Musings from Milan 2017 – Wrap Up Exclusive with Jack Milenkovic + Alicia Sciberras
Salone del Mobile 2017 has and always will be home to the high-end international design brands, but for us when we think about the week that was, it was the Satellite events happening all around the city of Milan that showcased the more exciting avant-garde installations that had us wanting more…
One of the most notable things about Milan Design Week (Salone del Mobile) is the privilege of being invited into private palazzos and the most notable were Leonardo Da Vinci’s vineyard for the AirBnB installation, Swarovski and Louis Vuitton. The grandness of all of these spaces, high ceilings and elaborate entrances were so spectacular it was hard not to be impressed by the products and installations.
Taking centre stage in Milan was Elle Decor’s visual conceptualisation of the home using virtual reality to draw the audience in and understand a new way to envision products and colours within the home. Designed by favourites Gamfratesi, the colours for the installations were stand-out and the sushi-train espresso bar was a welcome treat in between visits.
Every year, we peel back another layer to Milan and discover hidden gems. Turning to the more grungy and edgy installations, this year thanks to Ventura Projects, becomes part of the Fuorisalone also the area Ventura Centrale. Venetian designer Luca Nichetto teamed up with Swedish designer Ben Gorham for Italian brand Salviati to create an impactful hall full of handblown glass lighting objects. The launch evening was heaving and the opportunity to meet with these international designers was definitely a star-struck moment! Also here was the Lee Broom exhibit, celebrating its 10th birthday with Time Machine, a collection in total white, presented in a contemporary carousel, with an impressive pendulum clock in Carrara marble.
In terms of colour trends and what is upcoming for interiors there is no need to look any further than the work of Dimore Studios and Studio Pepe – each so different, but can be likened through their deliberate and impactful use of colour. Dimore created rooms that were emotionally heightened by custom soundscapes of classical music overlaid with monologues, that works back with their quirky aesthetic. Whereas Studio Pepe stuck to a more classic approach and created visually stunning rooms adding layers of texture with plenty of soft furnishings and floral highlights.
The success of Milan Salone del Mobile 2017 lies largely in the willingness of brands and organisers to engage with visitors through a variety of installations – more and more the production of installations is being amped up with more visitor interaction. A great example of this is Tom Dixon’s Cinema concept, and last year on the opposite side of the spectrum was Airbnb presents ‘Makers and Bakers’ with Ambra Medda at Ristorante Marta, where they hosted the design community “During the madness of Milan, the opportunity to take a moment to sit, find some calm, and nourish our bodies with food that has been lovingly prepared is rare and magical. Makers + Bakers not only cultivated this sense of magic but allowed me to chat with the designers (while having breakfast with their parents!), transforming what can often feel like a journalist’s duty to an authentic interaction. Thanks for the coffee, the cakes and the conversation.” LinYee Yuan, Core 77
In terms of the most impressive production of an installation – this has to go to Hermes, taking up the venue where Hay installed last year, the French luxury brand built an entire bricked building that was rendered white. Paving the floor in the most impactful terracotta that made their products pop.
Milan Design Week 2017 was an outstanding success, a great hit of the best international design all in one city – what more could you ask for?!
See you next year! Alicia and Jack xx