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Review: Milan’s Design Week Fair 2012 – Part One

The Cube

Milan’s annual Salone del Mobile home furnishings exhibition and the accompanying design fair continues to grow each year giving visitors an abundance of choice and events to choose from.

It takes a fair amount of virtually military planning when deciding what to see and what’s OK to miss out on – which can happen as events are dotted all over Milan.  I had many discussions with designers based in and outside of Milan about this issue and there do seem to be some concerns that the design fair might well have grown too much.

There is only so much the hardened design aficionado can take in and enjoy without the products becoming a blur and some of my friends questioned whether it was necessary to show certain products at all.  This is discussed further by Patrick Goff of Hotel Designs in his own review of the Salone: A Fair of the Heart? Milan 2012

My own experience of the Salone was highly enjoyable.  It was great to catch up with old friends and meet new ones such as Michaela from PARGY and Alex from Italy Chronicles.

My trip was certainly enhanced by visiting the following:

PARK Associati Cube project for Electrolux.

The Cube
The Cube

The concept is of an architectural piece hosting a small temporary restaurant that will continue to tour around Europe. Milan was the second stop from this tour and the Cube was placed directly opposite il Duomo offering an amazing view of the Piazza.  You can learn more about the project at Park Associati.

Fabrica del Vapore

Part of the ‘Fuori Salone’, this space situated within an old steam factory has been converted primarily for start up design studios. Within the exhibition area, a collection of designers curated by Alessandro Mendini showed some of their latest projects.

Fabrica del Vapore, Milan
Fabrica del Vapore, Milan

You can learn more about the project, in Italian, at: milanosiautoproducedesign

Vico Magistretti Foundation

Show in the photograph below is what used to be the late Vico Magistretti’s design studio and is mostly how he left it with original sketches, prototypes and finished design classics lying all over the place.  Open to the public solely for the Salone, a visit provided me with an interesting retrospective of his work.

Vico Magistretti Foundation
Vico Magistretti Foundation
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You can learn more about the foundation here: Vico Magistretti Froundation

The Secret Garden

Within the Botanical gardens of Milan’s Brera district, Italian glass manufacturer Barovier&Toso and marble company Citco presented ‘The Secret Garden’, in two separate installations, one by Italian designer Paola Navone and the other by British architect Zaha Hadid.

The Secret Garden in Brera
The Secret Garden in Brera

You can see more Secret Garden pictures here: Barovier & Toso

Part Two of my look at the 2012 design week will follow soon.

About Paolo Feroleto

Paolo Feroleto
Paolo Feroleto

Designer of the ItalyChronicles.com logo, Paolo Feroleto Italy Chronicles’ resident design hound who sniffs out all things relating to Italian design, as well as hunting down the odd designer for interviews. He writes about the best of what he finds here on ItalyChronicles.com.

A designer of Italian origins, Paolo has over 13 years industry experience obtained from working in mixed discipline design studios in the UK and abroad.

Paolo has worked with a range of clients – from small independent retailers, to large blue chip companies. His projects have included building corporate identity, designing literature, creating stands for exhibitions, as well as devising graphics for retail outlets and websites. Examples from Paolo’s portfolio can be found on his website, here: Four Design, where Paolo can also be contacted.

Paolo also teaches Graphic Design and develops creative discovery workshops for educational and professional environments.

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