Between certainties and discoveries, Brera is always Brera, that is the district par excellence of Milanese design, and therefore of the FuoriSalone. Here, where the most spectacular event remains Carlo Ratti's Natural Capital by Carlo Ratti at the Botanical Garden, there is also fashion that tries to give its best.
Two locations above all: Hermès alla Pelota in via Palermo, now a fixed appointment to discover the handcrafted luxury of the maison among unique leathers and fabrics, and the seventeen Dior Medallion Chairs of Palazzo Citterio, where the French house asked designers and artists (from Dimorestudio in Nendo, passing through Costance Guisset and Pierre Yovanovitch) to reinterpret the Louis XVI chair with its iconic (this time it is appropriate to say it) oval backrest.
Alongside these blockbuster events, definitely not to be missed, there are other gems in the Brera Design District. Here they are.
The newsstand relaunched in Largo Treves, temple of creatives
The Brera tour, this year, symbolically starts from the Largo Treves newsstand, relaunched and reopened thanks to Air Mail: the magazine that has as its mission the rescue of historic newsstands all over the world, has replicated in Milan, in the temple of sophisticated magazines, the operation conducted in London with Shreeji Newsagents, in Marylebone.
Fabrizio Prestinari had lowered the shutter two years ago, after thirty years in which he had been the reference for designers, graphic designers, architects and enthusiasts. Today the newsstand is reborn in form, thanks to the beautiful intervention of BWArchitect from New York, and also in its mission: it only sells fashion, design and art magazines. From newsstand to small but refined outpost of creative and cultural exchange.
The ECAL in Lausanne and smartphone addiction, irony and genius
Students who rise to the chair. It happens in Brera, where, in the midst of the showrooms, interior fittings and installations of the major brands, the work of the students of ECAL in Lausanne stands out at Spazio Orso 16. This year the theme chosen by the school - a guarantee of quality with its proposals at Design Week - is the abuse of smartphones. The students of Media & Interaction Design interpreted it with great irony (bitter) and technological mastery, through a series of installations and simple but brilliant ideas.
Between mechanical arms that take selfies with the selfie stick, tips on how to save time on dating apps, tools to falsify their health data through bots, the public is faced with their tics and their addictions, lightly. Irresistible is the video gallery with the gimmicks that help you use your mobile phone less, from the time-keeping cord to the mobile phone compartment from where it is impossible to withdraw the device unless urgent notifications are received.
The rituals of cooking and augmented reality, Gio Tirotto and FBS Profilati
The Too Cook installation by Gio Tirotto and FBS Profilati, at Hus in via San Fermo, belongs to the group of not at all obvious events from which we come out with ideas for reflections on the rites and rituals of the house that concern us all. Here the starting point is to talk about cooking: not through objects, but with the alchemical relationships that are established between containers and food.
Four shapes rest like still lifes on a surface sprinkled with aluminum powder - the sparkling production scraps of FBS profiles - and, thanks to augmented reality, are transformed into animated objects inside the smartphone screen. The result is a phygital space that lights up daily memories and stages cooking dynamics and habits. The digital environment - an integral part of the opera's scenic layout - was designed by the creatives of SUUN Studio.
Dimore, the future is a tribute to Claudio Salocchi
This year for the usual setting up of the apartment gallery in via Solferino 11 (in the same building Tubes presented I-Ching, the radiator designed by Elisa Ossino), Emiliano Salci and Britt Moran have focused on Italian Rationalism, obviously arranged in the manner of the studio that merges present and past in a single figure. In fact, the title of the exhibition is Past Present Future.
Pieces by Piero Portaluppi, Marcello Piacentini (three unique examples of two-seater sofas covered with silk made for his Roman residence, Villa Quota 110), Piero Bottoni, in dialogue with lights by Ignazio Gardella and Gae Aulenti, furnishings by Nanda Vigo , Bitossi ceramics, hand-painted de Gournay wallpapers and, of course, with the new collections by Salci and Moran.
In the exhibition, the Future part is represented by the rediscovery of Claudio Salocchi through the architect's private home built in the seventies. Dimore has selected pieces made by the designer that are presented together with some of his decorative objects and personal accessories of the creatives.
Post Design, Memphis forty years later
Impossible, for those who love design bordering on art, regardless of a stop at Post Design. Also because this year marks the forty years of Memphis and the gallery presents the new collection, Night Tales, designed by Masanori Umeda alongside some historical pieces from the Memphis Milano collection signed by Martine Bedin, Aldo Cibic and Arata Isozaki. After forty years from the famous Tawaraya Boxing Ring, Memphis therefore returns to carry out some projects by Masanori Umeda designed in the early 1980s, at the time produced in a few copies and exclusively for the Japanese market.
Street art and design, the new landscape of the house according to Airnova
Airnova is a Friulian company that has been working with discretion and success for years, gathering around its know-how concentrated on the processing of the best leathers a series of designers (Claudio Bellini and Emilio Nanni, to name a couple) under the artistic direction of GianPaolo Venier, cosmopolitan and refined interior active alongside Paola Navone and alone.
Naturalis Artificium is a successful example of how you can open a showroom in Brera (via Fiori Chiari 24, the space was inaugurated last June), standing out in the multitude of design hot spots with an interesting concept. Here, in fact, Venier put the furniture of the new collection in dialogue in a collected and refined setting with the street art of TvBoy, the artist of kisses between powerful, ironic and irreverent. The opportunity, among other things, to see the Carrà peeking out from a design wall.
SuperSuperfici, what remains (very much) of Memphis 40 years later
What remains of Memphis, forty years later? And, above all, can design still be as radical as Ettore Sottsass & Co were? Try to answer SuperSurfaces! The spirit of Memphis - reloaded, at the ADI Design Museum in Piazza Compasso d'Oro. The exhibition is the result of a workshop curated by Giulio Iacchetti and Matteo Ragni, design curator of Abet Laminati, who have involved eight under-35 studios since last autumn.
The answer to the brief is in a collection of cubicles, stools, armchairs, consoles, loungers, lamps and tables that celebrate Memphis not with obvious reverence, but trying to give life to unsettling furnishings such as those created by the movement that used a poor material, the laminate, for its ironic and sophisticated pieces. The designers are Federico Angi, Agustina Bottoni, Antonio De Marco, Martinelli Venezia, Chiara Moreschi, Panter & Tourron, Mario Scairato and Zanellato Bortotto, while the visual identity of the project (which was also an Instagram format) is by Leonardo Sonnoli.
LOM, a new home for manufacturing between tradition and digital
Another new location, for the FuoriSalone and for Milan. This time in an area not far from the Monumental Cemetery, in via Gabriele Ferraris. LOM - Locanda Officina Monumentale is a red brick building born from the idea of the founding partners - Andrea and Michele Borri, Alfredo Trotta and Stefano Micelli - to give life to a space intended for 4.0 artisans, to small custom-made productions with deep attention to quality and sustainability, in line with the Milan development plans of Mayor Beppe Sala and deputy Cristina Tajani.
The redevelopment of the building itself took place with sustainability criteria. The first guests - D-house by Dyloan, a meeting point between traditional manufacturing and 3D printing, BertO and Dibieffe's 4.0 carpentry - are a clear statement of LOM's mission.
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Cover photo: the garden of JVstore by Jannelli&Volpi in Corso Garibaldi 81 covered with the colorful wallcoverings of the CO.DE 02, Marimekko, JV Italian Design and JWall collections. Ph Mirko Ingrao.