Our top picks for Milan Design Week: A full day of highlights

Milan – You know the drill: the confines of the Milan Design Week expand every year, and your Fear of Missing Out grows along with it. We’ve put together a series of lists, by category, to help you better navigate the maelstrom, from the stands of Euroluce to the hidden corners of Tortona.

Here is the final roundup in our series: from big names to new designers, from stalwarts to unexpected players, here is a mix of highlights in case you want to see a bit of everything in Fuorisalone.

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WHAT: Ex-Cinere
WHO: Dzek x Formafantasma
HOW: As a native Sicilian, Formafantasma’s Andrea Trimarchi grew up under the shadow of volcanic activity. For three years, he and partner Simone Farresin have been working with British material manufacturer Dzek to find ways to integrate volcanic ash into tiles meant for interior and exterior use. After a brick stint at Exhibit Columbus, the tiles are finally here.

The exhibition, by the way, takes place in a satellite location of Alcova, Space Caviar’s smorgasbord of intriguing new design projects, co-curated along with Studio Vedet. Apart from the main location on Via Popoli Uniti 11, make sure you also visit their secondary venue, Alcova Sassetti, located on Isola’s Via Sassetti 31.
WHERE: Alcova (satellite)
ADDRESS: Via Venini 85

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WHAT: Symfonisk – Feel Home
WHO: IKEA x Sonos
HOW: IKEA’s much awaited collaboration with Sonos is finally here, in the shape of a WiFi bookshelf/wall speaker with a price tag that meets both companies half way. This being an intriguing marriage of high-end tech know-how and affordable design, we can’t wait to hear, in person, how the Symfonisk compares to the One in both cost and performance – and what this pairing might spell for the industry as a whole.
WHERE: Zona Tortona
ADDRESS: Via Tortona 32

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WHAT: Land
WHO: Poggi Ugo x Masquespacio
HOW: For 100 years, the Poggi Ugo furnace has been producing terracotta of Impruneta, a certified artisanal marvel. To celebrate this landmark anniversary, the company teamed up with Masquespacio and curator Valentina Guidi Ottobri to create an exhibition titled Land. From the visual previews we’ve seen, it looks like a surprising, pleasing and skilled combination of material contrasts.
WHERE: Strategic Footprints’ rooftop
ADDRESS: Via Edmondo de Amicis 19, 11th floor

From top to bottom: Formafantasma's volcanic explorations and Poggi Ugo's Land

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WHAT: Meet My Project
WHO: Six N’Five et al
HOW: We might be a bit biased already with this exhibition, because one of Six N’Five's 3D furniture visualizations is the cover star of Frame 128 – our new print issue that, ahem ahem, will be presented in anteprima during the Milan Design Week. Here, the Spanish studio provides the scenography for work by more than 30 young designers from five continents. Go meet their projects, indeed.
WHERE: Next Agency
ADDRESS: Viale Crispi 5

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WHAT: Formations
WHO: Tarkett x Note Design Studio
HOW: One of our favourite installations during this year’s Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair was Tarkett’s surreally magical Snowtopped – a rooftop featuring a sea of white, undulating mountains surprisingly made using vinyl flooring. The Swedish brand is pairing up again with Note, the designers behind both Snowtopped and their award-winning Lookout booth, to create another installation that further challenges the material’s potential. Formations appears to be a scale-bending, elegantly colour-blocked Alice in Wonderland situation – and by the looks of it, the setup is bound to become an Instagram darling this year.
WHERE: Circolo Filologico Milanese
ADDRESS: Via Clerici 10

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WHAT: A Life Extraordinary
WHO: Moooi
HOW: Last year, the Dutch brand vowed to switch to a drop-like product launch method, instead of releasing an entire collection during Milan Design Week – they labeled this strategy the More Moooi Moments. Does this mean they’re coming to town empty-handed? Quite the contrary: Marcel Wanders is presenting his BFF sofa, there’s a singing chandelier by Kranen/Gille appropriately called The Party – an extension of the cheeky lamps launched in December – and a carpet by Front that promises to feel like walking on clouds. Also, last year’s celebrated Extinct Animals wallpaper has a follow-up, as the Indigo Macaque joins the family.

Oh! And do note their launch model is not the only thing changing this year: Moooi is moooving to the Mediateca Santa Teresa in Brera.
WHERE: Mediateca Santa Teresa
ADDRESS: Via della Moscova 28

From top to bottom: Meet My Project and Formations

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WHAT: 50 Years of Commitment to Architecture
WHO: UniFor x Ron Gilad
HOW: Aldo Rossi, Alvaro Siza, Renzo Piani, Michele De Lucchi, Foster + Partners and Jean Nouvel have all collaborated with UniFor throughout the furniture brand’s 50-year history. Now, to celebrate the occasion, they’ve added Ron Gilad to the list: he’s curating a multimedia installation that explores the past and future of the contemporary office.
Make sure you also take a look at the brand’s book on this topic, edited by Fulvio Irace with graphics by Pierluigi Cerri.
WHERE: Palazzo di Brera
ADDRESS: Via Brera 28

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WHAT:  Les Arcanistes
WHO: Studiopepe
HOW: Last year they came up with a secret club. ‘The future is unwritten, so this is an investigation into the strong interconnection between matter and the archetypal power of symbols and divination,’ they say this year, pointing to the tarot-reading Società Mantica. ‘We don’t know what that is but we are seeing into a future were we like it and we sure like Studiopepe and so we’re definitely going,’ we say, looking at the cryptic invitation we received.
WHERE: Use your divination skills to feel the city's aura and sense which warehouse on Città Studi was previously used for gold manufacturing.
ADDRESS: Nah, just joking. It’s on Via Garofalo 24.

From top to bottom: Les Arcanistes and One Design - One Handle

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WHAT: Energy and Nature
WHO: Sunbrella x Liz Collins and Ligne Roset
HOW: Apart from teaming up with Elise Fouin’s to produce a windmill-like installation at the Salone del Mobile (Hall 22, Stand e32), Sunbrella worked with American artist Liz Collins and French brand Ligne Roset to create a Summit Suite at Rossana Orlandi. If you’re there, try to find the set of mountain peaks enveloped by fur and light.
WHERE: Galleria Rossana Orlandi
ADDRESS: Via Matteo Bandello 14

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WHAT:  One Design – One Handle
WHO: UNION x Tsuyoshi Tane
HOW: And here’s an unexpected one to close this list. If you’re a Japanese door-handle manufacturer and you want to make your debut in Milan, how do you go about it? UNION decided to go back to the start in a large way: by creating an installation that highlights the technique of sand mold casting, an ancient fusion process – and the way their small-batch production creates a single handle for each mould.
WHERE: Torneria Tortona
ADDRESS: Via Tortona 32

Want to read our other category picks for this year? You can do so here.

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