Milan Design Week 2018
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Milan Design Week 2018: what’s left to see (if you hurry)

The lights are out on the Milan Design Week. But for those who did not have enough, here are some design exhibitions that can still be visited (for some you will need to hurry …)

In order of closing dates, here is a list of exhibitions and installations, seen and commented. They all opened during the Milan Design Week and are still open now… But for some, you need to hurry….

House In Motion, by INTERNI, Università Statale and Orto Botanico di Brera, until April 28

Lorenzo Damiani for Ikea @INTERNI House in Motion. Ph Collateral

The INTERNI exhibitions at the Statale are always aesthetically pleasing and highly instagrammable. But the 2018 edition, House in Motion, also represents a pause for reflection on a theme that is important to everyone: the way we live (not only in Western countries but in the world) and in which we could live, nomadism and reduced spaces (chosen or forced), energy and sharing.


Emblematic, in this sense, are the 12 containers stacked by Piero Lissoni for “My Dream Home”. That look like archetypes of makeshift houses (with an intrinsic elegance). They host three exhibitions. One with the photographs that Elisabetta Illy and Stefano Guindani have shot at Cité Soleil, a slum in Haiti. Another with the drawings of the same children from shanty town, who put the homes of their dreams on paper. And a third one with a design hypothesis for a sustainable housing unit, specifically designed to meet the needs of the Haitian families after the earthquake. Touching, practical, to visit.

The installation of Lorenzo Damiani for Ikea, “Discovering the Infinite”, speaks instead of Western nomadism. It is a small wooden house that offers, inside, a kind of groupage of Ikea furnishings. The aim is clearly to tell the necessity of contemporary living flexibility. But the final effect inside is a loss of the perception of the object in all: a sort of “Ikea vision” in an artistic way. Very suggestive, almost a work of art more than a design installation.


The video-installation that shows a Studio Azzurro production on a long monitor lane in the Cortile d’Onore is also beautiful. “Milan. The Origins of the Future” tells the development of our city in time through its skyline (a must for architecture lovers), from 1925 to 2025.
Not to be missed then, especially at sunset, the smarTown installation of the SOS School of Sustainability and Mario Cucinella (at the Statale and at the Brera Botanical Garden): the 700 illuminated houses to tell the smart city on a human scale are beautiful.

ON LIFE, MILLENNIALS AT HOME by Elle Decor, palazzo Bovara, corso Venezia 51, until April 29

The third appointment with the future according to Elle Decor did not disappoint. On Life is an exploration of how Millennials live and it was conceived by Elle Decor with the sociological support of the Future Concept Lab but was developed together with Millennials. As a matter of fact, both DWA Studio (exhibition design), AKQA (interaction design) and Davide Rapp (video-installations) have involved students in the realization of the exhibition. Which, perhaps for this reason, is alive and lively, interactive enough to make the audience feel involved but also free of useless gadgets.


The best thing about On Life is that it does not talk about products or lifestyles but about dreams and how they change in the transition from youth to adulthood. And how the house changes its role in the hearts of young people. Digital Natives (20-25 years) live thinking about tomorrow and imagining it, using the house as a trampoline to get beyond the present. While Life Sharers (25-30 years) conceive it as an environment to share, both when it comes to work and to life. Where private and intimate spaces exist only as satellites of collective ones. The attention on the latter grows with the Family Fans (30-35 years): they start to look back and feel part of a generational history. And it is obviously with the oldest Millennials (the Home Curators, 35-40 years) that the house becomes a mirror. A space to be designed, dressed and decorated as a representation of oneself.


On Life is a complex and varied exhibition, to be visited with the mini-catalog in hand so as not to lose meaning and possibility of interaction. Perfect for those who love beautiful houses (the corners to “steal” inspections for their home are countless) but also for those who want to grasp the essence of what new generations consider quality of life.

To try. The giant sofa with the microphone: whisper your wish and you will see it appear on the ceiling (room of the Digital Natives). The videos in the kitchen of the Family Fans (touch the icons and appear graphic stories on the wall). The souvenir pictures on the sofa of Home Curators (the perfect styling makes all of them beautiful).

Trouble Making, Who is making the city, BASE, via Bergognone 34, until May 1

We had already talked about this exhibition here, with an interview with the curators. After having visited it, it reconfirms an exposure to be seen, of those that bet on the content rather than on the inextricability. Space is not great but every element must be carefully looked at to be understood. The study on how airbnb has influenced our homes, for example, is simply encyclopedic and on a table the tools are provided to all to enter the research.

SMART CITY: MATERIALS, TECHNOLOGIES & PEOPLE, Superstudio Più, Via Tortona, 27, until May 12

An exhibition to visit slowly, looking for interesting projects (and, in this, more suitable for today than at the Fuorisalone week). Because the concept that the curator Giulio Ceppi has proposed for this Smart City is not the usual high tech cauldron but a “humanistic” interpretation of technology. «Intelligence (smart city) we prefer conscience (awareness design). Or the enhancement of diversity, promptness in replication, awareness of processes and transformations in progress. A city made of inclusion and resilience, capable of absorbing traumatic, social or climatic events ». Among the projects to look at carefully there are disposable insoles and environmental markers to read the air purity (of MIT and Puma). And the theses of the Polytechnic students on nanotechnology and biotechnology applications. Like an electronic patch that cools the liver and increases concentration, or a graphene straw that purifies the dirty water for Mexican migrants.


68, Anteo Spazio Cinema, UNTIL JUNE 16

68, a cura di Francesca Molteni. Foto: Laura Traldi

Wandering around Anteo’s rooms in search of design pieces is fun. The exhibition on 68, curated by Francesca Molteni, is in fact “vertical”, with the works exhibited in the corridors and in the spaces between the floors of the Milanese cinema. And, when you find them, it’s a pleasure for the eyes. Because it is undeniable that the furnishings, accessories, advertisements, films on display are immediately recognizable by anyone who cares about the history of design. The feeling of familiarity is immediate as well as the comfort that comes from it. An exhibition for the general public, of immediate comprehension and with a nice free catalog (published on Interni Panorama) that frames the icons presented in a wider historical and cultural journey.

#SENDMETHEFUTURE, Subalterno1, via Conte Rosso 22, until August upon request (tel: 3403821489)

 We had already written here about this small exhibition curated by Marcello Pirovano and Stefano Maffei, illustrating why it was worth a visit.

I lavori di Gionata Gatto (a sinistra) e Federica Biasi + Francesca Fusari. Ph. Laura Traldi

And, after having seen it, it is worth remembering those who had not had time to pass in this small gallery speriementale to do so. Because in the almost 100 A4 sheets that designers have used to tell their idea of ​​the future there is something to be lost. There are romantic works with a meticulous precision (like the “utopian” postcards embroidered by Diego Grandi, which recall those that the soldiers sent home as a sign of hope). There are mathematical theories applied to the quality of life (a project by Federica Blasi and Fracesca Fusari) There are real projects, such as the one about the reuse of batteries not completely consumed, by Gionata Gatto. The most impressive project is that of Giuseppe Arezzi, Electroception, which presents images of a dystopian future: the scariest one is the grandmother who feeds drones instead of pigeons …
#sendmethefuture demonstrates how much can be said with very little when working in a coordinated team and when betting on content rather than on the wow effect.

Video di copertina: On Life di Elle Decor


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