airesmateus.com

Dante’s ‘noble castle’ comes to life in Ravenna

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