Milan Design Week 2021 has finally arrived, exploded in all its energy!
Last week Milan brought back the ever-moving machine of the Salone del Mobile, in an extraordinary version, accompanied by the districts of Fuorisalone threatened in the urban fabric of the capital.
The long-awaited autumn edition has aroused an ever more tangible ferment, which was followed by a positivity and acceptance by the whole population. A clear message of restarting a Milan that is rediscovered in all its energy and desire for innovation.
The digital edition in April has also increased the desire to return to the presence, between stands and creative installations!
We also looked around the Supersalone stands and the fuorisalone exhibitions, looking for ideas and inspirations, for a continuous update on trends and design ideas.
Here is our balance of this autumn edition between considerations and personal selection!
Between Fashion and Interior Design: care of visual
Over the years, the Fuorisalone has always been recognized for its thematic installations, on the edge between art exhibitions and immersive installation. In recent years, brands from the fashion world have been increasingly recognized.
In 2019 the most successful is certainly Cos at Palazzo Isimbardi with its unstructured portal in 3D printed volumes. Accompanying him, Hermès at the La Pelota complex and his attention to the handcrafted product, but also Missoni with Home Sweet Home staging a textile world permeated with saturated colors.
During the just ended Milan Design Week 2021, high fashion brands are once again recognized for their exhibition methodology and amazing sets. Hermès, Antonio Marras, Dior and Gucci certainly among the most nominated of this edition.
Hermès, Collection for the Home – La Pelota
The French haute couture house returns to Pelota with a dreamlike setting: 5 display totems hand-decorated by the scenographers of the Teatro alla Scala, reinterpreting the concept of “home”. Internally, divided into different themes, Objects from the Home collection that enhance the materiality, the artisan imprint and the meticulous work of the handmade. An installation that strikes and remains impressed not only for its aesthetic impact, but also and above all for the values transmitted and the emotionality of the space. To admire the obsessive attention to points of view, the architectural lines and the seriality of the graphics, the tactility of the materials enhanced by the objects that want to be touched and felt.
Dior, The Dior Medallion Chair – Palazzo Citterio
The theatrical installation commissioned by Maria Grazia Chiuri comes to life at Palazzo Citterio. The protagonist is the iconic Medallion Chair, in Louis XVI style, chosen by Christian Dior as the essential emblem of the French Maison for its elegance and its “Parisian style”. 17 artists and designers were thus invited to reinterpret the original chair, giving life to objects at the mercy of fantastic creation, conceptual and graphic reinterpretation. Provocative, witty, haughty, deconstructed, impossible. An installation that fully enhances the various chairs, making them the protagonists of a masterful staging.
Left: Ma Yansong, Meteor
Center: India Mahdavi, Swan
Right: Seungjin Yang, Blowing chair for Dior
Alcova – Former Military Hospital
The charm of abandonment enchants visitors to Alcova, creating interesting conceptual and visual contrasts with the design works. Among exposed systems, peeling walls and sinks with rusted pipes of the former Military Hospital, contemporary design takes center stage.
Here settings with a sophisticated and immersive scenographic impact meet exhibition environments with a highly expressive concept.
An example is Brassless, curated by Studio Vedèt for Nilufar Galley, whose stated goal is to accelerate the end of the brass trend. Extremely used material from 2017 to today, whose diffusion has been emphasized by the fast distribution of the internet and social media, the exhibition does not want to sanction the end of brass, but rather a denunciation of the decadence of trends.
With this logic, 13 talented designers, deliberately extraneous to contemporary trends, were selectedwhose objects experience the ductility, resistance, aesthetics and technical properties of metals. From gold, to pressed aluminum, passing through nickel and copper, but also silver and steel. Transparent Landscapes by Studiozero, on the other hand, investigates the theme of transparency, declined in a sensorial set-up, between visual and sound, and in the presentation of three iconic objects: a mirror, a carpet and a floor lamp.
On the upper floor of the Laundry building, instead, one finds oneself projected into the surreal atmosphere of A Clockwork Orange through the revisited reproduction of the Milk Bar curated by HEAD.
Nilufar Gallery, Brassless e Object of Common Use, Alcova
Transparent Landscapes, Studio Zero, Alcova
Korova Milk Bar, HEAD
La Casa Fluida, Elle Decor
ACQVA, Senato Hotel Milano
Ferri mobil, Supersalone
Left: De Castelli, Supersalone
Right: Kerakoll Design House, Kerakoll
Left: Connubia, Supersalone
Right: Between the lines, Luigi Ghirri, Mutina
Studiopepe per Mohd Milano
Between reflections and suggestive ideas: the importance of the concept
In this Milan Design Week 2021, the care of the concept and the message conveyed are undoubtedly given greater importance to the most successful installations. In addition to the aforementioned exemplary installations by Hermès and Dior, Nilufar Gallery by Alcova and La Casa Fluida by Elle Decor also find a double positive response.
The latter, already mentioned for the chromatic setting of its interiors, is even more appreciable because it is flanked by the development of contemporary themes.
The fluidity of domestic rooms gives light to some of the increasingly aware needs that the pandemic has left us.
11 environments decline these needs with increasingly flexible solutions and food for thought for the new domesticity.
La Casa Fluida, Elle Decor
Living Corriere, Double signature – Palazzo Morando
At Palazzo Morando, among the projects presented in Living Corriere’s Double Signature, Ugo La Pietra pays homage to the crafts of art and genius loci through Vasi Architettura / Natura. The message transmitted, between provocative and denouncing, aims to protect urban greenery, often included in architectural and urban planning projects to justify and try to restore balance to the continuous construction action to which cities are subject. The architectures then become the cradle of land within which nature should find life, but is instead bound.
Vasi Architettura/Natura, Ugo La Pietra per Doppiafirma, Living Corriere
Interni, Interni Creative Collection – State University of Milan
At the State University of Milan, the theme of nature, linked to its animal species, returns with Survival within the Courtyard of Honor. A raft, a modern Noah’s Ark, welcomes the iconic animals of Qeebo in an extreme rescue attempt from global warming, loaded by means of mechanical elevators.
The exhibition curated by Nanda Vigo with Ctrlzak in the west loggia also has an almost apocalyptic vision. Two large glass cases welcome artifacts and artistic creations in a lunar landscape, enriching them with an otherworldly connotation.
Saeturn, Nanda Vigo and Ctrlzak
Care of detail: textured leather inserts for high-end products
If the Fuorisalone reserved great surprises during Milan Design Week 2021 as regards ideas, themes and installations, the credit for the attention to details and finishes certainly goes to the products displayed during the Supersalone. various brands, giving up distinct and iconographic stands, focus attention on the products.
Here then is that details and finishes are even more appreciable.
Among these we mention Turri, whose sofas have leather-covered seams create interesting chromatic and material contrasts.
Also reflected in the detail of the armrest, in which a visible light structure is re-proposed that recalls the initial of the logo.
Also in leather are the CPRN handles with a semicircular development, matching the warm orange color of the doors, also used in the top.
Ceppi embraces the soft structure of a large sofa with containing tie-rods which, rolling around the exposed structure, then winds around the entire external perimeter. Porada embellishes a dark wood console with prestigious pull-out drawers whose handles are replaced by knotted laces.
An almost masculine complement, with an austere and modern look.
The theme of the lace is also found in Hausen, whose bookcase has shelves connected to each other by a metal profile that winds around embracing the individual elements.
Hausen (Left) e Porada (Right), Supersalone
Hausen (sinistra) e Porada (Destra), Supersalone
Materials among new trends, processes and sensations during Milan Design Week 2021
In the textile world, the well-identified address is witnessing the rebirth of bouclé both in light monochromatic shades and in two-tone variants.
Among the many examples exhibited in this Milan Design Week 2021 we can mention SEM Milano in Alcova and Porada itself.
Still as regards the fabrics, the chromatic choice and the thoughtful combinations of Hermès are masterful.
Turning instead to timeless marble, Salvatori’s proposals are extremely refined, as every year. Miniatures of domestic architecture are combined with objects of common use, made courtly by the eternal material par excellence.
To enhance its ductility, making it almost a fluid material, is the Agglomerati in Alcova proposal. Here the Palissandro marble seems to bend softly in an interesting interlocking game in the MASS proposal. In the Round Table variant, the same principle transforms the top into structural legs, gently unraveling like a soft fabric.
Also noteworthy is the new Antolini showroom inaugurated during Milan Design Week 2021 in Piazza Fontana. Here a spectacular open spot develops from the exhibition wall through double-sided strips. A perfectly successful scenographic effect capable not only of enhancing the beauty of the marble essences, but also the infinite processing skills. On the lower floor, different set-up methods expose the natural material distinguished by color, type or surface finish.
Left: Agglomerati, MAAS
Right: SEM Milano, Alcova
Antolini Showroom in Piazza Fontana
Conclusions of the Milan Design Week 2021 in the autumn version
After the digital edition of Milan Design Week, what remains of this edition finally in attendance is a great desire to leave. Milan, which seemed almost passable and turned off during the period of the pandemic, instead showed the great car in turmoil that was feeding itself. The spotlights are therefore turned off for this edition, ready to turn on again from 4th to 10th April with the traditional and beloved week of furniture.
See you then in 2022, ready to welcome the news!
The 2021 edition of Digital Design Week has just ended on digital platforms, with the hope of seeing taken the traditional version on place in September.
The Salone del Mobile makes Milan the undisputed protagonist in the world of contemporary design, turning the spotlight on new projects, cutting-edge proposals and events capable of enhancing Italian “know-how” but also its international contamination.
We at Modulor also remotely participated in the rich schedule of talks and webinars offered on the main digital platforms … here are some of our thoughts!
Outfitting of Fuorisalone during its 2019th edition: on the left the installation “Home sweet home” by Missoni in Via Solferino. On the right Nendo in “Breeze of light”
Time Machine, the installation durinf Fuorisalone 2017 in the new design district of Ventura Centrale
Time is time, an immersive environmet setted in the Superstudio’s place during the 2016 Design Week, focused on the theme of time
Salone del Mobile and Fuorisalone: Milan the capital of design
It seems centuries have passed since Milan, in the central weeks of April, was filled with international tourists, young emerging designers, professionals hunting for innovative proposals and university students eager for events and new product launches.
From the design enthusiast, to the sector’s professional, to the simple citizen who loves social life: the week of the Salone del Mobile has always managed to capture everyone’s interests.
One of the few events able to involve such a large audience as to transform Milan into a great “design community”.
Impossible to walk along the streets of the county seat during those days and not be involved in the beating heart of the Design Week.
Colorful graphics that identify the various districts, art installations and advertising banners with pieces of furniture just launched on the market reach every corner of the city.
The professional variant of the Salone del Mobile, in the huge spaces of Rho Fiera and even more its Fuorisalone organized in ever-changing design areas now seem an old memory. Two realities that over the years have known such success that they have become distinct entities, each with its own target audience.
Fuorisalone, the design districts map of the 2019 edition.
On the right, the official logo of Salone del Mobile.
Digital Design Week: what is it and what changes does it make to the traditional version?
The cancellation of last year due to the health emergency and its uncertain future also for the 2021 version did not, however, stop the creativity of Design Week. The 2020 edition of the Design Week had already moved to digital channels, meeting the approval and involvement of both the realities that make it up.
Salone del Mobile and Fuorisalone never as today find themselves in dialogue with each other to create a rich schedule of events.
Talks, webinars and reflections on what it means making design nowadays and on the various facets of this world. The stringent safety restrictions have also completely revolutionized the methodology for presenting new products. Physical presence is now too restrictive a possibility, so naturally the attention shifts to the digital world. In order not to stop the great design machine, the realities that have always accompanied the traditional edition of Milan Design Week have organized a digital version. Digital Design Week 2021 took place on the web platforms of Interni (historic magazine associated with the week of the Salone), Fuorisalone and Ad Italia. From 12th to 19th of April, a series of talks involving professional figures took place. From the world of furniture, to architecture, but also literature, technology, art and craftsmanship, opinions and reflections are exchanged on the contemporary themes that drive design. Furthermore, in the specific case of Interni, its version continued until 23th April, with a fixed evening appointment scheduled for 6.30 pm in streaming.
A Marco Spinelli quote, shared on social pages of AD Italy that underlines the importance of “custom-made”.
On the right: San Siro seat, designed by Jasper Morrison for Cappellini and launched during the Digital Design Week 2021
Aldford table by Bentley Home – Luxury Living Group disegned by LLG Creative Team
Smartworking and a new perception of the domestic environment
Undoubtedly a contemporary theme during this Digital Design Week was the introduction of the concept of smartworking and the new domesticity.
We at Modulor have already addressed this issue, also bringing design examples from the previous months.
In this regard, the interpretation proposed by Lara Facchinetti, HR Manager of Zamperla, in the “Study” chapter of the laboratory proposed by Strategy Innovation is interesting. The theme of reflection shifts to the hybridization between work from home and office life, noting how the best working condition derives from the integration of both.
If before the working world and the private sphere were very distinct areas of our daily life, now it often happens during an online conference to witness small “intrusions”. Children intrigued by the screen and pets who have run away from their places become actors of a connection that is not only conceptual, but also physical and visual. With this in mind, the best productivity is achieved by being able to take advantage of both work contexts.
The home is identified as the environment of concentration, where one can isolate oneself from colleagues, and the office is instead an environment of sharing.
What is missing during smartworking are in fact the impromptu meetings and the brainstorming process that spontaneously arise during a coffee break.
Linked to the new needs of spatial reconfiguration, as also confirmed by our experience, the change in the perception of the working space opens in parallel.
In this regard, it is interesting to report the point of view of Marco Roversi, colleague specialized in the design of custom-made furnishings in the contract sector. In fact, if the reconfiguration of the home environment is often restrictive, and bound to changes that are not too intrusive, the workspace undergoes a radical change. It is rethought in its basic setting, making flexibility its founding feature.
Funivia, sunspended lighting design by Carlotta Bevilacqua for Artmide
6x6the modular system for office designed by Roversi
The reinterpretation of system engineering components
The continuous search for flexibility in the working place brings the contract further closer to the world of retail, used to constant changes.
The design of the architectural component then becomes a fundamental point to guarantee infinite spatial configurations.
As in the case of white boxes for the retail world, the system engineering component is reinterpreted now more than ever for its aesthetic impact.
A great example is certainly the design thinking of Davide Groppi during the talk “Living the work space” proposed by Lombardini22. The vision of the internationally renowned designer is precisely linked to the flexibility of light, which is released from the electrical system to which it belongs.
The solutions proposed over the years by the designer himself have always been designed with the desire to make light free from pre-existing plant constraints.
Providing the right light does not only mean allowing you to see the space but also to feel it.
A setting that becomes more and more scenographic with a design work that becomes a work of elegance.
The second example is the series of projects brought by architect Duccio Grassi during the talk Design beyond Matter.
A relationship between the architectural and system design components that goes beyond the level of necessity to become a project integration with the aesthetic vision.
Another issue connected to the relationship between structural needs and project flexibility is that of the exploitation of interstices, the so-called architecture in between. We have recently analyzed the potential of designing functional furniture capable of optimizing spaces and therefore we fully share the reflections of Daniele Lago, founder of the well-known mass-production furniture company.
The in-between is not only a domestic environment design issue but also a metaphor for the relationship between the brand and its community.
Infinito, Davide Groppi
Zara Rome, Duccio Grassi Architects.
Engeneering system and outfitting matches in a design element which disappear in the environment.
Max Mara Tokyo Ginza Home, Duccio Grassi Architects
Sustainability and environmental impact: visions related to design
Perhaps one of the most inflated issues in recent years is certainly linked to sustainability and environmental impact.
Countless could be the visions and projects that make it the flag carrier.
From the world of design, the theme of the circular economy directly moves to the productive world, finding infinite results.
But what does it actually mean to be sustainable today?
Producing using recycled material is not always the ultimate solution. In fact, it is necessary to put the entire life cycle of the furnishings on the scales and consider their environmental impact over the years.
Here then is that the word “recycling” appears several times during this Digital Design Week.
The architect and designer Paola Navone brings her vision of recycled objects as a series of handmade products obtained from processing waste.
A vision that wants to break the mold by bringing color and joy into the projects, managing to enhance what is the local craftsmanship.
Giuseppe Pedrali, CEO of the homonymous company from Bergamo, also focuses on the regulatory aspect of sustainability.
“Being sustainable” has now become the common motto of various manufacturing companies, but how many of them actually focus on the certifications that can officially certify this characteristic? Are the production processes actually controlled and designed in order to reduce waste and affect the environment as little as possible?
Ico Migliore, architect of Migliore + Servetto, underlines how the issue of sustainability is not only linked to materials but to user behavior.
Of all the thoughts analyzed, the one that we at Modulor certainly fully embrace is the one proposed by the architect and designer Piero Lissoni during the conversation “Everything is a project” available on AD Italy.
Sustainability consists in designing furniture that can last over time
What does it mean to design nowadays? How to emerge within an increasingly large market?
We share once again the words of Piero Lissoni as the fulcrum and summary of this Digital Design Week.
The world of design now looks worldwide, what allows it to be valued is high quality and knowing how to maintain and preserve the “craftsmanship”.
While knowing the relationship to the increasingly frequent technology and the world of the intangible, it is essential to recognize the wealth offered by craftsmanship. The new model of craftsmanship, although it has lost some qualities transmitted over the years, meets new possibilities.
Knowing how to relate the ability to use hands, touch materials and interpret them with incredible technologies is the design of the future.
A less drawn and more product design. Although the very term “design” or industrial design, it would seem to live in the opposite of the concept of craftsmanship, the conjunction of these worlds is the real innovative key for the future of interior design.
Round D.154.5, the historic armchair designed by Gio Ponti and reinterpreted in a contemporary way by Molteni & Co
Soriana, Afra and Tobia Scarpa forCassina
On the right: Pacific,the new collection signed Patricia Urquiola for Moroso
The Connery seating system designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for Minotti