25 April 2012


Landing in Milan we kicked off our stay with a mouth watering lunch at Obika- a mozzarella specialist restaurant, in the Brera Area. Back on the street, we made our way through various shops, showrooms and warehouses. The area was vibrant with ideas ranging from Geberit “touch-free” flushing systems, invisible doors, lighting made up of lenses, kitchen details, a hall with whispering birds and vertical cloth lighting funnels creating a relaxed magical atmosphere- which was very tempting to just sit down and doze off, But hey! Come on we’re in Milan- let’s keep moving!

Once you’re in Milan you cannot miss the speciality of the Aperittivo experience. After a few hours of red tinge drinks and mouth watering food, we made our way to the VIP Flos Party. We managed to make our way through the dozens of people in the queue thanks to our contact Silvio Bartolo. A huge venue welcomed us with gigantic Flos pendants and funky music. On the upper floor a timeline of Flos products was the main focal display. Highlight of the evening- Matthew managed to get a squeeze and a photo with Marcel Wanders! What a night!

Friday was Saloni Day, a beautiful sunny day- taking place at this huge area of land, dedicated just for the fair. This year was based on EuroCucine, having Kitchens as the main focus. Going round two halls of Kitchen brands requires a lot of mental processing, each brand coming up with innovative ways of presenting their product. Ranging from minimal sleek design, to stainless steel and raw timbers, curved edges, hideaway doors, all round accessible cabinetry with a special focus on hi-tech appliances. Raw materials were presented over and over again; creating interesting combinations especially when varied with highly finished surfaces. To our surprise we discovered that Cisk was actually being sold here!

Progressing to the bathrooms hall- another mega space! Even though the majority of the products are already available in the market, each brand managed to present their objects in an imaginative way. Seamless materials such as LG HImacs and Corian dominated this area, pin pointing the continuous revolution from traditional ceramic tiles to contemporary monolithic materials.

Our evening took us to Maxela, a chain restaurant specialising in quality meat- a gastronomy feast!
Saturday was Tortona’s turn, an old industrial area with a dozen of warehouses converted into exhibit zones. First visit kicked off with Matteo Thun and Partners building, Tortona 37, compromising of 5 buildings set out around a court yard. Our visit continued to Nhow Hotel, which also hosted various designers and brands. The temptation for a good afternoon drink was too good to resist, so we settled for a refreshing sip! Our journey continued to Superstudio lived up to its reputation with various digital experimentations such as the ‘Passing on Project’ by Toshiba named as ‘Touch to turn light into delight’, Canon visuals expressions titled as ‘Neoreal in the Forest’ and Foscarini’s multi-screen presentation.

‘Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context- a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.’ Eero Saarinen

Dinner at the Tradizionale is one particular dining experience, starting off early and quietly in a large vault-like area, to a more busy buzzing place as time went by. Our evening continued at the Circle meeting some Milano natives together with some really good flowing funky-house music.
Sunday was Triennale Time, picking up its name from the triennial exhibits which then became a fixed location when the museum was built. A couple of highlights include Object préféré a carpentry exhibit, cut off from the black floor by means of painting a chunk of the base in black, giving each piece a floating illusionary effect. Also Audemars Piget had a fascinating stand that brings about some insight into the miniscule details involved in watchmakin. An apparent speck of dust sitting on the counter turns out to be a screw for one of the parts. . Marmomacc- the International Exhibition of Stone Design and Technology was also present having impressive wall reliefs made from various stone and marble cut by means of hi-end machinery. Machine control processes were extensively implemented here towards the mantra of mass customisation.

Our last design visit to MOST based at the Museum of Science and Technology. Tom Dixon, new designers such as students and new brands. Entwined in several age old technologies, one could wind through the building to get a juxtaposition of technology from another age and today’s technology, blended with various design approaches.
And to cap it all off, a classic for the newbies: the Duomo, and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.