Time flies and I can't believe it''s one year since my last visit to Milano Design Week. You know I love traveling, but this yearly trip gets me excited as a kid in Disneyland... so, what's it all about? Since 1961 the Salone Del Mobile [Furniture Fair] has shown just the best of Furniture Design, and has attracted attention from visitors and exhibitors from round the globe. At the same time Milano as a city, offers Fuorisalone [Outside the Fair], this is where city design hubs such as Brera, Tortona, Lambrate and others, try to outdo each other supporting the excitement of the main Salone and making this week one of the most exciting times to visit this celebrated Capital of Design & Fashion. For live updates follow my Facebook page.
SALONE DEL MOBILE is the largest international furniture fair in the world, born as a display of Italian furniture in the early 60's, it now includes international designers and makers creating arguably the best International Furniture & Design Fair in the world. In 2017 more than 2K exhibitors attracted 350K visitors in 6 days; we are talking about 200,000 m2 of quality furnishing and decor items. This year, alternating every second year with Lighting, a large portion of the Salone is dedicated to Kitchens. Am I excited?? YOU BET, as I LOVE KITCHENS! Walking Kms every day in and out the pavilions, as well as hitting the streets, exposes me to stunning design, new ideas, quality furniture and vanguard techniques. To me this is the Greatest Show In The World.
BRERA - As central as it gets, this quarter shows the best shops in both Fashion and Design. Walking these charming streets will excite you with the elegance of its buildings and the quality of the shops along any of the narrow streets. Design is displayed here as art would be, and partly looking at the items on display, partly enjoying the amazing stores, by days-end you'll feel that sadly you haven't seen it all. When here start with a coffee and a pastry from Teatro La Scala Café and don't miss one of my favourite showrooms ever: Boffi Kitchens & Bathrooms in via Solferino.
TORTONA is the name of just one street, but the design hub includes the streets around it which are filled with the work of emerging designers and exciting conceptual design. Displaying newly renovated spaces every year, the many exciting spaces of this once industrial area are chosen by affirmed brands and will keep you walking for hours... before you know it, it will be time for a spritz along the Navigli, a short walking distance from the area. In Milano, Happy Hour may cost you about 10 Euros, but besides one drink of your choice, (for me its always an Aperol Spritz) it will allow you to fill a plate from the abundant buffet which usually includes a large choice of antipasto, pastas and pizzas: be warned, as it's so easy to eat too much!
The success of their curated events brought the spotlight last year to the old industrial warehouses of Lambrate, showcasing the work of design students, emerging designers and conceptual design. As it happens, the great success of the 2017 events there has caused a sharp rise in rental prices, which is a shame and a bit greedy, as they all benefited from the success and interest in the area. This has encouraged Ventura Project to explore other venues around the city: not to be missed this year are the exhibits in the underground warehouses of Stazione Centrale, and I'm looking forward to checking them out! A short walk away, allows you to admire the multi awarded green architectures of Bosco Verticale [Vertical Forest, and one of my highlights of last year, as I knew this building well, and I was so excited to see it first hand] and Piazza Gae Aulenti. Keep walking into Corso Como for a well deserve rest, drink and a meal.
Many more areas are preparing for the Milano Design Week and generously display any kinds of design you may wish for. If coming to Milan for Design week yourself, be open minded and look around, up and down wherever you go, as this week especially, Milano offers Design everywhere you look. And be prepared for a 'visual overload': I came home last year with thousands of photographs of furniture, decor and lighting trends and designs, which I have used in workshops and presentations here in Australia. And thousands more I'll take this year to bring back and use to help me explain the new styles, materials and techniques I've seen, especially those which explore new directions. If you're going to be here, we may see each other, so please stop and say Hello. Or follow my trip from home with daily updates on Facebook.
James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has three decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to properties through effective design & styling. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for more free information.