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Milan Design Week 2024 Preview: Part II

Milan, Italy

Part II of D/A UK’s guide to Milan’s annual design spectacular hones in on the best shows, new launches and happenings across the week

Caffè Populaire

15-18 April, 3pm to 8pm except Tues 7pm to 10pm. Via Giulio e Corrado Venini 85

This temporary aperitivo space last popped up in Milan in 2022, as part of Alcova; this year it takes place in the lush overgrown garden of multidisciplinary design practice DWA Design Studio. As well as providing somewhere for a little down-time for weary fair-goers, the venue will function as the launchpad for lighting brand Lambert & Fils’ Isle tubular lighting system. Also on show will be DWA’s Unico vessels for Pedrali (made from the latter’s waste created from chair moulds) and glassware by Sophie Lou Jacobsen.

Boquita de Cielo + Monument

15-21 April, Mon-Sat 10am to 8pm, Sun 10am to 5pm. Via Gaudenzio Fantoli 16/3

Barazante Ateliers (a sister project to Brussels art and design complex Zaventem Ateliers) is a 7,300 sqm space that will play host to 35 different design studios during the week. They include London-based ceramic studio Boquita de Cielo, which will be showing five ceramic tableaus, alongside furniture and art objects – all made from steel – from Monument. The hand-carved ceramics, plus Monument’s assured curatorial eye, should make for an interesting dialogue, all set within the former aircraft hangar near Linate airport, described as a “concrete cathedral”.

Concept drawing for the Flower Room by Studio Meshary AlNassar

L’Appartamento by Artemest

16-21 April, Tues 10am to 4pm, Weds to Sun 10am to 7pm. Residenza Vignale, Via Enrico Toti 2

One of the joys of design week in Milan is being able to peek behind the doors of its many historic residences, and see contemporary design in dialogue with their historic fabric. Head to the opulent early-20th-century Residenza Vignale, where six interior design firms have reimagined a space each using pieces from online retail platform Artemest, which showcases the best Italian artisans. The sumptuous entrance is the work of Kuwait’s Studio Meshary AlNassar, while Tamara Feldman Design takes the bedroom and Gachot designs the courtyard as the finale.


Blond Laboratory

15-21 April, 10am to 6pm. Via Palermo 11

London-based design studio and consultancy Blond is bringing together seven designers charged with creating work that responds to objects that are no longer readily in production – thus “championing the primacy of inspiration from ‘real world’ sources” rather than CGI tools or AI. From charity-shop finds to objects discarded in lofts, these everyday items will be shown alongside the designers’ finished creations, with the process along the way also laid out for exploration. The designers taking part include Form Us With Love, Sony’s Hirotaka Tako, Pentagram’s Jon Marshall and Blond’s founder James Melia.


Alice Rawsthorn

Prada Frames

14-16 April, Bagatti Valsecchi Museum, Via Gesù 5. Registration required

If it’s discourse you desire, rather than a cavalcade of new product launches, Prada’s three-day series of talks fits the bill. Curated by Formafantasma and held at a magnificent 19th-century neo-renaissance house, the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum, the theme of this year’s symposium is Being Home. Expect the personal, political, social and intellectual meaning of home – from the kitchen to the bedroom and everywhere inbetween – to be unpicked by A-list speakers including MOMA’s Paola Antonelli, anthropologist Matthew Wolf-Meyer and architect Jayden Ali, all ably hosted by Alice Rawsthorn. Talks are free, but registration is required.

Articolo Home

16-21 April, 10am to 6pm, Via Solferino 44

Australian lighting design brand Articolo Studios is branching out into furniture, with a capsule collection launching in the Brera Design District. “Minimal contemporary design with a European sensibility” is how founder Nicci Kavals describes her aesthetic, and the collection includes pieces in leather, timber, bronze and straw marquetry.  The gallery space has been reimagined by designer David Goss, with high gloss-coloured blocks, and deep green carpet runners to draw you in.

Roggbif by Studio Sløyd


15-21 April, 10am to 7.30pm. Palazzo Litta, Corso Magenta 24

Rome-based art and design atelier Wanderart heads north for a Milan show at the baroque Palazzo Litta. A site-specific sculpture by Wanderart’s founder Alessandra Pasqua, Bride of Quietness, is “a tribute to the dialogue between mortal and divine”, while the first floor will show work from the Lunar collection of furniture made from cast bronze and aluminum. The venue is also playing host to several other happenings including Nigerian designer Nifemi Marcus-Bello’s Omi Iyọ installation, a salt-spilling stainless steel piece that reflects on the dangerous migratory journey from Africa to Europe; and Trattoria Altra Vista, a pop-up private trattoria by Anotherview.

Proust furniture and objects by Alessandro Mendiniat Spazio Dilmos Milano, 1991. Image:Emilio Tremolada/Archivio Alessandro Mendini

Triennale Milano

13 April-13 October (Io Sono Un Drago), 15-21 April (Design Walk in Budapest), Tues-Sun, 11am to 8pm. Viale Alemagna 6

Milan’s design museum always times its big-hitters to coincide with the start of Salone, and this year one of the 20th century’s titans of Italian design, Alessandro Mendini, falls under the spotlight. Io Sono Un Drago (“I am a dragon”) is named after one of Mendini’s self portraits; the show features more than 400 works divided into six themes, from his architectural work to pieces originally shown as part of the Fondation Cartier’s Fragilisme exhibition.

Something else to look out for at the Triennale is Design Walk in Budapest: curated by legendary Milanese design gallerist Rossana Orlandi, it’s intended to be a snapshot of the Hungarian capital’s creative community, and includes folkloric ceramics by Abodi, and Pontum furniture by Sarakele Studio, inspired by Budapest’s Elisabeth Bridge.

Design Hotels presents Further: Neuroaesthetics – Design for the Mind

16 April, 4pm to 7pm. Caffè Populaire, Via Giulio e Corrado Venini 85

Head to Caffè Populaire (see top story) on Tuesday 16 April for a panel discussion on neuroaesthetics – the science of how our brain responds to an aesthetic experience or environment, and how it might shape new interdisciplinary approaches to design. Design Hotels and German hardware brand Franz Schneider Brakel (FSB) have commissioned a report on the subject, and the panel will talk about how academic research can be translated into practical application. Hear from neuroaesthetics architect and designer Suchi Reddy (founder of Reddymade); architect Sigurd Larsen; neuroaesthetics expert and Kinda Studios co-founder Robyn Landau; and moderator and Dezeen editorial director Max Fraser. Stay for an aperitivo and a series of culinary creations devised by food-art stud Ananas Ananas.