Sneak Preview of the Milan Design Week 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011 16:41

Marcia Caines

Milan is geared up for its major annual design event, the international Salone del Mobile, which was inaugurated 50 years ago as national trade fair. Half a century down the line the Salone has become the world’s largest commercial design event, assisting in the revitalization of disused urban areas and buildings around town and branching out along the way, with the FuoriSalone events and the Milan Design Week.


all images courtesy Organisation in Design

Over the years the Salone has become renowned for its brutally market-led approach to design which – needless to say – is notably less convincing today than it was 50 years ago, for obvious reasons. But, the show must go on and some of the events, exhibits and projects planned for Milan next week are clearly trying to change this reputation.

One of the most hotly awaited events is the second Ventura Lambrate, established last year by two Dutch designers from Utrecht – Margo Konings and Margiet Vollenberg, the founders of Organisation in Design. The success of last year’s debut event led to the regeneration of a former industrial area (Lambretta and Faema), creating an additional design district for Milan. Ventura Lambrate 2010 was internationally praised for giving the Salone a new lease of life with well curated exhibits ranging from interior and product design to architectural and conceptual genre-spanning projects by emerging international artists and designers.

The 2011 Ventura Lambrate features double the number of exhibits and hosts 8 Italian and 40 international exhibitions which will showcase the work of 300 designers. Exhibitors include the much loved London Designersblock Milano exhibit in the spacious Light Space venue in Via Oslavia, which will be showcasing the creations of over 50 designers including Bodging Milano again. Poetry Happens is an interesting exhibition devoted to displaying the narrative of design through archetypal projects, prototypes, objects or installations, organized by the Berlin contingent Fabien Dumas, Werner Aisslinger and Tim Brauns. The Danish Crafts annual Mindcraft number has migrated from zona Tortona to Ventura Lambrate with a new curator and a less conceptual exhibition that highlights the core values of Danish craft and design through the work of 13 world-class craftspeople from Denmark. The trusty Royal College of Art will be there displaying some beautiful projects, as will the Belgian Caroline Van Hoek Gallerywith ‘Conversation Piece_On the doorway’ that explores the art of jewellery, and the district’s contemporary design Gallery PlusDesign featuring Edizioni 2011. Others participants include: Glasstress, Laikingland, Niels Van Eijk and Miriam van de Lube.


images/artwork Courtesy: Design Royale

Downtown in the Moscova district there’s a big surprise in store: Design Royale. Design Royale is an experimental project led by Stefano Mirti and Co (all zone, Pierluigi Anselmi, Bruna Cortinovis, Claudio Farina, Rachel Fincken, Id-Lab (Michele Aquila, Pan Gu, and Noemi Piccioli), Giulio Mannino, Alessandro Mininno and Matteo Riva) that works on different principles and flips the standard form of event organization on its head. There’s definitely something new brewing here, but it’s difficult to know what. Cagey, cryptic clues about the project have been leaked out through social networking sites and by word of mouth over the course of the last month, eschewing standard forms of communication such as press releases and traditional media platforms. Inspired by the controversial film Battle Royale directed by Kinji Fukasaku, the Design Royale project will culminate in a pop-up exhibition which foresees the participation of around 20 designers including Elio Caccavale, Hagit Pincovici, Duilio Forte and Anita Silva and an all-night shindig on Friday April 15 from 11pm: Design Royale al Cubo, Mediateca degli Atellani, in via della Moscova 28. To find out more go there or check out the developments remotely here: www.design-royale.com @Twitter d_royale design royale on Facebook or Videoleaks on Vimeo.

Elsewhere dotted around town Design Academy Eindhoven and Presela have organized a series of breakfast talks with design experts and professions entitled Design Matters!, TRUST and Open Design, on from 14 – 16 April. Belgian curator and journalist Giovanni Massoni will present ‘Belgium is Design’ at the loggia gallery of the prestigious Pinacoteca di Brera Museum. The exhibit is focused on the best practices of 34 well-known Belgian designers, emerging talents and companies engaged in researching and developing intelligent solutions and sustainable objects to competitively tackle the global crisis and the complexity of the current situation.

Columbia University will be taking part in the Salone Satellite with an interesting interactive installation entitled Social Cave which involves 24 international students of the Non Linear Solutions Unit and the interactive designer Mirko Arcese, directed by architect Caterina Tiazzoldi.

The installation responds to an invitation from Marva Griffin, the chief curator of Salone Satellite based on the question ‘Where is design headed?’. Social Cave addresses issues of the digital age and the effect it has on design and relationships: real and virtual. Visitors entering the two enclosures of the cave will be able to feel and perceive the presence of others through video interaction, before meeting physically: the space first hides and then exposes the proximity and identity of those inside it, transcending traditional digital and physical boundaries.


images courtesy The Public Design Festival

Last but by no means least The Milan Design Week hosts the first festival in Italy dedicated to the design of public space:Public Design Festival. The festival, whose mission is to sensitize citizens and the city of Milan into experimenting, using and conceiving a new culture of public space, is organized by esterni in collaboration with various established international designers. The festival covers 4 urban areas of Milan that stretch from the city centre to the suburbs and among the various activities planned for the Design week is an urban camping project. Public Camping is a novel solution to high demand, low budget travel accommodation in the city-centre and inconveniently located campsite in city outskirts. The campsite is situated between Via Rubattina and the East Ring Road of Milano and indoor in LAP (Via Cletto Arrighi 19), outdoor in Via Caduti di Marcinelle-, with 60 tents, relax zones, picnic tables, hammock parking and a vegetable patch. The project was realized with the DMY the organizers of the DMY design festival in Berlin held in June.

The Milan Design Week runs from April 12 – 17. Please visit the websites included in the text above for times and further info.

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3 Responses to “Sneak Preview of the Milan Design Week 2011”

  1. Marcia Caines says:

    April 9th, 2011 at %I:%M %p

    Sneak Preview of the Milan Design Week 2011: http://t.co/zC6le94

  2. Marcia Caines says:

    April 9th, 2011 at %I:%M %p

    Sneak Preview of the Milan Design Week 2011: http://t.co/zC6le94

  3. Laura says:

    April 13th, 2011 at %I:%M %p

    #Lambrate #Ventura sounds like a #MUST #SEE in #Milan this week. Sneak Preview of the Milan Design Week 2011: http://t.co/VH1OlbO

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