Milan will be coming to London for the first time this year with Selfridges and the Victoria & Albert Museum getting in on the act. The London department store opened its Porta Via: Milan comes to Selfridges yesterday, while the V&A is bringing us Milan in a Van on 21 April, courtesy of Gareth Williams, a curator in its department of furniture, textiles and fashion.
But though the pick of some of the big names will be there to see at those venues – and a selection of the V&A exhibits portrayed in the accompanying brochure, to be published in Design Week on 18 April – the entire collection will only be in Milan.
Exhibits from the big boys and girls of furniture and lighting will be at the main Milan Furniture Fair and accompanying Euroluce lightshow, which open today. The likes of Ross Lovegrove, Robin Day, Michael Young and Marc Newson are, for example, showing new designs for Magis, including – from some of them – computer games, while Driade will feature Philippe Starck’s Soft Egg, Starck will again have pieces on the stand of manufacturer XO.
But work by such established design stars is supplemented by younger, often more experimental talents on the official fringe, SaloneSatellite. Also showing will be Designers Block, which includes challenging work by the likes of Jasper Startup, Ina Nikolic and Kal Chottai.
Among the more inspiring exhibits in showrooms and other, more adventurous venues throughout Italy’s design capital are likely to be the collaboration by Nigel Coates and Barnaba Fornasetti at the Fornasetti showroom and Ron Arad’s show with interactives by Tom Roope at Tomato Interactive. Droog Design, meanwhile, is taking over a one-star hotel, adding one thing by a participating designer to each room to create a series of ‘special experiences’.
More in the mainstream SCP’s extravaganza of furniture by its Britpack – Matthew Hilton, Michael Marriott, Michael Sodeau, Andrew Stafford and Terence Woodgate – will again be at the fashionable Superstudio complex in the south of the city. Meanwhile, Cassina will be displaying the collection by Jehs & Laub and Piero Lissoni first seen at the Cologne fair in January at its showroom in Via Durini.
Here’s a preview of some of those exhibits. There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere of the fair, and these images can only give a taster. But watch out for the two London shows.
Milan Furniture fair runs from 10-14 April. Porta Via: Milan comes to Selfridges continues at Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, London W1 until 30 April. Milan in a Van runs from 21 April to 9 June at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7
Designers Block will be showing the work of an international array of design talents, which include designers from Norway, France and the Design UK stable. The event is being held at Wivian Factory, Spazio Consolo, Via dell’Aprica, Milan.