Milan Design Week kicks off next week and as always, is promising an unmissable line up. In anticipation, we have identified three key concepts that will be inspiring and informing the world of contemporary design from leading events that will be taking place around the city. We have also put together an interactive map to guide you around the events and lead you directly to the heart of all the action.
Running from the 4th-9th of April, Milan Design Week will present an array of design concepts, innovative exhibitions and inspirational show spaces that will span the entire city. As well as this, the Fiera Milano Rho exhibition centre will host the 56th edition of Salone del Mobile – the leading interior design show for industry professionals.
Trendstop has identified Frozen In Time, East Meets Eco and Enhanced Everyday as three of the top trends to look out for from the most cutting-edge products, must-see exhibits and avant-garde designers showcasing across Europe’s leading design capital next week. Frozen In Time captures feelings of calm and contemplation with a more mindful take on the minimalist lifestyle. East Meets Eco fuses eastern influences with the natural world and sustainable living while Enhanced Everyday elevates mundane objects to high design status. Read on to find out more and explore some of the key influencers behind these three concepts that you can check out in Milan.
Frozen In Time
Design looks to forge a closer link with consciousness to see stillness and calm underpin gentle, minimalist aesthetics.
Japanese design studio Nendo will unveil a series of design concepts throughout Milan Design Week. Their Jellyfish Vase collection will submerge 30 delicate silicon vases in an aquarium so they gently float and pulsate through the water like jellyfish. Made from ultra thin, dyed silicon, the vases create the illusion of floating through their softly graduated silhouettes of colour.
As well as a collaboration cal ‘Obejctextile’ with Jil Sander, Nendo will also debut a ‘Flow’ furniture collection. Created for Italian brand Alias, the range will see a series of tabletops melt into bowls “as if it were oblivious to the table’s frame structure’. Designed to achieve a new fluidity, each piece will re-formulate function by “serving to hold something either on top or within”.
COS X Studio Swine
Swedish clothing brand COS has collaborated with London-based Studio Swine for their 2017 installation entitled, ‘New Spring’. Led by designers Azusa Murakami and Alexander Groves, ‘New Spring’ will introduce an immersive and multi-sensory experience that refocuses the mind in times of change, designed to reflect the optimism and sensuality of the changing seasons. At the centre of the installation will stand a sculpture covered in mist-filled bubbles that burst and evaporate when in contact with skin.
Offering visitors a moment in time for of contemplation and vitality amidst the bustling streets of Milan, this is not one to be missed!
Check out this inspirational preview video:
Bocci’s 87 Series Pendant
Designed by Omer Arbel, lighting company Bocci will unveil a series of pearlescent glass loops intrinsically designed around a pendant. Exploring the control and grace of glassblowing, the creation process see’s glass sections folded back onto themselves time and time again, freezing air bubbles in time and making the glass loops appear with a hazy transparency. Check out a video of the technique below:
Child Studio’s In the Shadow of a Man Collection
Spherical lamps appear frozen in time in Child Studio’s In the Shadow of a Man collection. Influenced by surrealist forms, designers Chieh Huang and Alexey Kostikov invite visitors to reflect on a moment in time by challenging their own perceptions of object and balance. Precisely-placed globe-shaped lights appear completely still, mid roll over beautiful sloping supports.
Image: Child Studio
East Meets Eco
Natural materials and Japanese crafts come together as Eastern landscapes, traditional techniques and natural materials influence a new wave of sustainability.
On display at Milan Design Week will be Japanese designer Shigeru Uchida’s Khora furniture collection. Having worked on the collection before his death last year, the range was created in collaboration with Chinese designer Adrian Cheng. Inspired by Japanese landscapes, the 5 piece range explores light and shadow and was made using traditional joinery methods in bamboo and chestnut wood materials, a perfect reflection of the East Meets Eco aesthetic.
Image: Shigeru Uchida
Made in Ratio
Also utilising bamboo is Made in Ratio who will launch their sustainable Stellar Nova Table during the event. An evolution of the brand’s Supernova table, this new piece was created with recycled aluminium legs and an eco-friendly bamboo tabletop. Forming part of an exhibition named Equilibrium, Made in Ratio will present an entire series of old and new pieces that explore experimental design processes and sustainability.
Image: Made in Ratio
Färg & Blanche
Taking inspiration from the Samurai comes Färg & Blanche’s Long Neck armchair. Named Armour Mon Amour, the chair’s silhouette is informed by Japanese armour and created from combining a new softer material by flooring company, Bolon. Enveloping and protecting the sitter with its cocoon-like structure, soft material has been sewn together with a thermoplastic felt that becomes rigid when exposed to heat, responding and interacting to a human touch.
Image: Färg & Blanche
The Enhanced Everyday
The ordinary and mundane will be celebrated throughout Milan Design Week as everyday items will be elevated to new heights, pushing the boundaries to explore the possibilities of function and design.
Erdem Selek’s PlusMinus screwdrivers are designed to live outside the toolbox. Turning the everyday into the extraordinary, designer Erdem Selek has taken the rather mundane screwdriver and recreated it into a desktop ornament. Retaining its conventional functionality, the appearance of the design is similar to the look of a ping-pong bat, devised to fit perfectly between the fingers. Simply engraved with a ‘plus’ and ‘minus’ symbol, Selek’s aim was to juxtapose the expected home for the humble screwdriver, making it look so good it deserves to be kept on show.
Image: Erdem Selek
London based designer Paul Cocksedge recently found himself evicted from his studio due to a new property development being built in its place. Feeling inspired, the simple idea surrounding the eviction gave him the notion to create a new collection that involved excavating materials from the ground and uncovering what was beneath the surface. To be unveiled at Milan Design Week, his new collection of furniture will stand as an explorative commemoration to the everyday time spent in his studio before it is redeveloped.
Image: Paul Cocksedge
Italian luxury fashion label Marni bring a fun feel to everyday storage items with their colourful Playland installation of limited edition furnishings. They will transform a barren land into a playground for the public, filled with colourful woven playground apparatus and furniture in the brands recognisable colourways. The concept will take the public into a space to forget about the fast pace of everyday life and take a step back into a more extraordinary childlike frame of mind, free from worries and stress.
If you can’t make it to Milan, keep an eye out for Trendstop’s exclusive coverage of the week. If you are lucky enough to attend, ensure you don’t miss anything by signing up to our interactive map. We have pinned the key events happening around the city to lead you straight to the heart of the action!
Banner Image: Child Studio