Design Week Wrap Up @ Salone Milan 2014

Design Week Wrap Up @ Salone Milan 2014

rho fairgrounds

From the 8th April to the 13th April, Milan was again the “Capital of Design”.

Design pilgrims again flocked to Milan ahead of the Salone del Mobile – the world’s most important design fair and the unofficial start of the design season, and the chance to catch up with global design trends, and get inspired by seeing what’s fresh, eye-catching, and cutting edge

What happens in the Milan Design Week goes beyond the presentation of new products that everybody can easily find online. Here at Design Week, the international brands expressed their energy for the world to see

The Salone del Mobile is the benchmark in the home-furnishing sector and an unique advertisement instrument for the Italian furniture industry.

Salone del Mobile Posters 1930’s


Then in 1961, a small coalition of furniture manufacturers launched the Salone del Mobile with the aim of promoting the exportation of Italian furniture.

This quickly proved itself to be an excellent marketing vehicle for a highly fragmented industry that would otherwise have lacked the means to express its overall potential.

Salone del Mobile Posters 1961 to 2013



Since 1961, this trade show has evolved into what it is today – a massive, joyous celebration of international design, innovation, and creativity that dwarfs any other in comparison, and it only continues to grow.

Salone del Mobile is the world’s greatest design fair – at least in the number of exhibitors, attendees and land mass covered.


milan design week

Milan Design Week started in 1990 when Interni Magazine, Italy expanded the reach of the Salone to outside the old Trade Fairgrounds.

It has now crossed the boundaries of a conventional trade fair, from the point of view of cultural interest and experimentation, to become a festive event, a design project, invading the whole city and respective brands

From the exhibit halls on the fair grounds in Rho, to the hundreds of events scattered all around the cosmopolitan city of Milano, the Salone is truly a visceral experience that cannot adequately be described in words alone.

The problem of course is that Milan Design Week hosts so many events, the majority of which not only the world could do without, but which would do the world more good had they never been conceived, and presents so much uninspired products and installations, that finding those gems is a painful task.

This year’s Milan Furniture Fair, and the dozens of design exhibitions that took place around it, didn’t seem to have quite the energy or electricity of some past years, it’s no surprise: the general mood was more cautious and subdued, thanks to Europe’s less-than-rosy economic picture, and many companies favored variations on existing products over new ones.

The weather during 2014’s Salone del Mobile was glorious and as such the city exuded a genuine feeling of excitement and a warming glow. Milan Design Week again burned bright and hot – quite the different to last year’s rainy, muted atmosphere.

“Over the past few years the mood at the fair has been quite subdued and there haven’t been that many notable launches,” says Talib Choudhry, editor-at-large for Elle Décor UK. “But there seems to be renewed confidence in the global economy. This year the pace is more upbeat, frenetic and it’s all about the sell.”

salone milan 2014 logo

The 53rd edition of the Salone del Mobile notched up a total of 357.212 visitors – up 13 % on the 2013 edition.

This was an even more International Salone than in previous years, with foreign buyers coming to the Milan Fair from over 160 countries.

More than 1,400 exhibitors from Italy and around the world showcased their products at the Rho Fairgrounds, with a further 1,000 odd exhibitors showing out the Fair grounds within the city of Milan

According to Cosmit, the organization that runs the Salone, non-Italian exhibitors now account for 30 percent of the fair’s total.


fair statistics fair statistics 2


The furniture business worldwide is thriving: According to a report by Csil, Italy’s organization for light industry, the furniture market doubled in the 10 years between 2003 and 2013, with sales reaching $436 billion.

Csil said in its latest report, presented during the fair, that much of the growth has come from emerging markets, China in particular, which now represent 47 percent of consumers of interior design.  Over the past decade, demand from countries including Brazil, India, Russia and Turkey has grown, while markets such as the U.S., Germany and Japan have contracted.

claudio luti 2

Claudio Luti, president of the Salone del Mobile

“Our goal was to make this the best Salone del Mobile in the world and the results have far exceeded our expectations,” Claudio Luti, president of the Salone del Mobile said.

“Buyers, journalists and designers have seen at first hand just how superlative and creative our production chain is, recognising the value of Made in Italy manufacturing and the global importance of the Salone.”

salone milan 2014 conference

Significant recognition of the sector’s importance came from Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, when he visited the fair on Friday 11th April, acknowledging that the furniture sector was a strategic strand in Italy’s real economy, a sign there was still life in Italy, a country that was overcoming the credit crisis thanks to its extraordinary manufacturing ethos and the excellent supply chain underpinning products and design research.

“This edition of the Salone del Mobile has confirmed the crucial role of exports for the sector” Roberto Snaidero, president of Federlegno Arredo said. “Almost half our manufacturing sales over the last year have been to other countries, as the strong presence of foreign visitors shows only too clearly.”

cosmit launch party


This Salone edition was a something of a rehearsal for Expo 2015 Milan

“I believe that Salone 2014, was a tremendous event that showed the world just what Milan and Italy are capable of achieving. We are unfazed by the challenge ahead for Expo 2015 and prepared a great 2014 Salone that got the Universal Exposition ball rolling.”  … Claudio Luti concluded.

This year’s Salone del Mobile has indeed recorded a 10% increase in the number of paying visitors compared to last year. In this edition the visitors of the Salone ( 357,000 ) were equalled by those of the Fuorisalone  ( 360,000 ).

This means that the two events, far from hindering and cannibalizing each other, are mutually feeding off one another, in an exciting synergy play that shows that when there are no constraints, public and private sides can effectively work together.

The Italy of the Salone is a country that has the faculties to overcome the crisis. However, they tried their best to ruin it all at the end of the Salone when from 9am Sat 12th April until 9pm  Sun 13th April,  all trains went on strike.  A well-deserved epithet for Milan, because they have guaranteed employment, and these actions put a spanner in the works of those who trying to preserve or create jobs.

Hope they get this union disruption under control when the Expo 2015 is on  !!!!


Rho Fairgrounds – Salone del Mobile


The Salone del Mobile now takes place in Fiera Rho Milano, on the outskirts of the city, a vast organized space, purpose built to accommodate Milan’s need for large exhibitions. It is highly accessible because of its strong link to the city, but it is a separate entity developed outside Milan’s urban area.

The building ( designed by Massimiliano Fuksas) is a masterpiece of modern architecture, holding 20 pavilions and spreading across an area of 405,000 sq mtrs, featuring mostly indoor and some outdoor exhibition space as well as a 1km pedestrian walkway

If you’re in the furniture industry, you will most likely spend most of your time in Rho Fiera. The products and services that are exhibited are directly related to the industry ( manufactures, trade magazines and publications, professional organizations, etc ).

salone milan 2014 entry gates


salone milan 2014 map

Bigger and more ambitious each year, the event can be an overwhelming experience — the 2014 edition featured 1,737 exhibitors throughout an exhibition area of 204,800 square meters.

The atmosphere at the fairgrounds felt optimistic, and booths were crowded with buyers, architects, and journalists from around the world. Still, the economic crisis influenced designers, who, in many cases presented more simple, artisanal pieces


The exhibition Where do the architects live ? was set up in the middle of the Salone to share the experience of visiting several private houses of architecture stars like Bellini, Shigeru Ban, Fuksas, Zaha Hadid and others.

At the Salone Satellite, a number of craftsmanship studios, equally committed to innovation, returned this year ( masters of textiles / ceramics / leather/ 3d printing ) to reveal through live demonstrations, what lies behind the objects they make, bringing the visitor into direct contact the makers.

This initiative responded to the ever growing demand from young designers to integrate the artisanal tradition with the new possibilities offered by modern design and industrial production

After a rigorous selection by an illustrious Selection Committee, Salone Satellite presented approx 650 young designers


Fuori Salone = External Salone – Outside the Fair


With the developing phenomenon of events and displays off-fair around Milan city, year after year, it started to have a name on its own: “Fuorisalone” = out of the fair

That name has become the symbol and the proper name for all those (thousands) of events that get the city alive with people and design. Milan now literally sparkles with events, everywhere.

The proliferation of events and locations is therefore inversely proportional to the creative productivity … Certainly there were many events that could have been avoided … But you know, you can not know this until they are seen ! It is invariably the case with any design show that one must separate the wheat from the chaff. It is also true that there will be more ‘chaff’ than ‘wheat’.

In the world’s prime design get-together there is much to see; consequently an element of ruthlessness is prerequisite to finding those good designs

The Salone del Mobile is a powerful tool within a concentrated, industry-oriented setting, whereas Fuorisalone is a more youthful-feeling event that features a spontaneous set of creative ideas that help enhance the wonders of the city. The first represents an isolated focal point on the commercial side of design, while the other is more oriented to the people, culture, and urban design of the city.

It has almost become a competitor to the Salone itself, as many brands realize that it is very rewarding organizing the presentation of their latest creation in a dedicated out-of-the-ordinary space, during this week, more than paying a booth into the fair. When halls are filled with products for trade fairs, they instill dread in most rational minds, but as a means of exhibiting the most products one can possibly squeeze into the aircraft hanger equivalent, perhaps it’s the most efficient mechanism around. Or perhaps not.

Throughout the long history of official event of the fair in Milan ( Salone ) have sprung various alternative initiatives such as Zona Tortona and Ventura Lambrate and activities that some brands participating in the official event official do in their showrooms in the city. This is because they will have more control, more echo on the media, you’ll directly reach your public, you will remain in your client’s heart much more that in the middle of the thousands of booths inside the fair.

The events of Fuorisalone represent “the promotion of design as event, performance, and as installation of the urban texture.”

The events spread through the city like an octopus with tentacles, generating points of interest all around Milan.

Outside the Fairground, the exhibition is scattered amongst sites and shops all over town with locals and visitors alike wandering the streets to enjoy the sunshine, prosecco and design.

This fertilization through the whole city allows the visitor a rare opportunity to see inside the hidden gems of Milan’s buildings. The city can sometimes seem closed and austere, so the chance to see some of the beauty hidden behind the walls and inside the gates is not to be missed!

The FuoriSalone is an exhibition that enhances city design and dynamics, and promotes Milan to perform at it’s highest level of creative quality.


Unofficial Report is an experimental platform on a mission to capture places, people and creativity of prominent events around the world.

In it’s 4th edition Unofficial Report aimed to capture the essence of the week through words by using a generative design process.

Direct from the streets to the exhibition, mixing digital with analogical, it created an ever evolving real-time interaction between spectator and creator.

A collaborative installation that grew over the days, re-thinking the way of seeing this very events and giving importance to the words, thoughts and instinct of the people.



The Expanding FuoriSalone Design Districts

Milan Design Week has spread throughout the whole of Milan city.

Since the first years’ shy diffusion to via Tortona, the exhibit has now pervaded Brera, Porta Venezia, via Santa Marta, the wonderful pavilions of Bramante, the Medieval Rotonda della Besana, the fabulous Fabbrica del vapore, the new and futuristic Manhattan of Milan, Porta Nuova.

The whole city of Milan, that has become, over last week, the free zone of creativity of the whole world, unfolded, opened up, showed it was a great happenning for all the world.

Never before, has a huge show left the exhibition fair grounds center to spontaneously spread over the whole city, livening up districts and diluting mobs, without taking away people from the traditional Salone del mobile, from which everything was born

In the course of a few years, the Milan Design Week contaminated the whole city, giving birth to a model that we can define today as scattered territorial marketing.

salone milan 2014 (4)

This year’s Salone happenings are woven into the entire fabric of the city, from the apartments of Brera to the historic buildings of the city’s newly minted 5vie art and design district in central Milan, to the post-industrial warehouses that make up Ventura Lambrate – not to mention the Rho fairgrounds themselves.

Strolling through the streets, visiting the special exhibitions at the showrooms, admiring the creative installations and not to forget the stunning Milanese architecture, whilst absorbing the unique ambiance, savouring the Italianità and enjoying an Italian gelato

With so much to see, navigating it all can be tough. In the words of iconic British industrial designer Sir Kenneth Grange , the Fiera and the event more broadly represents the worst and the best of design: …  ” there is great stuff there but you have to scrum to find it.”

salone milan 2014 (2)



City Centre

duomo 2

Compared with knockout Italian cities like Florence and Venice, Milan–considered the “handsome” sister–is gray and polluted and chock-full of Fascist architecture.

But, as happens with siblings, the one without the looks usually has the most personality and style. Just as a perfectly tailored designer dress can change the woman who wears it, Milan’s star couturiers and luxury boutiques have transformed the city into Italy’s chicest, most modern metropolis, one brimming with attitude and sophistication

The historic center of Milan is a diamond in the rough—while some areas of the buzzing city are overlooked, the Centro Storico is beautifully maintained, and has an easy air of class and glamour to it.

The “historic city” has its borders along the center of Milan. It’s central element is the Duomo cathedral and Square. It represents the old city with traditional elements and attractions.

The emblem of Milan and a triumph of the Lombard Gothic style, the Duomo is dedicated to Saint Mary Nascent.


The Palazzo Reale, or Royal Palace, was home to the families who governed Milan, such as the Visconti and the Sforza, from the 12th Century and then to Spanish and Austrian rulers in later centuries.

It now houses temporary art exhibitions and the Museo del Duomo, which displays architectural elements, statues, antique stained glass windows and precious sacred furnishings from the cathedral.

The Museum of the Twentieth Century is housed in the Palazzo dell’ Arengario and displays approximately four hundred of the nearly four thousand Italian 20th-century works of art belonging to the Civiche Raccolte d’Arte milanesi.

During the week of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile entrance to all the municipal museums in Milan was free

For Milan, Via Durini, at the back of the Duomo, is becoming to furniture what Montenapoleone is to fashion.

However for the 2014 edition of the Salone, the furniture showrooms in Via Durini underwhelmed in comparison to both the Fair Ground presentations and the exhibitions around the design districts



The Triennale Museum

triennale di milano 2

La Triennale di Milano is a design museum and events venue in Milan located inside the Palace of Art building, part of Parco Sempione and the park grounds adjacent to Castello Sforzesco.

It hosts exhibitions and events which highlight contemporary Italian design, urban planning, architecture, music and media arts emphasising the relationship between Art and Industry.

As professionals, design is a subject of interest to architects and interior designers. So the Triennale Design Museum is an unmissable part of the itinerary at the Milan Fair.


One theme explored at the Triennale’s Design Week was the impact of the global economic slowdown on creativity and design, covering a century of Italian design between autarky, austerity and self-production.

Interestingly, creators everywhere are of the opinion that the restrictions of the current economic climate have only served to strengthen imagination and creativity.

This exhibition brought into focus this dialogue between past and present, reflecting the concerns of the Italian design industry today.

Product design, furniture and fashion were all part of this exciting and unique display.


University District ( Guastalia)

interni feeding the city (2)

Moving just out of the City center, the University of Milan district, is increasingly a Fuorisalone hotspot thanks to installations in the main building courtyard.

The new Interni exhibition – set out to introduce and develop the themes of Expo Milan 2015, which opens in May 2015

As usual Interni has gathered, in the magnificent setting of the University degli Studi of Milan, the original contributions of internationally acclaimed designers and companies of reference in the field of innovation and research, transforming the exhibition site into a creative and intellectual workshop in the open air, in which to develop proposald for the city of  the future, with a particular focus on the subject matter of the Expo


Paola Lenti again presented her new collections at the Franciscan renaissance cloisters – Chiostri dell’Umanitaria. ( Cloisters of the Humane Society )

The Umanitaria is in the center of Milan, behind the Palace of Justice, and is an ngoing Franciscan convent, divided into four Renaissance cloisters and a former refectory the “Hall of Frescoes”.

The Chiostri dell Umanitaria is a unique coup d’oeil, encased by secret gardens and fruit trees; a surrounding where once again interior and exterior were merged loosing their natural boundaries.

Renowned design and furniture company, Knoll presented a fresh display of classic and new residential designs at its Gaustalia ( Downtown )  Milan permanent showroom for the Salone 2014.

For 75 years Knoll has remained true to the Bauhaus design philosophy that modern furniture should complement architectural space, not compete with it.

To this end, the company’s Salone exhibition presents ideas and themes that reflect its rich design heritage of furniture, textiles and accessories with work grounded in clarity of form and honesty in materials.

Knoll ’s presentation includes innovative new collaborations with renowned architect, David Adjaye and celebrated London-based designers, Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby, alongside a selection of recently updated classics by legendary designers, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Florence Knoll, Eero Saarinen, Tobia Scarpa and Marcel Breuer.

Knoll’s design classics have always been a pivotal part of the brand’s success. And since the company remains committed to high quality and timeless, yet innovative design it makes sense to put a fresh spin on some of Knoll’s most revered pieces.

The result was a display that pays homage to Knoll’s illustrious heritage, while also illustrating its creative vision.


Brera Design District

brera design district

This year the Brera Design District,  centrally located part of Milan, celebrated its 5th edition

Not far from the City Centre, the Brera district is perfect for walking and sightseeing. It has the highest density of showrooms, galleries, spaces dedicated to design in terms of Art and Culture

brera design district map

Brera is a true city within a city

It covers a path from Via Fiori Chiari, goes through Via Solferino and Via San Marco and comes back from Corso Garibaldi.

In 2013 , more than 130,000 people have passed through Brera for the FuoriSalone. In 2014 around 120 companies held events and launches for the Salone.

This year’s theme, explains Paolo Casati, organizer and founder of the Brera Design District, “Be District: creating connections, communicating innovation” is an itinerary with many initiatives related to knowledge and learning, with the aim of adopting a systematic approach in view of the upcoming Milan Expo 2015.


Brera Accademia Arts

The famous Academy of Fine Arts of Brera is one of the most evocative and symbolic place to visit.

Walking through the botanical garden you are surrounded by classical music, the scent of herbs and a perfect combination between nature and design.

Another place exceptionally open for the occasion is Palazzo Cusani: the environment is enlivened by installations playing with full and empty spaces, but the attention of visitors is all for an odd mirror-covered cube in the middle of the garden, where Oikos presented recetly released Google Glasses to the visitors

brera botanical gardens

Since 1965 the showroom on Corso Venezia has displayed the De Padova collection of furniture and complements for the home and office: 2000 square meters of space, which George Nelson called “the world’s most beautiful store”

Depadova‘s latest product developments and the company’s idea of living were presented at Depadova’s permanent Milan showroom, on Corso Venezia. under a veritable deluge of drops of padded fabric.

The installation “Textile Rain” created by Jo Ann Tan draws its inspiration from the common feature shared by the three new products presented by De Padova  :  Upholstery


Rossana Orlandi curated the ‘UNTOLD’ exhibition, commissioned by French fashion house Vionnet, inside the historic-museum Bagatti Valsecchi Museo

The exhibition featured a wide range of contemporary design works by international artists, tucked into the home’s existing Renaissance-era furnishings.

The exhibition was an incredible and emotional path between glorious past and contemporary design. The language of contemporary artists and designers involved is inserted gently into historical context.

The concept for the exhibition – is the idea that traditional knowledge and new techniques are not in conflict, but rather determine novelty and progress. And to understand that , to furnish a good home , we must first of all love objects and their history

A unique opportunity to see not only the works of many contemporary artists doc but also one of the finest historic houses in Milan. .


5Vie Design District ( = 5 Ways )

5vie 04

5vie map

5 Vie is the oldest and most historic area of Milan.

5 Vie art + design aims to develop and gather three fundamental concepts:   History – Culture – Innovation

5VIE was named in memory of the first complex street intersection in Imperial Milan, ART as symbol of the cultural heritage, DESIGN as drive to innovation and the future.

Through art and design as international language, globally understood, the project  5VIE wants to raise public’s awareness on  creative research and innovation within an  historical context.

5 VIE was turned into a new district with very high artistic and cultural value projected towards design and innovation and, at the same time, promoting cultural wealth in the area, as well as the tradition and high value of Milanese craft.

5 vie places

Walking in this area, is like walking through the centuries and the history of Milan, surrounded by Roman remains, by museums, churches and historical buildings from Milan’s past.

A route is to unfold between the underway stops of Sant’Ambrogio and Cordusio which will stand apart from others by the importance of the cultural content as well as the excellence of national and international design.

There will be a double circuit, on one side showrooms, shops and businesses exhibiting design latest trends, on the other side craft shops and a cultural journey to the discovery of an unusual Milan including museums, churches and archaeological sites.

Monumento a San Carlo Borromeo in Piazza Federico Borromeo

The 5 Vie project presented around 35 exhibitions including design stores, showrooms, art galleries, collective exhibitions, street performances and special projects.

Some of the most interesting project presentations included :   5 VIE works with Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte, Gnambox – Food design for Via Spadari, 5 VIE works with Associazione Città Nascosta Milano [the hidden city of Milan association] and ADSI Associazione Dimore Storiche Italiane [association of historical Italian homes]


Participants in the 5 VIE project included – // Museo della Scienza e della Tecnica / Pinacoteca Ambrosiana / Civico Museo Archeologico di Milano / Civico Studio Museo Francesco Messina / Fondazione Franco Albini / Fondazione Portaluppi / SIAM, Società di Incoraggiamento Arti e Mestieri / Accademia della Scala / Green Island / Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte / Associazione Spadari Via del Gusto / Associazione San Maurilio Santa Marta / Collezione Panza di Biumo / Archivio Caccia Dominioni / Associazione Gian Giacomo Mora / Associazione Dimore Storiche Italiane / Associazione Città nascosta Milano

Piazza Affari con Monumento di Maurizio Cattelan

The Spazzio Rossana Orlandi is far from the “action” in Milan, making it a true destination in the Fuori Salone agenda

Not only will you find incredible design proposals, there is also food , drink and a shop with pieces and limited editions that you probably will not easily come across again


Rossana Orlandi is very important in the Milan’s Design Week – she has been called a gallerist, curator , trend-setter, talent -hunter , whatever it is , this woman is an icon in Milan and its space within these activities never disappoints..

Elsewhere a retrospective of one of Italy’s great design movements, Memphis group started by Ettore Sottsass in the ’80s, drew visitors to Corso Magenta



Zona Tortona

zona tortona (1)

The first area to open up to tornado that is FouriSalone event was the “Zona Tortona“, an area behind the Porta Genova Station (Metro stop: Porta Genova on line 2).

Despite the emergence of new design district competitors, Zona Tortona remained the most trendy zone during that week.

zona tortona (2)


Superstudio was born in Tortona in 1983, a revolutionary idea at the beginnings, that in a really short time has been able to move the whole district’s identity towards design, fashion and creativity.

At the SuperstudioPiù, ( now in its 6th edition ) the Temporary Design Museum area was dominated by the theme “The world is here – The future is now”.

Unfortunately the SuperStudio Temporary Museum offered the usual row of companies , in which it was difficult to discern a narrative strand or research , as one would expect from a museum. No projects on display stood out for innovation or finding solutions.

It felt much the lack of large and spectacular outfits, and installations of a few years ago, involving the viewer and the events that characterized the Superstudio : the missing short experiential and amazement, and that dimension of research


NavigliGrand Canal Design District

navgli design district (3)

The suggestive location of Navigli, the canal of Milan, will follow you from via Valenza to viale Gorizia for more than 2km

The Navigli street market is famous in Milan for its furniture, porcelain, books, jewellery, old games, glasses, stamps, bronze statues and much more.

navgli design district (2)

Milan is a city covered by water, crossed by rivers and canals and regulated by ingenious technical devices.

The history of the canals in Milan begins in the second half of the twelfth century with the construction of the first ship canal. The first canal, the Ticinello, was opened in 1179 and with its 50 km length gave way to the construction of the Naviglio Grande.

Many engineers started the project that we can still admire thanks to the innovative system of locks designed by Leonardo da Vinci in the late fifteenth century. An artist and an engineer, during his time in Milan from 1482 to 1499 he found fertile ground for his genius: in fact, he studied this sophisticated system of navigable canals to ferry people and merchandise to Milan, to irrigate the fields and to defend the city – that made Milan a real “city of water”.

navgli design district (1)

The so-called “Conca di Viarenna” is what remains today of one of the 5 canal locks used to navigate through Milan from the Darsena to the Naviglio Martesana, north of Milan.

Since the beginning of 2013, the area has been subjected to in-depth redevelopment work as the city gets ready to host Expo 2015


Nowadays the Navigli area is characterized by the presence of many artists, musicians and academics due to the presence of numerous clubs and restaurants that make this area of Milan a real pole of attraction.

navgli design district (4)

In a super cool activation, Publicis Italia created an amazing piece of experiential marketing for the introduction of Heineken’s “The Sub,” ( designed by Marc NEwson) , by inviting people to a seriously tricked out “living room” called, appropriately, The Sub Living Room.

When the lever of a particular Sub was pulled, the entire living room turned into a gigantic pinball machine.

salone 2014 heineken


Ventura Lambrate

lambrate luna

Zona Lambrate, or, as it is called now Ventura Lambrate, sits just behind the Lambrate Station, starting form Via Ventura 14.

After 4 successful years, this already established location in the north-east of Milan has become very popular among young creatives

This year the event welcomed 170 international exhibitors ( mostly Dutch ), on more than 13,000 sq mtrs of exhibition space

Ventura Lambrate certainly fulfilled the brief of emerging trends, new designers, innovative processes and conceptual projects this year

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The area is not so central, but it has events from less known designers that can be more interesting than the usual big brands.

It is near the Campus Leonardo of Politecnico di Milano, that is why there is more likelihood of seeing either “new design that break the rules” or absolute crap.

Five years on it remains the most vibrant part of the fair, always bursting at the seams with young enthusiastic designers, new ideas and cutting edge design, with a real festival vibe

dutch in ventura lambrate

ventura lambrate


As always , everything will be taken care of by Margriet Vollenberg and Margo Konings,​  founders of the Dutch firm Organisation in Design, which since 2010 is responsible for giving a coherent form in this district gigantic and seemingly intricate .

The organizers let young talent and well-known names take turns occupying post-industrial spaces of great charm and experimenting in full freedom.

Ventura Lambrate aims to bring emerging design pioneers to the attention of the professional audience at the Salone del Mobile in Milan.

Vollenberg & Konings want visitors to meet the creative frontrunners who are showcasing their innovative ideas, concepts and prototypes.

At a Ventura project, the design on display is often new, experimental and ambitious, and is therefore a representation of what will probably grow into the next design trends in the coming years.


San Gregorio Docet district

map san gregorio 2

San Gregorio Docet is the new Fuorisalone district in Milano conceived and driven by Claudio Loria.

The “Distretto Ristretto” defines this new international entity whose development centers around Via San Gregorio, between Porta Venezia and the Central Station

San Gregorio Docet aims to bring new life to the area surrounding Via San Gregorio, once famous for its quality and elegance, even being referred to as “Petit Paris“.

wallpaper hand made tram

It owes this reputation to the convenience of its vicinity to the Central Station which, from the 40‘s into the late 60‘s, was home to the some of the biggest and most important wholesale fabric warehouses.

In the 50‘s, some of these began selling ready-made clothes as well as tailor-made items with great cuts and style directly to the public. In more recent years, the commercial success of the wholesale fabric warehouses has ceased to exist, substituted by larger clothing wholesalers.

Many still remain, but the spaces have been abandoned and neglected, some of great appeal.

san gregorio docet manifesto

Hosting in these very same spaces, prestigious international design firms, San Gregorio Docet aims to revive this unique zone of Milano, where quality was once a major protagonist.

Bringing back the quality of yesteryear, our goal is to recover and ennoble. That is, to bring give life back to spaces through new and exciting projects that exhibit a strong sense of quality.

By hosting many international and avant-garde art and design firms, San Gregorio Docet aims to start with content rather than just filling space

Last year‘s surprise collaboration between Leclettico and Wallpaper* Handmade, along with the participation of Droog attracted a record number of visitors and world-renowned designers, planting the seed from which San Gregorio Docet would grow.

This area was the home of Designersblock, Wallpaper, Kvadrat and Droog amongst others


Porto Nuova ( new city district )

salone milan porto nuovo

In recent years, de-industrialization, urban decay and gentrification led to a massive urban renewal of former industrial areas, that have been transformed into modern residential and financial districts, notably Porta Nuova in downtown Milan and Fiera Milano in the suburb of Rho.

Close to Milan Central Station and served by two metro lines (M2 and M5) it’s absolutely easy to reach, just few metres from Corso Como nightclub district and Eataly new concept store.

A journey among the skyscrapers and stunning infrastructures of Porta Nuova, the ambitious urban revitalisation scheme in Milan. The buildings of the very recent Hines Porta Nuova complex loom overhead, including Cesar Pelli’s 231 m Unicredit Tower and the Porta Nuova Building by the Milanese architects Piuarch.


This is one of Europe’s biggest rehabilitation sites, which is radically changing the Skyline of the city of Milan with new residential buildings, prestigious business centres, green spaces, cycle tracks and pedestrian areas, not least with Expo 2015 in mind.



In addition, the old exhibition area is being completely reshaped according to the City Life regeneration project, featuring residential areas, museums, an urban park and three skyscrapers designed by top rated international architects, from whom they are named after: the 202m Isozaki Tower (when completed, the tallest building in Italy), the twisted Hadid Tower and the curved Libeskind Tower.

Enclosed between the new skyscrapers of Porta Nuova, this new plaza offers a wide variety of stores and entertainment.

A big fountain with benches all around and ice skating rink complete the offer of this innovating and constantly changing space.

Piazza Gae Aulenti



salone milan 2014 eataly

Eataly Smeraldo

4 weeks prior to the Salone opening, a new Eataly megastore was opened in Milan at the Piazza XXV Aprile, in the former Smeraldino Theatre.

Located in an area that is attracting more and more international tourists, among the fashionable Corso Como and the futuristic district of Unicredit Tower and Piazza Gae Aulenti and the “old” district of Brera and Corso Garibaldi, the 25th store of Farinetti Family is placed in an area that someone has already defined the District Food.

The name of Eataly is born from the fusion of two word: EAT and ITALY, Italy.

Eataly, whose slogan is eat, buy, learn, is an excellent example of Italian Food and wine quality products with a short chain, organic niche production

The brand was born by bringing together a group of small companies working in different culinary sectors; the best of artisanal products at reasonable prices through the establishment of direct relationships between the producers and the distributors that are inspired by words like sustainability, responsibility and sharing.

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Trends  /  Interpretation is a valuable thing. !!

Milan’s Salone del Mobile is the industry’s most important annual event, leading to a proliferation of product launches, installations and exhibitions, and this is reflected in the associated media.

The mood at this year’s Salone del Mobile, the annual international furniture fair in Milan, was decidedly more upbeat than in recent years. Both attendance and business were said to be up.

In spite of forecasts of moderate to extreme cautiousness, in light of Europe’s economic woes, this year’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan and related outside events, had plenty to offer, whether it’s new furniture or reimaginings of classic pieces.

Milan would be nothing without its constituent parts, but that fact should not prompt a focus on those parts alone – there should also be effort to understand the event in a broader sense.

Every year the Milan Furniture Fair heralds a tidal wave of new concepts and products, the sum of which allows trend researchers to spot patterns for the year ahead.


Colour Trends

The look at Milan this year is a reflection of the times: a search for warmth, security, and familiarity in an uncertain world.

When you looked beyond the usual sea of off-white sectional sofas, there were plenty of bright spots. From gradient colors to high-intensity prints, the Salone is buzzing with new designs vying for attention. The designs at this year’s Milan Design Week certainly didn’t shy away from color.

Over the past three or four editions of the Salone, there has been a continuous evolution toward warmer colors and metals, such as brass, copper, and bronze.

Alchemy by definition is a medieval form of chemistry that focused its efforts on transforming base metals into gold.

Gold and many other metallic finishes and reflective surfaces were all over Milan Design Week and are hitting home interior trends in the form of copper clothing hangers and brassy light fixtures.

Metallics were not the only shiny things at the Furniture Fair. Metallic finishes and reflective surfaces are popping up everywhere from copper finishes on handbags, to light fixtures, tableware, furniture and fine art. Lacquered side tables and case goods that were so glossy you could see your own reflection in them cropped up across multiple showrooms.

Clean and thin metallic wire accents against soft pastels and neutrals are effortlessly modern and bring brightness into any space.

The chromatic trends were also topped by copper, in shades of pink and violet (Radiant Orchid, Pantone 18- 3224, is the color 2014), or oxidized in colors ranging from petroleum green to the various tones of mold, fungus and mud

Blues were consistent as a theme across the last few years, and as the colours moved from blue grey to aquamarine to sky blue, reflecting the shift in the tenor of the marketplace to a positive and pleasant future, new design trends embody many variants of the blue colour range.

Designers turned to the earth, fire and sky for inspiration for home and furniture collections that were rich with color, texture and nature-inspired patterns.

Natural colours, such as taupe, beige and grays continue to be popular, but also bold colours are back in fashion.

Some interesting new ‘augmented primary’ palettes which feature complementary colour combinations like red and yellow or sage and pink

Pink featured prominently this year — mostly in upholstery, but in other formats as well. If you look in most designers’ libraries, you’ll certainly see a lot of neutral colors, then blues, greens, and reds as accents, followed by yellow, orange, and then pink.

The next most common color was rusty red — a very warm, comforting color. Blush and dusty rose colors also came to the forefront.

Depending on surrounding palettes, blush tones can effortlessly blend in as imitation neutrals or become a subtle statement piece amongst a tonal backdrop.

Stylists in home interiors are dialing up the intensity of blush hues and creating soft pink spaces filled with glowing light and simple accessories.

Pastel and neon colors have slowly been creeping into consumer driven markets, particularly the fashion industry. In a world that has gone neutral in most recent years with subtle variations on taupe and cool grays, it was evident that pastels and neons have emerged in contract design.


Product Trends

Sadly, the financial crisis in Italy and other European countries seems to have taken its toll and some companies decided to look for new markets, even if it means losing their identity

A number of high-end Italian manufacturers, known for their ultra-modern European design, developed classical collections.

Gone are the slim profiles and sleek forms of yesteryear. Designers now seem to think we all need to relax in comfort. And who can blame them.

Big and bold statements could not be found at this year’s Salone del Mobile. That actually is good news, because many designers have put a lot of attention to detail. They worked on material innovation, used color in subtle and exciting ways, and created new and expressive patterns.

Exhibitors at Milan 2014 have shown real brilliance across a wide spectrum of materials. From unbelievable creations in glass, to surprising new forms in ceramic, little has been left unexplored. In fact, even cork and concrete were seen in some impressive displays of innovation at the Salone Satellite expo for young designers.

What was present in Milan was an emphasis on surface. Wallpaper and rug collections were presented in abundance, while highly patterned surface materials

But natural “materials” were again the real stars of 2014.

There was a predilection for dense materials like ceramic, or porous ones like cork and concrete.

Wood was again being widely used in new ways, communicating more empathy from the product to the final user.

Marble and stone materials are also an interesting design trend with smart interpretations pointing to a further evolution in living areas of houses and residential projects.

While the desire for modular furniture options and private cocooned spaces continues, other exciting developments include poetic lighting, interactive surfaces, and the elevation of raw materials

Minimalism found new vitality in the wake of the a new trend at the Salone del Mobile Milano 2014 – the ‘pauperist’ trend.

A frugal use of resources in furniture, severe product design, moderate in the adoption of figurative referents gave birth of the new

A ‘dietary regimen’ that design seems to have imposed on itself, focusing on the functional and translating into lightweight, exposed frames and thinner padding


Mid century Re-issues

knoll barcelona chair 2014

Knoll introduced an updated version of Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Barcelona chair with a fuller cushion and softer leathers

The phenomenon of re-editions continues, bringing back masterpieces of the past to the spotlight, or inspiring new production.

The Rho Fairgrounds felt more robust and more cheerful, overflowing with new releases and, particularly among the Italian brands, a plethora of mid century reissues.

Mid century designs, developed after World War II to fill a surge of newly constructed urban spaces, are efficient by nature, and their compactness and modularity perfectly address our current needs for space efficiency.

More importantly, they’re far less of a gamble.  When you have the drawings and the name and the techniques already developed, it’s much easier for marketing, new design comes when the economy is good


Star Architects products

David Adjaye for Knoll The Washington Skeleton and Skin

washington chair by David Adjaye for Knoll

Hundreds of exhibitors showcased an endless display of the latest international design products and home-furnishings, among them included a variety of designed items envisioned by some of our favorite architects.

Rather than the custom built-ins and other furnishings made for particular buildings, the focus here is on objects designed for larger production, akin to Mies’s Barcelona Chair.

Mies van der Rohe said: “A chair is a very difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier. That is why Chippendale is famous.”

Yet this difficulty did not stop 20th-century architects like Mies – including Le Corbusier, Marcel Breuer, Alvar Aalto, and Eero Saarinen, to name just a few – from designing chairs and other furnishings that would occupy their own buildings but also others as a means to spread modern design.

That desire to design the objects people sit in, illuminate rooms with, put clothes in, eat meals at, and even eat meals with continues with this century’s architects.


Auto ( mobile ) Show


The auto-makers in recent years have been increasingly present at the Salone del Mobile in Milan, as most major car manufacturers take an increasing interest in the event and muscle in on Milan.

The large contingent of media at the event and subsequent press generated from the Salone has lured the car makers in to the FuoriSalone.

Normally the Milan Motor Show is held around December each year, but as was seen in recent years – the Salone was again invaded and supported by the Motor Car industry – showing their design credentials to the fullest and making a significant contribution to the exclusive party circuit in town for the Fair, with new installations, design competitions and the appearance of the odd concept car all conspiring to share the limelight with the big furniture brands.

Many new models, future cars, previews and premieres abounded around Milan in competition to the other major product categories within Milan Design Week

The Milan exhibition , in fact, is the right place to try to intercept the 300,000+ style enthusiasts and promote their image in front of a (often wealthy ) international audience


Street Style Fashion

street fashion

The Italian city of Milan is a place for aesthetes and design lovers.

Not only does it celebrate its own Fabulousness twice a year during Milan Fashion Week, it also attracts a slightly different cool crowd with its internationally renowned Salone del Mobile, a week of exceptional design that spans interiors, lifestyle, furnishings and not to be forgotten – Fashion as well


The event is often described as a “Fashion Week of Design”, yet these design aficianados come with a far more casual vibe than the sartorial set.

Naturally, denim, often torn, and sneakers reigned  through out the week, due to the need to travel by foot long distances between installations and around the city

However, the occasional touch of seriousness showed up in long skirts for the women and tailored combos for the guys.


Party Party Party

salone milan 2014 party


The Beauty of Food in Milan

The saying that “You can’t have a bad meal in Italy” could not ring truer than in the Lombardy culinary Mecca.

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