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Milan Design Week 2024 Preview: Part I

Milan, Italy

Italy’s northern powerhouse city hosts the largest design happening in the world in April. From global brands to avant-garde emerging designers, it’s all here – and with D/A UK’s guide to the week, you’ll know where to go. Stay tuned for part II

Chairs by Junya Ishigami for Maniera
Porto footstool by Project 213A


15-21 April, 11am to 7pm. Villa Borsani, Via Umberto I 148, and Villa Bagatti Valsecchi, Via Vittoria Emanuele II 48

Still riding high as the feisty, cutting-edge alternative to the main fairgrounds at Rho, Alcova always surprises with its changing venue. This year the multi-brand show takes place across two locations, the neighbouring Villa Borsani and Villa Bagatti Valsecchi in suburban Varedo. The line-up among the 80-plus exhibitors includes visually light furniture by Japanese architect Junya Ishigami for Maniera, which will be shown in Villa Bagatti Valsecchi’s grotto-like former ice house; online retailer Adorno’s Animism presentation, which includes Project 213A’s space-age silver Porto sofa; and US brand Calico Wallpaper, launching two new collections designed in collaboration with designer Colin King.

Radiance coffee table, Rive Roshan. Image: Design and Practice


16-21 April, Tues and Sun 10am to 5pm, Weds-Sat 10am to 7pm. Via Carlo Farini 35

Five designers have grouped together for this show in Isola. Materiality is the thread that holds them together: Amsterdam-based artists Rive Roshan’s rigidly geometrically shaped glass pieces play off against their delicately shaded ombré colour schemes; Rick Tegelaar is showing delicate mesh chandeliers; Jesse Visser’s work includes the origami inspired Alumni chair; London-based Umut Yamac creates pleated paper lighting inspired by spring blossoms; and collectible design platform Form Editions’ limited-edition pieces include hefty steel tables and lights by Frank Penders.

Delcourt Collection

15-20 April, 10am to 7pm. Fondazione Mudima, Via Alessandro Tadino 26

Entitled Horses in my Dreams, this is French brand Delcourt Collection’s love letter to the equestrian. The 15 new pieces, which mix upholstery and case furniture, plus a pendant light, will be on show at the Fondazione Mudima gallery in the Porta Venezia design district. Don’t expect too anatomical a translation of the theme: Delcourt’s take is more about translating the shape and movement of the horse into a refined and elegant design language, from the tailored leather upholstery of the Cle chair to the interlocking Pak timber screen.


Steel wall piece, Zavier Wong
Unlikely Fragments by Faezah Shaharuddin

Future Impact II

16-21 April, 10am to 7pm. La Rotonda del Pellegrini, Via delle Ore 3

Sustainable Singaporean design is under the spotlight at this show, which has the backing of the Design Singapore Council and is put together by editor and design consultant Tony Chambers and curator Maria Cristina Didero, DesignSingapore Council. Seven designers will display their work in the rarefied surroundings of La Rotonda del Pellegrini, the decagonal former stables of the Bishop’s Palace, dating from the renaissance. Look out for Zavier Wong’s shiny steel shelf/wall art which is cut, folded, welded and finished by hand with the support of algorithmic and generative design tools; and Faezah Shaharuddin’s Unlikely Fragments, made from timber offcuts from Shaharuddin’s furniture practice and textiles with a CO2-absorbing Cozterra treatment.


Marble and felt table by Daniyar Uderbekov. Image: Andrei Sorokin

Is One Life Enough?

15-21 April, Mon 2pm to 7pm, Tues-Sat 10am-7pm, Sunday 10am to 3pm. Lampo Milano, Via Valtellina 5

The hip Isola district hosts its own mini design festival, which in 2024 takes place across 40 locations, operating under the provocative theme This Future is Currently Unavailable. Highlights include Is One Life Enough? at Lampo Milano, which features makers using sustainable materials and circular methods, including Kazakh designer Daniyar Uderbekov’s felt furniture and Studio 8’s Matterpieces, a terrazzo-like surface made from demolition waste including brick, cement and glass. The show’s display pedestals, created from recycled egg cartons with mycelium tops, reinforce the show’s messaging.


15-18 April, Mon 2pm to 7pm, Tues-Thurs 11am to 7pm. Spazio Martin, Via Alfredo Catalani 35

Intended to offer a “contemplative pause” in the middle of a busy week, this show by the French-American designer Sophie Lou Jacobsen moves away from her usual functional pieces. For Passaggi (“passages”), she has worked with Adam Holtzinger of glassblowing studio Keep Brooklyn to create commonplace items in clear glass: removed from their usual utilitarian settlings and presented on pedestals in a gallery setting, they invite a new type of contemplation about how the most ordinary objects can hold memories and have emotional resonance. “By translating them into clear glass, we’ve emphasised their intrinsic value, creating space for personal reflection… a kind of subconscious transference,” says Jacobsen.

The Black Box by Bob Verhelst

15-21 April, 10am to 8pm, Teatro Arsenale, Via Cesare Correnti 11

Among the many international brands with a presence in Milan are Belgian brands Serax and N Vrouyr which are collectively showing work by the multidisciplinary designer Bob Verhelst. Verhelst started his career in fashion but has since made exhibition design and scenography his specialism. His Serax collection of furniture, lighting and accessories, called Sculptural Confluence Part I, features angular, monolithic silhouettes, glossy finishes and a palette of earthy shades, sky blue and concrete grey. Verhelst has curated the space at the Teatro Arsenale in Milan’s 5Vie district, which will also feature his rug designs for N Vrouyr and other Serax works by fellow Belgians Vincent van Duysen and Ann Demeulemeester.

Lasvit Re/Creation

16-21 April, 10 to 7pm except Sun 10am to 3pm. Palazzo Isimbardi, Corso Monforte 35

The handsome baroque Palazzo Isimbardi will be reimagined by Czech glass specialist Lasvit. Although known for its lighting, the brand is an expert in architectural glass, too, which it will be highlighting here via a display of technical prowess: an installation in the courtyard by Lasvit art director Maxim Velčovsky that incorporates panels of fused glass crafted in Europe’s largest glass kiln. New collections will be on show inside the palazzo, including Nebula lighting by Swedish architectural studio Claesson Koivisto Rune and a bespoke Bois de Cristal installation by Lasvit senior designer Maria Culenova, made from plywood, copper and textured clear glass.

Aluminium furniture by Niceworkshop

Capsule Plaza

15-21 April, Mon 6pm to 10pm, Tues to Sun 10.30am to 7pm. Spazio Maiocchi, via Achille Maiocchi 3–5–7 and 10 Corso Como, Corso Como 10

Inaugurated in 2023, Capsule Plaza is back for a second edition at two locations, Spazio Maiocchi and the recently revamped 10 Corso Como (often billed as the world’s first concept store). Under the umbrella idea of Radical Sensations, the show will include luxury brands such as Rimowa and Tiffany & Co as well as younger experimental designers such as Korea’s Niceworkshop, showing its recycled aluminium formwork furniture made with upcycling brand Format. There will be a programme of talks and workshops, and a shop where you can pick up a souvenir design object.