Continuing our must-see listings of the year’s biggest design fair, today we make our way to the fairgrounds themselves, where novel and innovative products are displayed in the highest density of all the participating districts of the Milan Design Week (4-9 April).

The Rho Fiera exhibition centre can be reached directly from the subway Red line 1, which has its terminus on the fairgrounds.

A Joyful Sense at Work –
Studio O+A, Ahmadi Studio, studio 5+1AA and UNstudio/Scape
Pavilion 22 and 24
Today’s technology means that work is no longer confined to the office. Designers are adapting to these changing situations, with new innovations in workspace furniture following each other up rapidly. The Salone has responded by dedicating 10,000 sq-m to workspace design: the Workspace 3.0 exhibition area, which includes A Joyful Sense at Work. Curated by architect Cristiana Cutrona, four architectural practices – Studio O+A, Ahmadi Studio, studio 5+1AA and UNstudio/Scape – share their vision on the future of work, addressing topics like stress and motivation through their immersive installations. Even though smart technology is a key theme, all outcomes are human-based.

For A Joyful Sense at Work, UNStudio and Scape joins forces with scientists and technological experts to develop an immersive environment that reduces stress levels.

Light of other worlds  Slamp x Robert Wilson
Euroluce, Hall 13, Stand A19 B14
It’s not easy to design a memorable moment amongst the crowded fairgrounds, but Slamp took on the challenge by teaming up with theatre stage director and producer Robert Wilson, commissioning him to come up with a concept for a statement-making stand at Euroluce. Described as a ‘flux of transportive stations’, the stand will be host to lighting collections by the likes of Daniel Libeskind, Studio Job, Zaha Hadid, Doriana e Massimiliano Fuksas and more.

Tent – Layer x Moroso
Hall 16 Stand A29/B22
Machine knitting is starting to offer possibilities similar to 3D-printing in making design materials more intelligent. Benjamin Hubert’s tech-driven and experience-focused industrial design agency Layer shows just that in their new design for Moroso, to be launched at the Salone del Mobile next week. Tent is described as 'the world's first truly three-dimensional knitted chair, with steam-activated 3D-knitted cushions and seamless sleeves integrated into a single textile cover’. 

Given its development period of two years, our curiousity is piqued.

and WireRing – Flos x Formafantasma
Hall 13, Stand C09/D18
Regarding the relationship between humans and light as an emotional one, Studio Formafantasma adds brightness to Flos’s collection with two new designs: Blush and WireRing. A continuation of the concepts presented at the studio’s Anno Tropico exhibition for the Peep-Hole Art Center, the Blush lamp combines a LED strip with dichroic glass to cast coloured reflections on surrounding surfaces.

Meanwhile, the design of WireRing reduces its elements to a bare minimum – only two: a custom-made electric cable and a ring containing a LED strip. Where cables are usually hidden, here it plays a key role in the design both as an aesthetic element and for energy transmission. 

Formafantasma will also have an exhibition space in the city centre.

Daze – Studio Truly Truly
SaloneSattelite, Pavilions 22-24
Featured in the ‘Introducing’ portrait series in Frame magazine at the end of last year, Studio Truly Truly has been busy in the lead-up to Milan Design Week – they are debuting five new collections at SaloneSattelite, an area for emerging designers. Aiming to take ‘standard production techniques to new territory’, the Australian duo will explore a multitude of materials, including glass and ceramics. Their Daze tables play with the idea of hazy light streaming through slits, captured through the colouring on the tables’ surfaces.

Photo by Alexander Popelier