iDD Reframed

Starting in Design Week 2019, the lively district of Milan extending from Porta Nuova to Porta Volta, known as iDD - Innovation Design District, will have a new visual identity: iDD Reframed, created by the students of Istituto Marangoni Alan Vidal Garcia Cruz, Eric Alexander Batista Perez and Monika Sosnowska.

The goal of the three young designers is to identify an iconic and repeatable architectural feature that can represent this special part of the city where design, art and technology join forces in a single district.

The form points to a stylized, contemporary image suggested by the profiles of the new buildings in the area. The installations of iDD Reframed will be useful information points for visitors, to help them get their bearings amidst the many initiatives of Design Week.

The project is part of the program Recognizing the district at a glance organized by iDD in collaboration with Istituto Marangoni Milano • The School of Design.  Interdisciplinary groups of international students in the Visual, Product and Interior Design courses worked with the objective of generating a creative idea capable of making the physical confines and innovative character of the district visible. The young designers had two months to develop their ideas, which were evaluated by a jury of experts, including Mark Anderson, director of education at Istituto Marangoni Milano.

After carefully assessing the quality and feasibility of the proposals, the jury selecdted the winning project and two other finalist projects:

Sharon Foglietta and Marco Ripani were chosen for Energy Connection, where the energy of nature, the force of connections and the architectural context are the elements of inspiration for a series of high-tech interactive installations.

The jury was also impressed by the project of iDD Visual Identity proposed by the Chinese designer Yuetong Shi: every detail is guided by the objective of incorporating the entire district in a unique visual code.


The big history of small objects

To mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus, Alessi pays homage to the great historical, artistic and cultural value of the school created by Walter Gropius, with projects produced under license from the historic Bauhaus Archiv of Berlin starting in the mid-1980s for the Officina Alessi catalogue.

Offered in commemorative packaging, the 90010 and 90046 ashtrays in steel and brass by Marianne Brandt and the 90042 cream and sugar set in steel by Marianne Brandt and Helmut Schulze have been chosen to represent the activities of one of the greatest workshops of research in the field of the applied arts.

From the workshops of Weimar to the Alessi factory at Crusinallo (VB), a big history for a nucleus of small objects, bearing witness to an authentic design approach that puts the accent on the creative process.



For the first time in its over 90 years of history, Tabu launches a contest: an ideas competition for university students and designers under 40.

Tabu is an example of Italian excellence in the dyeing of wood, with headquarters in Cantù (CO), producing natural dyed and multilaminar veneers for interior decorating and architecture, as well as collections of decorative wood surfaces based on dyeing technologies and intense research on materials and production processes.

IdeasXwood is the most important international contest of its kind in the wood sector, a project with a forceful focus on education aimed at promoting knowledge of wood and its utilization as a noble, living and renewable raw material, through controlled forestry practices to ensure its availability to future generations.

The annual competition is supported by ADI - Associazione per il disegno industriale, FederlegnoArredo and FSC Italia, in partnership with Accademia di Brera, NABA Nuova Accademia di design,, as well as collaboration with IED - Istituto Europeo del Design. A network of ongoing relationships with Italian and foreign universities becomes the structural framework of the Student section.

The 1st Design Contest ideasXwood 2018/2019 focuses on the design of:

• Geometric, organic or combined patterns for the making of:

1. multilaminar veneers in the 650x3060 mm format;

2. industrial inlays (such as the Graffiti Collection by Tabu), both on dyed natural veneers and multilaminar veneers – or in free combination – for the production of panels in the format 1260x3060 mm;

3. three-dimensional surfaces (ex. the Groovy Collection by Tabu), made with the embossed relief or bas-relief techniques, for the production of 1260x3060 mm panels.

Artifacts, furniture, objects or decor complements made with Tabu surfaces from the 555.18 collection or developed as outlined above.

The deadline for submission of projects is 15 April 2019; the materials can be uploaded in a dedicated section of the website Projects can be submitted by individuals or groups.

The winners of the Student and Professional categories will be announced on 8 May 2019 at the Triennale in Milan.

The jury chaired by the architect Franco Raggi will be composed of 16 members, including: Alfonso Femia, Ambrogio Rossari, Diego Florian, Francesco Scullica, Piergiorgio Cazzaniga, Roberta Busnelli, Roberto Tamborini, Sebastiano Cerullo, Stefano Pujatti.

The winners of each of the categories will be offered a chance to take part in a workshop in a prestigious design studio located in the United States or Asia. The winners will also have the option of converting the prize into an award of €5000.

Honorable mentions will also be assigned, with the possibility of a contract with Tabu if the associated designs are inserted in the company’s collections.

For information and registration:


Heritage Hub

In Florence fashion becomes art and is presented as such in the new Heritage Hub of Palazzo Pucci.

Maison Pucci opens this Renaissance building to the public after careful restyling that combines architecture and fashion, past and present, the history of the fashion house and contemporary reinterpretation.

In keeping with the vision of the image director Laudomia Pucci and the consulting of the studios Lissoni Associati and Noferi & Locorotondo Architetti, the internal space of the Palazzo has been revitalized in a new guise. The project has also involved young professionals selected thanks to collaboration with the London-based Central Saint Martins University and Polimoda, which has worked to make the spaces continuously accessible.

One key element of the renovation project is the light that enhances the spaces, architectural details, frescos, decorations and objects on display. The choice has gone to Zumtobel lighting fixtures that guarantee high quality standards in complete respect for the architecture and history of the building, thanks to their discreet functional presence.

The Heritage Hub replicates the historic boutique created by Marchese Pucci, a pioneer of Italian fashion starting in the 1950s, and the spaces are organized to welcome a range of different types of events.


Rinascente in Florence

A space created to measure... on the scale of FlorenceRinascente updates the store on Piazza della Repubblica in Florence with an accent on craftsmanship.

With a terrace rising amid the rooftops of the historic heart of the city, the 3300 square meters on 7 levels of the store are being completely updated.

For centuries Florence has been famous for craftsmanship, fine materials and traditional techniques. This accent on crafts will contaminate the international luxury brands in the department store, offering handmade products with great attention to detail. There will be a particular focus on leather goods.

The first part of the project involves the upper levels, where the new feature is Tosca&Nino offering typical Tuscan flavors in a cafe/restaurant on the fourth floor, a wine and food shop on the fifth and on the terrace.

The interior design for the whole store establishes a dialogue with the sinuous lines of the city, thanks to the work of two architecture firms: Caruso Torricella Architetti  and Marco Costanzi Architects.

The program covers all the spaces, from the store windows to the terrace and the seven floors, done in phases so the store can remain open throughout the period of the renovation, slated for completion in October 2020.

The shopping bags also get a new look, created by the studio North Design in a reinterpretation of the symbol of Florence, the lily, in the symbolic colors red and white.


Light in Rome

Light and marble, transparency and whiteness, history and essential signs: these are the key factor of the project by the studio it's for the new headquarters of Confcooper in Rome.

A building from the late 19th century that has been repeatedly altered over time has been renovated, combining original historical features and contemporary signs. Fragments of the 19th-century walls alternate with slim glass partitions, classic materials like marble are combined with light substances like reflecting aluminium, while a vertical green wall frames the stone courtyard.

The vertical access systems start with the original staircase, replaced by a ribbon in white marble and reflecting steel that reaches the terrace, regenerated as a roof garden.

The project for the building, with an area of about 4000 m2 on six levels, has been an opportunity for the studio it's to conduct research and experimentation in the field of restoration with a BIM-Building Information Modeling approach, involving all the phases – from the design process to the production of the parts on site, all the way to the future facility management – permitting the whole project to take place on a tight schedule of just 15 months.

The worksite took on a new dimension of digital craftsmanship to interface the skills of artisans with technological innovation.

Inspired by the architecture of Luigi Moretti and reinterpreting it in a contemporary way, the project stands out for its diffused lighting that fills the interiors, modifying the perception of the materials, the hues and geometric lines of the spaces. The white Carrara marble of the floors has been reinterpreted through reduction into thin slabs. Alpi green and pink Portuguese marble are seen in the shared zones, identifying the areas for community use. The exterior is also luminous, thanks to the use of white to blend the architectural features in a very contemporary context of pure, essential lines.



Bauhaus in Los Angeles

One century after its founding, the Bauhaus is back in the spotlight in the world of architecture and design. One example of its creativity that stands up to the test of time is the house once inhabited by the German writer Thomas Mann in Los Angeles. After careful restoration, the villa that now bears the name of its famous former owner has been renovated by German designers and companies.

Designed by the German architect Julius Ralph Davidson in 1942 in the Pacific Palisades district, the villa was the home of Thomas Mann and his family for ten years. Acquired in 2016 by the German government, it has been refurbished in tune with the original style and furnished by well-know exponents of German contemporary design.

In line with the principle form follows function, the interiors feature classic pieces of German design belonging to different historical periods. The project conserves the original open-plan arrangement of the spaces, reinterpreted in a contemporary way.

Design with an essential, timeless style, materials of the highest quality and an avant-garde technical lighting system, created by the company Occhio, bring the past and present of the villa in Los Angeles into mutual harmony.

Today the residence of Thomas Mann is used by the German government as a residence for intellectuals in the worlds of culture, political science, economics, media and science in general, taking part in the fellowship program of Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House.


Salone del Mobile.Milano 2019

From 9 to 14 April 2019, at Fiera Milano Rho, the 58th edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano.

Presences and projects: over 205,000 m2 of display space, with more than 2350 exhibitors – including 550 designers at the SaloneSatellite – with 34% of the companies arriving from abroad.

The Salone puts the spotlight once again on the central role of Milan, as well as the creative prowess and excellence of the industrial network. The Manifesto adds a chapter on ingenuity, a talent companies and designers possess that is intensively cultivated in a city like Milan.

Being an odd-number year, 2019 brings the biennials Euroluce and Workplace 3.0, featuring an updated, versatile display approach. The companies in the office sector become a liquid presence throughout the area of the fair to reflect on the social transformation of workspace in a context of sharing and contamination with other everyday activities.

This edition presents a new crossover exhibiton itinerary on design products and decorative-technical solutions for interiors: S.Project, a variegated space where the keys of interpretation are multisector operation, synergy and quality.

There will be about 550 talents at the SaloneSatellite in pavilions 22-24, where this year’s theme is Food as a Design Object.

Two large installations in the city and at the fair, respectively by Marco Balich (Aqua. The vision of Leonardo) and Davide Rampello (De-Signo. The culture of Italian design before and after Leonardo), focus on Leonardo da Vinci. Another new feature is the collaboration with Fondazione del Teatro alla Scala, with a concert conducted by Riccardo Chailly at the opening of the fair.


Paparazza Moderna

Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany

2 February – 7 July 2019

Vitra Design Gallery presents Lake Verea: Paparazza Moderna, the first exhibition in Europe by the two Mexican artists Francisca Rivero-Lake and Carla Verea.

The duo makes poetic portraits of single-family homes designed by famous modern architects. The approach of Francisca Rivero-Lake and Carla Verea involves sneaking up on buildings without warning, like paparazzi, with the goal of capturing situations of private everyday life. Each of the 24 works on view is an architectural portrait formed by from two to ten shots.

The striking photographic compositions of Lake Verea showing buildings by Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, Richard Neutra, Rudolph M. Schindler, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson were made from 2011 to 2018, during travels in the United States.






Sclera, originally commissioned for the London Design Festival, is one of the seven projects presented in the exhibition David Adjaye: Making Memory at Design Museum London.

A fragment of the installation presented for the first time in 2008 by American Hardwood Export Council and Sir David Adjaye, is part of the exhibition with which the architect explores the dynamic role of monuments and commemorative works in the 21st century.

The original Sclera was an elliptical outdoor pavilion measuring 12x8 meters in American tulipwood near the Thames. Inspired by the human eye, it was an engaging urban monument “to see and better understand the world.”

The piece on view at the Design Museum, replicated on the basis of the original drawings, measures 4.5x3.4 m and invites visitors to explore the look and feel of American tulipwood.



Sartfell Retreat

Synergy with the territory is the main characteristic of the project by the firm Foster Lomas for a house-retreat with contemporary architecture that blends into the rural landscape of Sartfell Mountain, on the Isle of Man.

The project calls for the addition of a visitors’ center that will offer a platform for education on biodiversity, in a territory whose biosphere is protected by UNESCO.

The residence, located in a large nature reserve on a hillside, is built with thick dry masonry walls (up to a depth of 620 mm) carefully made by local artisans. The continuity with the surrounding landscape also extends to the interiors, which stand out for a series of long ribbon windows set into the depth of the stone and framed with Cor-ten steel. A glazed architectural link connects the new house to an already existing building, a traditional cottage known as Cloud 9, which has been completely renovated.

Minimal, elegant lines set the tone of the interior design. In contrast with the floors and walls in gray polished concrete, the exposed joists of the ceiling create geometric dynamism in the impeccable spaces. A sculptural staircase in perforated metal winds up through the three levels, flanked by a vertical library.

“A Restorative Rural Retreat for Sartfell” is a project that explores the relationship between landscape and self-sufficient architecture – creating zero emissions from energy use.


High-altitude offices

Floating in the clouds, the extremely sophisticated offices designed by the architecture firm Alvisi Kirimoto occupy the entire 32nd floor of a new skyscraper with a height of 224 meters, located in the former industrial area of the West Loop, in Chicago.

The space of 2600 m2 contains a private collection of artworks and stands out for its balanced proportions, with an oriental touch in line with the Italian and Japanese sensibilities of the studio founded in Rome by the architects Massimo Alvisi and Junko Kirimoto.

The interiors are luminous thanks to large glass walls, natural wood finishes and suspended panels bordering the various work areas. The flexibility and lightness of the parts offer a breathtaking view also in the most private areas enclosed by opaque partitions.

Rhythm is added to the spaces by vertical wooden slats that adjust levels of privacy and luminosity, becoming the stylistic signature of the entire project.

The central feature of the offices is the Winter Garden, a two-story multifunctional space of great visual impact that becomes a luminous box. Depending on the vantage point, its cladding – composed of two rows of suspended wooden slats, not in alignment – frames a central partition in transparent glass, which can shift between transparent and opaque states, generating multiple perspectives and games of light and shadow.

The Winter Garden also features a large, sinuous bamboo sculpture created by the Japanese artist Ueno Masaosuspended at the center of the space, combined with an elegant table in Japanese lacquer designed by Junko Kirimoto.

Every aspect of the project is skillfully adapted to the context, from the custom furnishings to the choice of lighting fixtures. The use of color has been carefully gauged to create a sensation of calm while indicating the functions of spaces. The tones range from the luminous orange of several ceilings to the intense red of the panels, in contrast with the gray walls, from relaxing rust tones in Japanese wallpaper to the regenerating white of the open-plan areas.