Milan Salone del Mobile preview

More than 50 years since its debut, Milan’s Salone del Mobile will open next week – boasting around 2500 exhibitors, the 209,000m2 Fairground exhibition space and a wealth of other design- related activity.

This year sees the debut of Tom Dixon’s MOST, a partnership between Dixon and Ambra Medda and Martina Mondadori at Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia. The space will house exhibitions, lectures and seminars.

Tom Dixon
Etch Web Light by Tom Dixon

His Luminosity show of lamps, lights and shades will see the launch his new Etch Web Light and Fin Light. As well as a hosting other exhibitors, Dixon will take over four spaces at MOST, including the Spring Table pop-up restaurant from Dock Kitchen’s Stevie Parle.

Also at MOST is London based artist and architect Constance Schweda’s ∞ curl’ table series. The uni-material  (hence the ∞, or infinity) designs are inspired by Kiri-gami, a Japanese paper art that sees paper cut and folded into a three-dimensional shape. The pieces are created from a single continuous sheet of steel, with each sculpted as a one-off piece formed by metal artisan Sam Neal.

Constanze Schweda, Table
∞ Curl Table, by Constanze Schweda

Another MOST piece that caught our eye is the amazing series of Cutebot sculptures – larger-than-life lounging wooden robots that double up as comfy adjustable seating, created from a collaboration between America designer David Weeks, Belgian design group Quinze & Milan and New York group Areaware.

The ever-outlandish Lee Broom’s exhibition takes the form of a good old-fashioned British pub – the Lee Broom Public House. Here, he will be launching a new limited-edition ‘serving ritual’ for Scotch whisky, Ballantine’s 12 Year Old. This comprises a new decanter that can be deconstructed into three sections for different uses – the base acts as the whisky glass, the middle section can contain ice cubes and the top section can hold water or mixers.

Swell, by Christopher Jenner
Swell, by Christopher Jenner

Christopher Jenner’s Swell collection is bold, brash and brilliant – eschewing traditional good taste in favour of bright colours and playful materials, aiming to evoke a ‘change of feeling’.

In the Brera Design district, London-based designer Andy Martin will be showing the Undergraduate shelving range, inspired by the student accommodation-style shelving formed of stacked bricks and wood. Elsewhere, artist and designer Matthew Broussard will be showing new furniture designs at the Mint Market concept store in Milan’s Via Casati.

Mint, by Matthew Broussard
Mint, by Matthew Broussard

Among the many product launches is the O’Sun, a rechargeable solar lamp designed by Alain Gilles for Nomad. The cute lamp has been designed for use by both developing countries – where it can be used as a solar powered alternative to dangerous kerosene lamps – and in the developed world, where it can be easily recharged using mains power or in-car cigarette lighters.

Nomad by O'Sun
Nomad, by O’Sun

Alongside the main areas, the city will be hosting a number of other design-related events, performances and shows. Design Dance will be shown at the Teatro dell’Arte, a project by Michela Marelli and Francesca Molteni that will see design objects become actors and storytellers, narrating the story of their creation.

NO MORE HEROES by Nelly Ben Hayoun-Picture featuring Foley Artist David Poulton and Barcelona Chair

Source: Photo by Nick Ballon

NO MORE HEROES by Nelly Ben Hayoun-Picture featuring Foley Artist David Poulton and Barcelona Chair

Designer Nelly Ben Hayoun has worked with Foley artist Sue Harding on a very exciting-sounding project entitled No More Heroes. The piece forms part of the 100 years of Rebellious Imagination – Hacked exhibition, curated by Beatrice Galilée at La Rinascente. The project will see Ben Hayoun and Harding recording Milan Design Week’s background noise and manufacture processes, playing them back in a performance – aiming to echo John Cage with his ‘let’s put a performance on design’ advice.

Telepathic helmet: Alice Haldenwang, Tingting Zhang, Yu Li and Laura Couto Rosado.

Source: Photography: Sandra Pointet and Vlado Alonso, with Alice Haldenwang, Laura Couto Rosado and Tingtin

Telepathic helmet: Alice Haldenwang, Tingting Zhang, Yu Li and Laura Couto Rosado.

Students from Geneva University of Art and Design have collaborated on a show called Inverse Everything at Istituto Svizzero di Roma – Sede di Milano. Apparently, this will allow visitors to ‘discover new experiences that break the classical laws of Newtonian physics’, in a laboratory-style environment.

RCA student Mauricio Affonso's Fan Table
RCA student Mauricio Affonso’s Fan Table

Meanwhile students from the Royal College of Art will be showing Paradise – an exhibition situated in the Ventura Lambrate district with works from students of art and design disciplines including Animation, Architecture, Ceramics and Glass, Design Interactions, Design Products, and Innovation Design Engineering. The students have taken inspiration from their own interpretation of paradise and the idea of a better future.

Telepathic helmet: Alice Haldenwang, Tingting Zhang, Yu Li and Laura Couto Rosado.

After all this brilliant design, it’s more than likely you’ll need a drink. Thankfully, Heineken and their carefully selected group if 19 designers are on hand. This time last year, we reported on Heineken’s search for designers to create a pop-up club for Milan . Now, with the help of 19 designers, the project has come to fruition – resulting in a pop-up bar with a flexible, origami-influenced structure; an interactive bar; and light-reactive  responsive surfaces and spaces. The club is situated at Via Privata Gaspare Bugatti 3, Zona Tortona.

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