Milan in April
A few weeks ago I enjoyed some time in Milan and immersed myself in a world of new and re-invented design concepts at Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano.
I was exposed to a plethora of inspiring elements, with one of the most powerful and memorable being the use and abundance of color! I soaked up as much as I could from my favorite furniture design brand, Minotti, enjoyed all that Moroso had to offer, and got swept away by the airy-ness of MissoniHome’s presentation. The exhibition at Universita degli Studi di Milano was one of my favorites, and La Rinascente, the Design Supermarket topped it all off on my last day.
Even though the emphasis was on the convention, a handful of the outside events promoted by independent magazines and stores were what I found to be the highlights! Surrounded by architectural inspiration, art, furniture and design, I came away feeling a creative surge that I am so excited to channel into my work.
Join me as I walk you through my vibrant, inspiring, delicious week in Milan!
With color being one of the strongest influences during this visit to Milan it was one of the things that also impressed me the most. I don’t have much color in my DNA and I noticed that the way in which it was used really took me by surprise. The presentation helped me to see it in a whole new realm and left me feeling invigorated and eager to use it in my work. It was interesting to note that one of the most popular colors used was yellow. Perhaps it’s a tipping point to happier times, more vibrant times.. but also a throw back to the 60s when it was so widely used in mid-century modern design. I admired that the use of color was smart, functional, and straight forward. Even monochromatic suppliers seemed to be favoring the bright color this year. Needless to say, I came away feeling a color revival about to take place in my work!
One of my favorite furniture design brands, Minotti Designs, is usually very monochromatic and I find that they use a lot of my favorite color, which happens to be gray. That changed this year, as Minotti introduced color to this year’s collection! Their new collection drew inspiration from the contemporary style of the 50’s, which Minotti revisited with a fresh, creative spin, to formulate a concept that is both highly graphic and modern. It was helpful and fun to see how my favorite furniture brand is moving forward with regards to implementing bright colors in their work!
Curated by Patricia Moroso, the Moroso collection was stunning and I really felt that its pieces were among the best and most unusual of the iSalone. Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year at the fair, Moroso displayed a vast selection of new and old furniture upholstered in candy colors mixed with pastels. Once again, the use of color was so refreshing and invigorating! The combination of bold colors infused with pastels and then applied to different types of furniture was great! I can’t wait to use Moroso in my work!!!
Another aspect of the show that really influenced me was not only MissoniHome, but the setting in which they presented their collection. MissoniHome was shown in a space that was bursting with light and perfectly airy, not to mention colorful! I was swept away by the balance between the use of bold colors and a necessary sense of openness. The collection now includes sofas, tables, lights, and pillows. I found it all to be very dramatic, but simultaneously very livable, which is a fabulous and of course, practical combination.
Universita degli Studi di Milano
My favourite exhibition was at Universita degli Studi di Milano where there was an art show sponsored by the Magazine Interior Legacy. On display were high impact visual projects with the common goal of proposing their concepts to Italian and international designers with a theme in mind. The theme was that of cultural heritage in relation to contemporary research. My favorite example is that of Patricia Urquiola, who constructed a beautiful art installation for Missoni Home. It was breathtaking to say the least! To accompany these visual stories was a great crowd made up of both the general public and designers alike.
La Rinascente was a fun experience that I got to enjoy later on in the trip. The department store was nicely merchandised with clothing, household and beauty products, and housed on the lower level was my favorite spot… what I like to refer to as the design supermarket. This wonderful emporium is the brainchild of Vittorio Radice. Among the goods was a sprawling line of Pantone products including, my favorite, coffee cups and chairs. It was very cool, extremely efficient and beautifully laid out.
On my last day I enjoyed a delicious lunch on the rooftop of La Rinascente, where stands the restaurant, MAIO, overlooking the Duomo. This is hands down the most stunning view of Milano you will find. What a perfect opportunity to let all of the sights, tastes and experiences of this trip come to a beautiful close. It was time to go home and explore my new ideas!