Milan Design Week 2018: The Best Installations, Collaborations, and Projects


This week, designers, architects, makers, editors, and enthusiasts alike descend upon Milan for the city's Design Week, where they'll survey the latest in furniture, lighting, decor, and more. The center of the week is, of course, Salone del Mobile, the historic international furniture and design fair that is the largest—and most prominent—of its kind. But between Salone and its numerous satellite fairs, exhibitions, launches, debuts, panels, parties, talks, and more, it can be hard to fit it all into a week—which is why AD PRO is providing ongoing coverage of the best in Milan. Keep your eye on this page for daily updates on what to see and do during the fair.


Hometown heroes Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci of DimoreStudio revealed their latest projects in three different spaces on Via Solferino. A Sheherazade-inspired installation of tents mixed historical designs and works of art with contemporary pieces, all set to a witchy soundtrack. Across the courtyard, the duo revealed additions to their Progetto Non Finito and Oggetti collections, among them arachnid floor lamps reminiscent of Louise Bourgeois spiders and a bamboo-clad table in the spirit Gabriella Crespi. And in Dimore's new street-level space down the block, they transformed pieces of furniture from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, deconstructing them and injecting new finishes and materials. Molto bene. Via Solferino —Sam Cochran

"Unsighted," curated by Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte

For his buzzy group exhibition "Unsighted," curator-dealer dynamo Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte delivered a brief to eight designers that was in essence no brief whatsoever: Create something for a venue sight unseen. Highlights include Omer Arbel's cast-glass vessels, embedded with copper mesh, and Roberto Sironi's poetic juxtapositions of forms based on industrial and classical ruins. Via Cesare Correnti, 14 —Sam Cochran

Gabriel Scott x Bar Basso

The design world's favorite watering hole—Bar Basso—has collaborated with one of its patrons for the first time. During this year's Milan Design Week the institution's iconic Pepto-Bismol-pink interiors are jazzed up with molecular Welles light fixtures by Canadian studio Gabriel Scott. For the windows, the firm recolored the bulbs of its Myriad fixtures to match the bar's famous libation: the Negroni. Via Plinio, 39 —Hannah Martin

Apparatus: Act III

Apparatus' Gabriel Hendifar and Jeremy Anderson are masters of reinvention. This year, for the New York studio's so-called Act III, their Via Santa Marta showroom has morphed into a chic Persian tearoom. Its contents? A collection of jewelry-like furniture and lighting inspired by creative director Hendifar's Iranian roots. "It's all about reconnecting with this place I've never been," says Hendifar, a first-generation American, who infuses traditional materials (agate, jasper, jade) and forms (Persian drums, nomadic tray tables) with an almost futuristic flair. Via Santa Maria, 14 —Hannah Martin

"Life in Vogue"

What designer hasn’t dreamed of redoing a Vogue editor's office? This year, for an exhibition called "Life in Vogue: A Reflection on the Way of Living the Contemporary Office," nine lucky creatives—from buzzy youngsters like Milan's Quincoces-Dragó, New York's Michael Bargo, and Rotterdam's Sabine Marcelis to established talents like Patricia Urquiola and Mario Bellini—have been asked to realize their workspace fantasies for beauty editors, art directors, and more at the offices of Vogue Italia. The pervading feeling? A nostalgia for individual creative workplaces with personal style that, in a world of one-size-fits-all offices and coworking spaces, feel nearly extinct. Above, Faye Toogood's interpretation. Piazza Cadorna, 5 —Hannah Martin

Snarkitecture for Caesarstone

Caesarstone teamed up with Snarkitecture to take over the romantically forlorn Palazzo dell’Ufficio Elettorale di Porta Romana, never before open to the public during Milan Design Week. Amid the building's timeworn arches, the Brooklyn studio riffed on the notion of kitchen as domestic stage, creating an amphitheater of pedestals with a sculptural island of Caesarstone White Attica at its center. Melting ice, running faucets, and steam played with the idea of water as the kitchen's main ingredient. —Sam Cochran


Just last year 1stdibs—go-to online marketplace for vintage and antique—expanded its offerings to include contemporary design. Now, they’ve asked nearly 30 of the most inventive talents on their roster to create one-off works for "A New Breed," an exhibition on display at Piazza San Sepolcro. From an elegant sand-and-glass bookcase by Fernando Mastrangelo to radical burnished brass-and-silicone chair by Christopher Gentner, it's notably one of the few group shows in Milan that's heavy on American designers. Piazza San Sepolcro, n°2 —Hannah Martin

Lindsey Adelman x Calico

Lindsey Adelman and Calico Wallpaper teamed up for a joint presentation, titled "Beyond the Deep," after discovering that they were both experimenting with corrosive chemical reactions. Whereas Calico's Oceania murals reveal a mix of watercolor brushstrokes and salt-eaten surfaces (digitized after hand-done experiments), Adelman's Drop fixtures feature patinated brass rods, some in a verdigris finish, and blown-glass shades reminiscent of rising bubbles.—Sam Cochran


Swedish sensation Hem planted its flag—or rather, hung it from a window—in Brera, where it debuted an array of new offerings, all ingeniously constructed for easy assembly and delivery. Among other news, a modular seating system designed by Anderssen & Voll can be expanded from a single lounge chair to a sprawling sofa, and Luca Nichetto has translated his crowd-pleasing lighting system (with interchangeable shades in many colors and shapes) into a floor lamp.—Sam Cochran

Artemest: Stranger Pinks

This is millennial pink like you've never seen it before. For its MDW installation, Artemest, the e-tailer of Italian artisan goods, teamed up with new design resource TED Milano for Stranger Pinks, a celebration of women through rosy-hued design. The installation, housed in the 1930s villa that TED Milano calls home, features handmade work by over a dozen of the Italian talents featured on Artemest's site—no rose-colored glasses necessary. Via G. Randaccio 5. —Hadley Keller

Tiffany & Co.

To debut its new homes and accessories collection, Tiffany & Co. transformed its Duomo-facing store into an ethereal greenhouse of sorts, with exuberant floral displays and a reimagined façade that echoes the lines of a peaked roof. Meanwhile five female artists (among them Marilyn Minter and Laurie Simmons) were given carte blanche—or should we say, carte Tiffany blue—to create window displays inspired by garden structures. Above, Simmons's window shown here.—Sam Cochran

Philipp Aduatz x Incremental3d

Designer Philipp Aduatz teamed up with Austrian startup Incremental3d to create Digital Chaiselongue, a 3-D-printed chaise, using the tech company's innovative concrete printing technique. The concrete builds in layers, like piping on a cake, and beautifully demonstrates the fusion of craft and technology. Via Paisiello 6 —Katherine McGrath

Lee Broom's Observatory

For his latest exhibition at Salone, British designer Lee Broom presents an array of celestial-inspired sculptural lighting collections, aptly titled "Observatory." Eclipse, pictured above, is made from mirror-polished stainless-steel discs that call to mind the various phases of the moon when viewed from different angles. Via Lovanio 6 —Katherine McGrath

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