We may have already named our favorite 10 installations seen during Milan Design Week 2017, but in reality, that list could easily have been 20 (or 30) as there were feasts for the eyes just about everywhere we looked. Today, we showcase the rest of the best spotted in the various design districts, historic sites and the Milano fairgrounds, home of Salone del Mobile. (Stay tuned for our upcoming roundups of the best products of MDW.)
The popular web-based company tapped Martina Mondadori Sartogo to curate Passeggiata, a series of interactive experiences within a stunning 15th-century private residence. Works by established designers such as Matteo Thun and Ashley Hicks mingled with emerging ones including Halima Cassell's and Hitomo Hosono's.
The car brand worked with Yuri Suzuki to realize giant sonic pendulums in a Milanese seminary’s courtyard, alongside select Audi models. A total of 30 pendulums modulated sound coming from installed speakers, inducing relaxation for those who encountered it.
The wallpaper concern’s new collaborations were installed exhibit-style in a gallery space of the Brera district. The biggest standout? In our opinion, it was Snarkitecture’s Topographies, which looks like a three-dimensional torn-paper composition from afar but close up, is actually a two-dimensional pixelated wall covering.
Photography by Filippo Romano
Using a variety of wood and metal profiles, Cherubino Gambardella and Simona Ottieri fashioned a 7.5-meter-tall hollow tower as homage to the spires of the city’s Duomo and merlons of Castello Sforzesco. Situated within Piazzetta Brera, the project, “Scrigno del Cielo: Architecture Inside a Window,” presented three slightly cantilevered, eye-level openings with views onto a mirrored floor that, in turn, reflected the sky.
Via AP Photo/Antonio Calanni
Conceived by Studio Swine, COS’s “New Spring” was a 6-meter-high tree-like sculpture that mesmerized visitors with its emissions of pale bubbles. While the bubbles popped on contact with skin (resulting in a scented mist), they could also be touched and handled whilst wearing special textile gloves.
A special exhibit within the Euroluce show, DeLightFul offered show attendees a sensory experience focusing on the intersections of technology, design and lighting. Curated by Ciarmoli Queda Studio, the exhibit included products by brands such as Arper, Flos, FontanaArte, Kartell, Penta, Poliform and Poltrona Frau, among many others.
While not exactly an installation, Design Pride was yet another design week event that excited the masses. An estimated 3,000-plus revelers joined in the parade, which culminated with a final bash in Piazza Affari.
Photo by Andrew Habeck
Photo (right) by David Zanardi
American designer Todd Bracher teamed up with the ergonomic furniture manufacturer for RE:CHARGE Café in the Brera district, in essence a respite for design-week attendees. The verdant backdrop hosted a full café with refreshments and charging stations for visitor use. But it was the lighting that was the main attraction (in addition to the living walls): Bracher’s Vessel pendants injected ethereal serenity while tunable white light integrated into tables with individual control dials allowed the sitters to change the warmth or coolness of the illumination, promoting mental wellness.
Via AP Photo/Antonio Calanni
Designer Maarten Baas lent a theatrical touch to his installation for Lensvelt called “May I Have Your Attention, Please?” The tongue-in-cheek project comprised a sea of chairs, each slightly different from the next, and wall of megaphone-evoking cones in varying dimensions.
As part of the “A Matter of Perception” exhibition, Living Divani presented “Off the Cuff” inside the courtyard of Palazzo Litta. Conceived by architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, its centerpiece was a tensile canopy formed by connected pairs of denim jeans filled with air.
Via AP Photo/Luca Bruno
Antonio Citterio Patricial Viel designed the trippy installation, titled “Augmented Surface,” as an optical illusion that repeats an intricate pattern of Marazzi’s stoneware slabs within Cortile della Farmacia. In order to achieve this, the firm carefully positioned 6-meter-high mirror panels to reflect the slabs — installed on just one quadrant of the floor and against the walls of the same quadrant’s arcade — and courtyard architecture in perfect symmetry. Outside this quadrant, the rest of the courtyard appeared to be unchanged thanks to the same mirroring strategy.
This Italian luxury watchmaker commissioned a special installation by Nendo originally for a gallery in Tokyo. Recreated for Milan Design Week within the grand Palazzo Visconti, it translates the concept of time with circular volumes — reminiscent of watch gears when viewed from above — filled with playful timepieces that were “sliced” from a specially designed extrusion.
Smaller in scale but sweet nonetheless, Piuarch’s “Flowerprint” draped a façade on Via Palermo with a constellation of some 2,000 flowers ranging from roses and lilies to aromatic plants including sage, lavender and rosemary. Executed in collaboration with landscape architect Cornelius Gavril, the installation proposed a way of decorating through “floral embroidery.”
As part of the glassmaker Salviati’s exhibition “Decode/Recode,” Luca Nichetto’s installation “Pyrae” displayed 53 colorful blown-glass totems lit from within to form a dramatic scene inside a disused tunnel at Centrale Stazione.
Photography by Sheila Kim
"White in the City" was a series of exhibitions in several different sites around Milan. At the Pinacoteca di Brera, the courtyard and arcades hosted the portion “White Architecture,” featuring small-scale, white (of course) structures by Studio Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind, David Chipperfield, Marco Piva, Patricia Urquiola, Giulio Cappellini, Stefano Boeri and Aires Mateus Associados.