Milan Design Week 2018: The Top 10 Exhibitions You Don’t Want To Miss

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Li Edelkoort and Google explore how digital devices can be more sensorial
Galleria Rossana Orlandi
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We delve into the biggest design week of the year and deliver our shortlist.

TEXT: CoBo Editorial Force
IMAGES: Courtesy of the brands/online resources


It’s that time of year again. From April 17 to 22, the Italian style capital of Milan will be filled with the movers and shakers of the design world at international furniture and design festival Salone del Mobile as well as its satellite events. Here’s our roundup of the installations, exhibitions, and other events you won’t want to miss.


Open Sky by Phillip K Smith III for COS

Fashion brand COS has an excellent track record of fascinating collaborations with designers and artists over past editions of Milan Design Week, and this year is no different. 2018 sees the appearance of a striking faceted mirror sculpture in the courtyard of a 16th century palazzo — the creation of American artist Phillip K. Smith III, who the brand is working with this year. Titled “Open Sky”, the mirror-polish stainless steel installation reflects the sky above the courtyard, uniting Milan’s architecture with its surroundings in a unique display. The piece was the product of a largely open-ended brief from the brand and of the inspiration Smith took from the installation site.


Observatory by Lee Broom

British furniture designer Lee Broom returns with another new series of intriguing lighting pieces. Titled “Observatory”, the curved, ethereal lights are the first of a three-phase launch that will continue throughout the year. Housed in a grade II listed building in Brera, the lights showcase a more sculptural side of Broom’s repertoire and incorporate LED technology.


Hermès Maison


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French luxury fashion and lifestyle brand Hermès presents an all-encompassing experience this year. The fashion house presents its new Hermès Maison home ware collection, which comprises creations such as textiles, fabrics, wallpapers, furniture, and accessories like geometrically patterned vases and a dinner service. Not only that — visitors can enjoy perusing the new collection in an environment designed by Charlotte Macaux Perelman, the brand’s deputy artistic director, and curator and publisher Alexis Fabry, at the Museo della Permanente.


Swarovski Palazzo


Austrian crystal powerhouse Swarovski takes over a hidden courtyard at Palazzo Serbelloni with a custom-built “greenhouse”, where the brand offers its atelier collections and jewelry for purchase alongside an exhibit of its new home collections by Nendo, Patricia Urquiola, Peter Pilotto and John Pawson. Meanwhile, a pop-up Daniel’s Café serves up Viennese pastries that visitors can nibble on while they browse.


Galleria Rossana Orlandi

Li Edelkoort and Google explore how digital devices can be more sensorial
Galleria Rossana Orlandi


Tech giant Google makes its unexpected debut at furniture and design fair Salone del Mobile at Rossana Orlandi gallery. The brand’s hardware meets soft furnishings in an immersive, multi-room installation curated by Dutch trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort. And as usual, the exquisite selection of works presented at Galleria Rossana Orlandi would be a must-visit for any design lover.


Nendo: Forms of Movement



Japanese design studio Nendo examines the idea of movement with a series of designs and sketches in a 800sqm space in Via Tortona. The exhibition is part of design fair Superdesign Show run by media company Superstudio Group.




The historic panettone factory opens to the public for the first time ever, showcasing new designs from a variety of studio and galleries from across the globe brought together by design research studio Space Caviar and multidisciplinary studio Studio Vedèt, such as Gijs Bakker, Also Known As, Bloc Studios, Bohinc Studio, Lara Bohinc and Nanban.


Ventura Centrale and Ventura Future


Following the success of Ventura Projects’ first Ventura Centrale and Ventura Lambrate last year is the organization’s sophomore edition. Housed in the abandoned warehouses underneath Milan’s Central Station, Ventura Centrale showcases a mix of contemporary design pieces by both emerging and established brands such as Baars & Bloemhoff, Nitto, and Fabrica and Pierre Frey. Meanwhile, Ventura Future succeeds Ventura Lambrate, as it will continue to do so going forwards. Taking place in three locations across the Loreto district, the exhibition focuses on exhibitors with innovative, multidisciplinary work that takes design into a new era.


Not for Sale by Design Academy Eindhoven



Dutch educational institute Design Academy Eindhoven, which focuses on art, architecture and design, present this year’s show along Via Pietro Crespi. Through the exhibition, which runs along the entire street, the institute’s students set out to question what determines whether a design piece can be sold.


Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades


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The inimitable French fashion brand brings Objets Nomades, its collection of unique travel-inspired objects, to Palazzo Bocconi. Visitors can expect to see a neon-bright patchwork leather vase by Brazilian maestros the Campana Brothers as well as a new collaboration with Hong Kong’s own renowned architect and designer André Fu.



Other honourable mentions :


Altered States by Snarkitecture for  Caesarstone



Jewels after Jewels after Jewels by by Michael Anastassiades for FLOS


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