You may have recently heard or read about Milan Design Week, Salone del Mobile Milano and ISaloni. Salone del Mobile is the six-day fair which falls under the larger umbrella of Milan Design Week, which began in 1961 as an event to promote the best in Italian furniture design and accessories, but has rapidly evolved into a global hub for design from around the world. This translates, as I saw first-hand during my first trip to the fair, into exhibitors from all areas of the design industry taking over Milan to display their latest and greatest products and concepts, from Sou Fujimoto’s trippy light installation in an abandoned movie theater to highlight COS’ Spring/Summer 2016 collection to Lee Broom’s traveling palazzo in the back of a delivery van.
Read on to discover the most memorable moments of Milan Design Week through a Savoir Flair editor’s eyes.
Nike’s ‘Nature of Motion’ Exhibition
If a shoe lover and an art lover had a baby, it would probably look like Nike’s ‘Nature of Motion’ exhibition. Located in a rather obscure part of the city, this exhibition took place in an industrial space built in the 1920s and lined with a labyrinth of Nike shoe boxes. The brand tapped ten contemporary designers to toy around with the idea of natural motion, and the results ranged from a piece of levitating marble by Max Lamb to a microclimate chair for athletes by Greg Lynn.
COS x Sou Fujimoto
Located in a derelict movie theater was Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto’s immersive light installation, ‘Forest of Light’. Inside the venue, spotlights and mirrors moved to create an effect that felt like a shifting forest at twilight. The space was packed with tourists who lingered in search of some respite from the frantic fair.
Lee Broom’s ‘Salone del Automobile’
Lighting designer Lee Broom drove a delivery van from London to Milan in a traveling show staged to showcase his new lighting range: ‘Optical’. The van was parked throughout key parts of the city. It drew major crowds as there was an incredible and highly Instagrammable mini palazzo built inside the back of the van.
‘The Restaurant’ by Tom Dixon
British furniture designer Tom Dixon collaborated with Caesarstone to showcase four deconstructed kitchens representing the four natural elements – earth, fire, air, and water – all set within the dramatic 17th century Rotonda della Besana.
Nendo’s ‘50 Manga Chairs’ Exhibition
Design studio Nendo created chairs using the same abstract lines found in Japanese comic books. The chairs were displayed in a dramatic gridded structure in the beautiful courtyard of the Chiostro Minore di San Simpliciano.