Cabinet makers, blacksmiths, weavers, potters, weavers, but also techno-crafters and digital artisans. Here's where to go to see the masters at work

Michele de Lucchi, Mario Trimarchi and Francesco Faccin in dialogue with Korean artisans Gangyong Park, Hyungkun Lee and Sungja Hur, the Co / Rizom who bring blacksmiths, carvers, cabinetmakers and weavers from Central Europe to Milan , the Lebanese Richard Yasmine celebrating the (endangered) weavers of wicker and rattan.

The Milan Design Week is an opportunity to see the excellence of high craftsmanship at work, masters from all over the world, protagonists of exhibitions, installations, workshops and performances live.

These are not nostalgic operations, but paths that look to the past and to millenary techniques to rewrite the aesthetic and formal codes of handmade, where technology is no longer an antagonist but a companion of workshop, and where research on materials and experimentation give life to new, incredible, applicative and expressive possibilities.

Again, from the earth's foundation

Korea Craft Design Foundation, Feltrinelli Foundation, viale Pasubio 5

Among the events with a high level of craftsmanship, Again , from the earth's foundation, the exhibition, is staged at the Brera Design District Korea Craft Design Foundation involving three great names in Italian design, Michele de Lucchi, Mario Trimarchi and Francesco Faccin, called to interpret Korean aesthetics, re-reading respectively the works of the artisans Gangyong Park, Hyungkun Lee and Sungja Hur.

A multi-handed work that, in addition to the interesting exchange between two apparently distant cultures, wants to shed light, once again (but it is never enough), on the value of craftsmanship and on the use of materials </ strong > prime , to safeguard millenary knowledge and natural resources.

Little monsters / Scary beasts

5Vie Headquarters, via Cesare Correnti 14

In the 5Vie district, the Co/Rizom association brings together Central European craftsmen (Albania, Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Hungary, Romania, Uzbekistan, together with Nigeria), talents and realities, often unknown and far from mainstream narratives, but with an authentic expressive charge and incredible manufacturing capacity.

A genuine and precious heritage, ranging from intertwining natural fibers to wood carving, from colorful patchwork fabrics to hand-tufted wool rugs. The result is Little monsters/Scary beasts , objects with anthropomorphic features which, contrary to what the title suggests (in Italian 'Little monsters/Scary beasts'), appear instead as friendly presences that make you smile.


Nilufar Depot, viale Lancetti 34

The craft-revolution bursts into Nilufar Depot by Nina Yashar, with Craftmania, curated by Valentina Ciuffi with his Studio Vedèt.

An investigation that shows, through the works of Carlo Lorenzetti, Etienne Marc and the Dutch duo Odd Matter, techno-craft, craftsmanship enhanced by technology and research, which looks to tradition but to mess up the rules, to rewrite formal and aesthetic codes, in a sensible and profitable way, but with that pinch of provocation that never hurts.

An example? Carlo Lorenzetti, obsessed with the Colombino ceramic technique, an art that precedes the discovery of the lathe and dates back to 4000 BC, rolls clay in the form of curbs stacked on top of each other concentrically to shape sculptures.

Lorenzetti updates a millenary technique with new resistant and stable ceramic mixtures, and goes further, setting between ceramic and glass of wireless devices for charging mobile phones.

Woven Whispers

5Vie headquarters, via Cesare Correnti 14

Woven Whispers, intertwined whispers, by acclaimed Lebanese designer Richard Yasmine in the 5Vie district, is a tribute to craftsmanship and a proclamation to preserve a unique cultural heritage.

An installation populated by furniture nomads, inspired by modernism, the Arts and Crafts movement, as well as influenced by the most ancient methods of furniture production known to history, with materials such as wicker and rattan, which date back to 5000 years ago, used from Egypt to the Middle East, from Persia to the Roman Empire.

The work is a journey through time through cultures and civilizations, a tale of ancient crafts through the individual stories of individual craftsmen.

Barbagia Collection

Palazzo Litta, Corso Magenta 24

Serena Confalonieri takes us to the discovery of Sardinian craftsmanship with the Barbagia collection, created with the Tessile M & Dusa company of Samugheo, during the residency in Sardinia with the ArtiJanus / ArtiJanas project.

From this dialogue between the designer and the weavers comes a series of textile elements in wool and cotton, cushions and carpets, worked 'a pibiones', which in Sardinian means 'chicco d'uva', with the characteristic relief motifs. The decorations refer to different elements of the Sardinian cultural identity, such as the Nuragic bronzes, native plants and the archetypal terracotta jug of authentic everyday life.

The New Paradigma + Isola Design Gallery

via Confalonieri 21, via Pastrengo 14

Not artisans in the traditional sense, but a new wave of talents who combine and mix the philosophy of handmade, artistic thought, experimentation and new technologies. There are two spots in the Isola Design District where you can spot this new current of creatives: the first is The New Paradigma, in a small former factory abandoned in via Confalonieri 21, where it is possible to meet Jonathan Bocca, Annalisa Iacopetti, Sarah Roseman, Studio Neue, Pepijn Fabius Clovis and Tom Jacobs.

The second hub is the Isola Design Gallery in via Pastrengo 14, inside a loft obtained from a former factory of 400 square meters, where there will be over sixty designer at work.

The interesting thing is to be able to see these designers-craftsmen-artists-inventors-researchers (communicators of themselves and much more) at work, because often, especially when it comes to young people, it is not so much the result, how much the process to surprise.

Isia Faenza factory

Cathedral of the Steam Factory, via Procaccini 4

For ceramic lovers, the Isia di Faenza presents the exhibition project Fabbrica Isia Faenza , an exhibition that recounts a series of experiences developed within the Faenza institute.

Among the artworks, a landscape of fourteen ceramic totems made by the students during a workshop with the artist Diego Cibelli, coordinated by the teacher Mirko Denicolò, the result of archival research and the recovery of casts and images from the Faenza tradition and from the Real Fabbrica di Capodimonte.

The students developed stoneware mixtures suitable for two types of shaping: casting (water-suspended mixture) and in the plastic state (for decorative additions), coloring the ceramic compounds with pigments to obtain dusty shades.

Italian Masters

Superstudio Più, via Tortona 27

At Superstudio, spotlight on Italian artisans, present with single or collective participations. The best of of Alto Adige's know-how is condensed into Fingerprint Südtirol, an initiative organized by < strong> lvh.apa Confartigianato Enterprises, Idm Alto Adige and Studio Oberhauser.

While the Fuoriserie-Unicità per il futuro collective of Cna (National Confederation of Crafts and Small and Medium Enterprises), under the artistic direction of Sapiens Design and Stefano Lodesani Studio, gives voice to seven realities from all over Italy, such as Busatti, a family of weavers who have been operating in Anghiari, in Tuscany since 1842, or as the cooperative Ceramiche noi of Città di Castello, up to the Nestart startup in Rolo, Reggio Emilia, specialized in the recycling of waste industrial steel.


Via Bagutta 13 / via Montenapoleone 8

Many, many products, at the fair in Rho and in the streets of Milan, where you can see the skilful touch of the artisans.

Among these, the Promemoria showroom deserves a pit stop, where the cabinet Tom Bombadil by Romeo Sozzi stands out, a cabinet-making masterpiece with wooden doors which, like paintings, reproduce the polychrome geometries of the typical colored houses overlooking Lake Como.