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The Best Launches, Exhibitions, and Installations at Milan Design Week

Each April, designers, artists, editors, and other creative minds descend upon Milan for its annual Design Week.

Rather, design takes over the entire city. Anchored by the Salone del Mobile furniture fair and Euroluce lighting exhibition, Milan becomes a bustling design hub, with outposts spreading across the city from restaurants to courtyards, boutiques to cinemas. For those not lucky enough to experience the show in person, AD highlights the best launches and installations throughout the week. Check back daily for more design inspiration.

Charlotte Macaux-Perelman for Hermès
The French fashion house presented its latest Maison collections within an airy pavilion designed by Charlotte Macaux-Perelman and set designer Hervé Sauvage. The collection, which spans furniture, textiles, wallpaper, accessories, and dinnerware, was enhanced by the pavilion's dramatic play of shadow.

Cabana Club by Corian
Surfaces manufacturer Corian teamed up with Cabana Magazine to create a celebration of Maximalism using their materials. Cabana editor-in-chief Martina Mondadori Sartogo enlisted stylish creatives including Carolina Irving and Ashley Hicks to devise scenes making up a small village.

Bemz x Tom Dixon for IKEA
The British designer joined forces with Bemz, a manufacturer of covers for IKEA furniture, to create a unique sheepskin version of the Swedish manufacturer's Delaktig sofa. "We developed an extra furry cover in brownish black Icelandic long-haired sheepskin destined to transform the sofa from a hyper-normal IKEA product into a super-texture Tom Dixon seating sculpture," Dixon explains. "This illustrates in the most extreme way the transformative nature of the project, where a new cover manufactured by Bemz can completely change the character of your sofa through the power of design.”


Foundation by Formafantasma
The Italian design duo, comprised of Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin, presented a series of products from their Delta collection in the Spazio Krizia, once host to the alternative Fuorisalone fair that has played host to designers including Ron Arad.

Cos x Studio Swine
In a darkly-lit room of the Cinema Arti, Cos and Studio Swine presented an interactive installation in which a willow tree-shaped form shed gelatinous orbs of foam which visitors could catch and burst.

Fireworks by Muller Van Severen for Massimo De Carlo
The Italian art dealer presented a collection of four screens by the Belgian Muller van Severen. Called Paravents, the forms are meant to represent creative definitions of space in playful colors.

Atelier Swarovski Home
Atelier Swarovski brought its worlds of jewelry, home decor, and accessories under one ornate roof at the Palazzo Crespi, where the brand debuted its newest additions in furnishings, tabletop, home accessories, and gifts in collaborations with Andre Kikoski, Barbara Barry, and Aldo Bakker, among others. "The pieces on display here in Milan perfectly embody the common goal of Atelier Swarovski: to celebrate the collaborations, creativity and crystal innovation which are at the heart of our brand,” explains Nadja Swarovski. Collaborations include

Loewe: This Is Home
For its third year presenting at Salone, Spanish fashion house Loewe debuted a collection of furniture, ceramics, and accessories designed by its creative director, Jonathan Anderson. The items were presented in the sun-drenched Casa Loewe Milano (and on its landmarked patio), bridging the ever-shrinking gap between fashion and home. " I like the idea that fashion can explode into the household, bringing different artisans together to design new physical forms and apply craft in a home," explains Anderson. "This is how the Loewe character lives." Following Milan Design Week, the collection will move to London's Liberty as well as to Paris and Milan, where it will be shown in similar settings.

Superfollies by Nobody & Co.
Studio Toogood devised a series of architectural "follies" within a large garden at the center of Milan within which Nobody & Co. showed its newest furnishings. The setting is meant to be a whimsical riff on architectural styles of 18th century English gardens.

Le Refuge By Marc Ange
Fair visitors delighted in stopping to rest (and Instagram) in a dreamy, jungle-inspired bed by Parisian-Italian artist Marc Ange created as part of Wallpaper's Handmade exhibition. As its name suggests, Le Refuge is meant to be a shelter from the crowds of the fair. "Le Refuge is a place where one finds comfort and peace," explains Ange. "
It is the projection of a childhood memory. Its large leaves form a shelter under the sun, away from reality, just like those of the imaginary jungle that grows in the room of a child who seeks escape."

Slice of Time by Nendo for Panerai
Florentine watch manufacturer Officine Panerai enlisted Studio Nendo founder Oki Sato to create a physical representation of the passage of time within Milan's Palazzo Visconti. To do so, Sato devised several circular spaces which recall the form of a watch and overlap like the gears of a clock, representing both the cyclical element of time and the mechanical aspect of timekeeping.

Housewarming by Airbnb and Fabrica
Airbnb collaborated with design think tank Fabrica on an experiential installation in the Palazzo Crespi that explores the idea of belonging. In a series of interactive vignettes, Fabrica designers present connections with their own homes through means as varied as postcards, jigsaw puzzles, and conversations. "Design helps shape our everyday interactions, through products, furniture, objects, or experiences,” says Airbnb cofounder Joe Gebbia of the project. “Fabrica’s innovative students will showcase Airbnb’s belief that design can create a sense of belonging and facilitate connections between a global community.”

Joaquim Tenreiro and Michael Anastassiades at Nilufar Gallery
Nilufar Gallery used its space on the Via della Spiga to create a conversation between a historic and a contemporary designer. Furnishings by pioneering Brazilian modernist Joaquim Tenreiro are illuminated with lighting from Anastassiades' Fontana Amarosa collection to create a space that bridges styles and eras.

Dimore Studio New Collection
In true Dimore fashion Britt and Emiliano Salci's Via Solferino showroom was packed Monday night, retro tunes blasting (Emiliano is the resident DJ), as they unveiled a line of vibrant furniture and textiles (with some blue-chip vintage mixed in) that ranged from industrial bronze, Giacometti-inspired lighting and a futuristic mirrored chair to folkloric hand painted fabrics, all set among a lush background of plants and a cloudlike ceiling of white orbs.

Lee Broom Time Machine
British lighting designer Lee Broom celebrated the 10th anniversary of his company with Time Machine, an immersive installation set inside a vault in the Milano Centrale train station. "I decided I wanted to recreate pieces I had designed over the past ten years in a single colour palette and with new and different finishes that would give a cohesion to the presentation," Broom explains. "I then explored interesting ways to present my designs, which document the journey of the past decade in a thought provoking way." In addition to reissuing pieces from the last ten years, Broom debuted a modern take on a grandfather clock rendered in brass and marble.

Elysée Lamp by Pierre Paulin for Nemo
Originally produced in 1970 for the home of French President Georges Pompidou and his wife Claude, the Elysée lamp (named for the Pompidou's Elysée Palace) showcases Paulin's modern perspective. Today it has been updated and adapted to meet contemporary lighting standards, all while maintaining the quirkiness of the original design.

Paul Cocksedge at Friedman Benda
When British designer Paul Cocksedge learned he was to be evicted from his apartment, he took cylindrical "samples"of his floors and crafted them into furniture for Friedman Benda. The resulting exhibition, Excavation:Eviction, gives the pieces of his old home new life.

IKEA Festival
The Swedish furniture giant made its debut at Milan Design Week with the IKEA Festival, for which it took over a Milan warehouse to host a slew of conversations on the future of the home, debut new products, and encourage collaboration.

Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades Debut
The newest iteration of Louis Vuitton's Objets Nomades includes designs by the likes of India Mahdavi, the Campana Brothers, and Patricia Urquiola, presented against the breathtaking backdrop of the Palazzo Boconni.

Zaha Hadid Architects and Universal Everything for Samsung
Samsung enlisted the dual forces of digital design collective Universal Everything and the late Zaha Hadid's architecture firm for Unconfined: The Galaxy S8 Design. The installation is meant to bring Samsung's design philosophy to life through an interactive experience where visitors wander through suspended shapes in Hadid's trademark organic forms lit with digitized motifs.

MM XVII by Matter Made
American manufacturer Matter unveiled its latest collection for Matter Made, featuring designs by Faye Toogood, Oeuffice, Pedro Paulo Venzon, Philippe Malouin, and Jonah Takagi.

Apparatus New Collection Debut
Creative director Gabriel Hendifar and fellow cofounder Jeremy Anderson redesigned their Milan showroom to align with the latest lighting and furniture collection. Inspired by progressive and inquisitive creatives like Josef Hoffmann, Adolf Loos, and Eileen Grey, the three series pay homage to craftsmanship and new tecnology. Hanging lights from the Lantern series produce a glow from finely incised fluting, and the Segment furniture series creates a similar visual play between density and lightness from the translucent resin bases. Every detail of the showroom was consciously considered to reflect the balance within each product.

Armani/Casa Flagship Opening
On April 3, during Design Week, Armani/Casa opened the doors of its new address on the historic Corso Venezia, just above the Naviglio Canal. The largest Armani/Casa outpost in the world, it will serve as the brand's new flagship and a showroom for the entire home collection, from furniture to textiles to wallcoverings and kitchen accessories. "Design is an essential part of my ideal lifestyle, and this new store gives me the opportunity of showing my entire collection for the home," said Giorgio Armani in a statement. The store, which is meant to recall a large design studio, forgoes walls in many places in favor of floor-to-ceiling mesh screens, which give the space an airy, open feel. The flagship's centerpiece is a dramatic staircase in pale oak with an iridescent underside. At once ethereal and structural, it appears to float upward while anchoring the four floors.

GOD by Alberto Biagetti and Laura Baldassari for Atelier Biagetti
After making waves in 2016 with an installation entitled NO SEX, Biagetti and Baldassari address an equally provocative theme in this year's installation, which was curated by MC Didero. GOD is meant to question and explore the multifaceted meaning behind its title by creating a space within which "the visitor will be engulfed by the apparent omnipotence of money and will not watch but will experience the sensations and emotions that it evokes: awe, yearning, hope, euphoria," according to a statement from Atelier Biagetti. The space is meant to be a sort of temple to the idea of money, which, the duo suggests, is just as much a source of worship in the 21st century as any god.

Aldo Cibic for Marco Bicego
Italian jeweler Marco Bicego collaborated with Aldo Cibic to bring the architect's work into his boutique in Milan's fashion district. Playful stands sit alongside vases, carafes, and bowls from Cibic's Table Joy collection, providing a whimsical counterbalance to the fine jewelry.

Sigve Knutson at Carwan Gallery
In his multimaterial collection for Lebanese Carwan Gallery, the first design gallery in the Middle East, Norwegian designer Sigve Knutson applied a spontaneous drawing model to sculpture, resulting in organically shaped objects that defy categorization.

Snarkitecture for Valextra
To celebrate the Italian accessories brand's 80th anniversary, Snarkitecture, the American firm beloved for their playful, interactive projects, created a Milan pop-up shop that gave visitors the experience of walking through a cloud.

A Capsule of Memorabilia by Patricia Urquiola for 3M Design
Though a company known for tape products might not be top of mind when it comes to high design, 3M partnered with a lauded Italian designer to give their products an extra creative spin. For the collaboration, Patricia Urquiola created an interactive installation meant to evoke memories and explore the way we protect them. The use of 3M's eco-friendly Novec products adds an extra layer of commentary on the importance of sustainability.

Stone Age Folk by Jaime Hayon for Caesarstone
Jamie Hayon took over Milan's Palazzo Serbelloni, transforming the neoclassical space into a graphic installation inspired by nature and folklore using a rainbow of quartz by Caesarstone (over 40 colors total). Hayon's design references the Crystal Palace built in London's Hyde Park for the Great Exhibition of 1851 and showcases the dazzling variety of Caesarstone's surfaces.

The article originally appeared in Architectural Digest 04/10/2017 by AD's editors. Read the original article here.