8 Highlights From Milan Design Week 2024
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What happens in Milan doesn’t just stay in Milan. This year, in its 62nd edition, Milan Design Week once again transformed the city into a massive design installation that featured nearly 2,000 exhibitors at Salone del Mobile Milano and over 200 citywide events. It left us with a full plate of inspiration and information to feast on for the rest of the year.

And Salone never fails to impress. This year, David Lynch’s “A Thinking Room” added a contemplative touch to furniture making, while the youth-focused SaloneSatellite continued to dazzle with fresh and innovative ideas – a table lamp made of threads, and a lounge chair reminiscent of a Chinese character. Then, of course, there was Fuorisalone, turning historic Milanese palaces and piazzas into hubs of glitz and glamour, where exclusive soirées and new collection debuts took place.

Yet, the accessibility of all the historic Milanese palaces was a personal highlight for me. Modern pieces set against the opulent backdrop of Renaissance architecture offered up a true feast for the senses. A train ride away from the city centre, Alcova was the go-to show for those looking for the extraordinary. My all-time favourite. What was once an off-the-beaten-track gem now draws up to three-hour queues. It is a delightful mix of edgy design and historical ambience.

This year’s rendition also gave the city’s forgotten places their chance to be back under the spotlight. Projects such as the Bagno Diurno saw the former Casa dell’Acqua repurposed into an echo chamber where modern acoustic systems harmonised magically with old structures. Our editorial team scouted every corner of the design capital to bring you the eight best spots that left you wanting more.

1. Lasvit | Glass Wonderland

8 Highlights From Milan Design Week 2024

You might expect to see a grand, gaudy spectacle steeped in tradition when you enter a Renaissance Milanese palace. Well, that’s not quite what you found at Palazzo Isimbardi during furniture week. Czech glassmaking design house Lasvit transformed this 15th-century marvel into a mystic glass wonderland with the Re/Creation installation.

The centrepiece, Porta, featured 10 monumental fused glass sculptures – with the largest measuring nearly five metres – that showcased the brand’s exquisite hand craftsmanship on an industrial scale. Also in the spotlight was the Bois de Cristal, a new modular lighting design concept that combines handmade glass with bent plywood; the Nebula series that adopts a Scandinavian aesthetic; and the limited edition Neverending Glory series. This spectacle earned Lasvit this year’s Fuorisalone Award.

2. Alcova | Expect the Unexpected

8 Highlights From Milan Design Week 2024

Alcova is synonymous with the extraordinary – lamps nestled in sand, a lighting system swirling through a tunnel, crushed stools cluttering the corridors, and a red lantern clogged between windowed doors. Now in its seventh edition, Alcova is a platform dedicated to international contemporary designers poised to make a significant impact on the furniture scene. This year, 70 exhibitors from around the globe converged on Villa Borsani and Villa Bagatti Valsecchi, transforming these Renaissance palaces into a showcase of delightful contrasts between the old and the new, the classic, and the contemporary.

3. MCM | Impressive Debut 

8 Highlights From Milan Design Week 2024

MCM’s inaugural Milan Design Week exhibition at the Palazzo Cusani broke the traditional mode of furniture with a metaverse showcase of the new MCM Wearable Casa collection. Done in collaboration with Atelier Biagetti, it melds Bauhaus influences with nomadic elements for a collection of seven portable, multifunctional items, that put dynamic and sustainable living front and centre. They included the Chatty Sofa informed by street graffiti; the Rubik’s Cube-inspired Mind Teaser chair that can be transformed into a stool or even a coffee table; and the Clepsydra portable LED lantern of which its lampshade can double as a hat when you need shade.

4. MOLTENI&C | Grand Celebration

8 Highlights From Milan Design Week 2024

Italian powerhouse Molteni&C celebrated its 90th anniversary with a grand event at the Pirelli HangarBicocca, a cavernous former industrial building for locomotives spanning 15,000 square metres. The event featured two multimedia cubes alongside seven towering installations constructed from reinforced concrete boxes. Guests were introduced to the brand’s comprehensive book “Molteni Mondo: An Italian Design Story”, in tandem with the latest indoor and outdoor furniture collections designed by Belgian designer Vincent Van Duysen.

The indoor series, themed around “contemporary grandeur”, pulled from Milanese architecture that epitomises sophistication and functional innovation. The outdoor collection, meanwhile, emphasised seamless indoor-outdoor living, bringing the comfort and style of the indoors to the open air. 

5. SAINT-LOUIS | Let There Be Light 

8 Highlights From Milan Design Week 2024

French crystal artisans at Saint-Louis lit up the historic Santa Maria del Carmine church in Brera with two stunning series – the Chamade and Torsade lighting collections. The oversized, hand-cut Chamade series draws inspiration from flowers and music, while the versatile and contemporary Torsade chandelier consists of U and loop-shaped pieces that can stand alone as wall or table lamps or be connected in combinations from one to 18 when suspended. Both collections are ethereal and whimsical, especially when presented against the Renaissance backdrop of the church. |

6. B&B ITALIA | Sitting Pretty 

8 Highlights From Milan Design Week 2024

During the golden week of design, B&B Italia unveiled a new collection that melds elegance with a hint of surprise at its Milan studio on Via Durini 14. The Narinari armchair, a standout piece, flaunts a sensational silhouette reminiscent of folded origami, upholstered in raw-cut felt. Also introduced was the Dambodue, a new version of the beloved Dambo sofa family, featuring a generous shape and richly upholstered back and armrests. 

7. Bagno Diurno | In With The Old

8 Highlights From Milan Design Week 2024

What was once a public bathhouse in 19th century Milan was transformed into an avant-garde, sound-led exhibition space, showcasing premium audio systems and soundproof materials during Milan Design Week.

The main bath area, reminiscent of modern public swimming pools, was transformed into this otherworldly blue-hued space, backdropped by eerie music. Visitors could only peek through the small window on the plain white wall, while other rooms were turned into showcases for different brands' soundproofing technologies. Outside, an open-air cinema space featured artist-designed benches made from recycled materials, providing a place for exhibition goers to relax and take a break.

8. FENDI Casa | Elegant Collection

8 Highlights From Milan Design Week 2024

FENDI Casa unveiled an elegant collection that offers an innovative interpretation of the FF logo, born from Silvia Venturini Fendi’s vision and executed by Controvento. Highlights included the Lazy Ottavia armchair by Cristina Celestino Studio that pulls from the arches of roman architecture; the Sohoft sofa by Toan Nguyen defined by calibrated proportions and iconic FENDI details; as well as the Landscape Pequin bed by Marcel Wanders Studio that combines modern design with the sartorial tradition of the house.

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