Milan: Day 3

Alcarol’s Bricola series submerges wood in aquamarine-resin.

With summer-like temperatures reaching 27 celsius, most visitors took time to leisurely brunch in the sun before returning to their real purpose this week – storming five dedicated districts and fairgrounds throughout Milan. Having already conquered a few bustling areas, people now devote their energy to specific events – multiple exhibitions in the same building or cluster. Here are a few stand-out examples.  

In Zona Tortona, Tuttobene has continuously invited Dutch designers to showcase their latest work for over a decade. This year's Meet and Matter presentation facilitates discussion and gives room for each design’s story to breeth. Among 23 diverse projects, Quintus Kropholler’s Black Gold series reduces sometimes bland daily objects to the bare essentials of form by exploring the materiality of asphalt. While Marleen Kurver’s Paper Plane Carpet explores the aesthetic of folded paper, Wouter Strietman serves up fresh expresso using his redeveloped ES3 machine. 

Across Via Tortona, Tokyo Designers Week hosts its own multi-layered showcase as a small encapsulation of their yearly event – held in October. Technological innovations juxtapose witty craft-based solutions like Un-do Design’s Hanger Tree – a modular coat rack literally composed of hangers. Inside a dark central room, Learn and Play! teamLab Future Park revealed colourful Media Block chairs and Train BVer displays. 

Before trekking back towards the city centre to visit Rosanna Orlandi’s complex, Rio+Design reveals the soul of the city and region’s creative scene. At Orlandi’s maze-like gallery, a rich plethora of projects made their debut. While Maayan Pesach (Featured on Frameweb in February) and Sander Wassink’s latest light series hang in an impressive composition of colours and form, Alcarol’s Bricola collection submerges reclaimed Venetian wood in aquamarine-resin planes and blocks. 

Upstairs, Piet Hein Eek reveals a new poetic and epiphany-driven furniture series that takes reference back to the seminal Eindhoven-based designer’s early work. Reusing the scraps of reused material already employed in previous pieces, he creates puzzle-infused tables but also frames old windows in metal casings – a play on one of his iconic methodologies. Keeping with a zero waste theme, the designer also created a table purely out od one tree trunk. Around the corner, Nika Zupanc launched her Sé Collection III

Further on at La Triennale – a large park-embedded palazzo renovated into a major museum – a slew of national profile and brand showcases feature artistic- and industrial-inspired projects. The Belgium is Design exhibition explored the power of reflection through a series of mirrors and small accessories produced by some of the countries most promising talents. Later on, Lensvelt hosts the world premier of Maarten Van Severen: Addicted to Every Possibility – a deeply personal look into the life and work of this monumental Flemish designer. Through a dark hallway, Citizen reveals its Light is Time installation – thousands of threaded gold pendants pulsate to music and illumination. 

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