We really are lucky to have one of the world’s most important festivals practically on our doorstep. From Tuesday to Sunday of last week (14-19 April), Milan was full of visitors who’d come from near and far to experience the annual Salone del Mobile (Milan Furniture Fair) and Fuorisalone, collectively known as Milan Design Week. We, too, were keen to seek inspiration and discover new up and coming designers, so we took an office trip and hopped on a train to Milan.

For those of you who’ve never experienced Design Week, let me tell you it is big – really, really big. Il Salone, held at the colossal FieraMilano exposition space, is the largest fair of its kind in the world, and Fuorisalone includes hundreds of smaller events which spread out over several districts of Milan. A week may seem like long enough to visit an event of this kind, but even if you walked non-stop for seven days, there’s no way you could see everything, so a solid idea of where you’re going and when is key!

Robert van Embricqs – RisingFurniture

Pepe Heykoop – Paper Vase Cover

Art Academy of Latvia

On the first day, we headed straight to FieraMilano to visit the SaloneSatellite – an area within the Salone where the most promising young designers and schools of design exhibit their work and hope to catch the eyes of talent scouts and business people. As always, there was a huge mix of products on display, from the absolutely incredible to the truly bizarre, but several products really caught our eye.

Hyundai – Helio Curve

Lexus – A journey of the Senses

Tokyo Design Week

Ungon Yawamura – Color Casting Concrete

From there, we moved on to the Tortona area, the oldest off-site location and home to many of this year’s most talked about exhibits. Amongst many others, we visited the ASUS Zensation installation with its streams of water moving to the pulse of a carefully chosen soundtrack; Lexus’ Journey of the Senses, which featured weird and wonderful taste sensations alongside elements to touch, look at and interact with; France Design, which showcased some of our neighbouring country’s design talent; the famous SuperStudio event SuperDesign Show, within which we found the impressive (and excellently named, if we do say so ourselves) Helio Curve installation by Hyundai as well as plenty of other stunning products; and even had a look inside Tokyo Design Week, which was filled with fantastically Japanese concepts and was without a doubt one of the most fun locations to visit, thanks to the sheer amount of interactive installations to try out.

Mindcraft

COS & Snarkitecture – Installation

Mexican Pavillion

On our second day, we checked out both the Ventura Lambrate and Brera districts. In Ventura Lambrate, the Design Academy Eindhoven presented their studies on “Food Non Food”, while Design School Kolding‘s section focused on tables as conversation pieces. We even sat down to create clever DIY bags with students from UMPRUM Prague. In the Brera design district, we walked through miles of white fabric at COS, loved the Mindcraft Exhibition in the cloisters of San Simpliciano, and were blown away by SELFIE 3.0 by ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne, which we had a huge amount of fun trying out.

We’ve certainly come back to Turin feeling inspired by what we saw at the fairs, and ready to inject some creativity into our current and upcoming projects. If you want to discover more about Milan Design Week, keep up to date with our magazine Feel Desain over the next few weeks to find out about some new products and designers that we discovered there.

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