Milan Design Week 2023: the most beautiful installations

Design Week in Milan, from 17 to 23 April 2023, includes many events in the center and on the outskirts of the city. We have collected 12 exhibitions – among them installations in the church, outdoors, and underground. From Daniel Arsham, Nendo, and The OMA to John Pawson and Christina Celestino, the biggest names and studios give a glimpse of a better future and tantalize the imagination.

Daniel Arsham x nendo

Oki Sato teamed up with  Daniel Arsham, contemporary artist and co-founder of Snarkitecture, under the umbrella of Friedman Benda Gallery, to create the Break to Make project. A work that lasted four years, which the designer describes as follows: “We designed objects without a clear use, then Daniel created new functions, breaking them. The sofa was born from a tub-like shape; a long narrow bar made benches and stools; from a tall and square shape – a console.

Exhibition Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council Exhibition

At the headquarters, the Irthi Council of Contemporary Crafts presents the exhibition Echoes of Alchemy, which presents the results of Irthi’s collaboration with  Studiopepe and the creative duo Casalinghe di Tokyo, which aims to deconstruct, archive, and reshape traditional UAE craft recipes, giving them new meaning and context. The Emirates-based Irthi Council is also collaborating with the American University of Sharjah to create a recipe series that explores the use of materials and crafts to empower women economically and socially.

Galerie Philia: Desacralized light show

San Vittore E 40 Martiri, the deconsecrated church in Corvetto, will host a group exhibition on the theme of holiness and desacralization. Desacralized is hosted by Galerie Philia and features more than 20 established and emerging international designers, including Rick Owens, Arno Declercq, Studiopepe, and Morghen Studio, whose monumental chandelier stands at the center of the space.

Beyond the Surface by OMA project for SolidNature

Architects Ellen Van Loon and Giulio Margheri of the Dutch studio OMA show Beyond the Surface, an installation for the brand SolidNature that was designed as an “immersive dream landscape”. “This year’s exhibition is dedicated to the power of nature; it gives insight into the processes of compression and hardening that led to the formation of natural stone as we know it today,” comments Van Loon. The exhibition is housed inside the Neo-Romanesque Casa Maveri palazzo, adorned with a multicolored onyx staircase. In the garden, Van Loon and Margaery staged an exhibition of designer work, including Sabine Marselis and artist Bita Fayazi.

Campo Base

A stone’s throw from the headquarters of Fondazione Prada, the Campo Base installation presents a manifesto of modern interiors created by six Italian architectural studios: Massimo Adario Giuliano Andrea del Uva, Eligostudio, Marcante-Testa, Hannes Peer and Studiopepe curated by Federica Sala. This design utopia is a moment of pause, reflection, and calm. This space will also include a bar designed by Studiopepe, with a play of mirrors and colors.

Thinking Design, Making Design from A-POC Issey Miyake and Nature Architects

Fashion brand Issey Miyake presents a collaborative project for its A-POC range with design firm Nature Architects. Thinking Design, Making Design: Type-V Nature Architects shows how design and manufacturing systems are integrated. Together with the A-POC Steam Stretch system, they will show the possibilities of prototyping products made from just one piece of fabric and integrated light. The most incredible trick is the jacket that goes from flat to three-dimensional when steamed.

Doppia Firma

Doppia Firma shows are anthropomorphic armchairs, mustache mirrors, and seaside coffee tables that bring a touch of irony to the baroque halls of the Palazzo Litta. Dialogues between design thinking and high craft explore the theme of the game. From Chris Walston to Lucia Massari, from Jaime Hayon to Atelier Biagetti, twenty-four designers and artists showcase creations conceived and created in collaboration with as many top-notch manufacturers. The Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte project is presented by the Michelangelo Foundation.

Walk the Talk at Brera Botanical Garden

Italian studio Carlo Ratti Associati and architect Italo Rota created a special path through the Brera Botanical Garden. It is made of tiles that create sound and light. The Walk the Talk installation was created by game designers Blob Factory Gaming Studio for the energy company Eni and is designed to turn the park into a “living game”. The project was developed within the framework of the Interni Re-evolution program.

Teatro Albers

The Joseph and  Anni Albers Foundation and AMO, the new platform of Design Miami co-founder Ambra Medda and creative textile consultant Veronica Sommaruga, introduce Teatro Albers. This is a curated selection of handcrafted contemporary design – a look at modernity through objects from different eras and cultures, united by the desire to explore colors, shapes, and materials. Also on stage are creations by designer Marco Campardo, textile designer Laura de Cesare and several large fabric dividers made by Clerici Tessuto and inspired by the work of Anni Albers, textile artist and one of the most influential women of the Bauhaus movement.

Clay Court Club – benefit performance of Christina Celestino

Cristina Celestino’s Clay Court Club project opens in a historic location, the Milano Bonacossa Tennis Club, designed in 1923 by the young Giovanni Muzio. An anthology of furniture, lighting, and coverings created by the designer for brands such as Atmosphera, Besana Carpet Lab, Billiani, Bilumen, and Fornace Brioni creates a dialogue with the metaphysical atmosphere of this architectural gem in Piazza Firenze. It will be possible to try your hand at tennis under the guidance of a coach – surrounded by beautiful design. A temporary restaurant, We Are Ona, will also operate here – you need to book tables in advance.

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