Summing up the events of FuoriSalone 2019, I can’t really omit Brera, the centre of old Milan with many of the city’s historic churches and palaces. Here’s my final post on Milan Design Week with 5 highlights of Brera Design District – from scenic installations to modern showrooms, with a touch of the bohemian and the conceptual, in 5 different locations across the district.
Location 1: The new flagship store of Bisazza in via Solferino 22
Project: The Italian company with a global reputation for luxury glass mosaics opened doors to its new showroom in the heart of the prestigious Milanese neighbourhood. Stepping inside, I discovered a truly spring space filled with flowers and matching mosaics on the walls in the Bisazza signature fanciful style. The company was founded in 1956 and since then has collaborated with many renowned names in the fashion and design world such as Alessandro Mendini, Emilio Pucci, Ettore Sottsass and India Mahdavi to name just a few. This year it was Marcel Wanders who designed Pebbles, a limited edition of low coffee tables adorned with floral mosaics.
Location 2: Palazzo Cusani in via Brera 15
Project: The 17th century palace in the heart of old Brera, near the Brera Fine Arts Academy, became a venue for Marc Ange’s otherworldly installation. The designer, who splits his time between Paris and Los Angeles, made headlines two years ago with his tropical daybed Le Refuge. Its pink palm leaf canopy went viral on Instagram. This year Le Refuge has returned as a proper bed, Le Refuge de la Nuit, looking regal amidst the splendour of Palazzo Cusani. Other pieces included lamps with the same motif as well as the new Araignée sofa.
Location 3: The Socialite Family apartment in via Palermo 1
Project: The first floor of via Palermo 1 hosted a vintage-inspired apartment installation by Constance Gennari and her brand, The Socialite Family, a follow up to the popular website of the same name. The designer, inspired by her own Franco-Italian roots and childhood memories of flea markets, put a contemporary spin on the 1970s style and Parisian boho decor. The space, filled with carefully arranged props, created the illusion of a private home belonging to an artistic vintage lover.
Location 4: Chiostro Grande di San Simpliciano
Project: The Secret Place of Design, a group installation showcasing designs by 5 Italian brands, took place in the secluded courtyard of the 16th century cloister in via Cavalieri del Santo Sepolcro 3. The centuries-old architecture and the zen-like courtyard created a contemplative mood for the modern, sometimes minimal and at times understated, designs. In a sense, the installation created a bridge between the future and the past of Made in Italy and its artisanal traditions.
Location 5: Circolo Filologico Milanese in via Clerici 10
Project: Formations, an installation inside the historic spaces of Circolo Filologico Milanese, was among the more conceptual ones within the Brera Design Week 2019. The choice of location pointed to languages (the association in the building offers courses of foreign languages), which in this case meant a new visual language to represent the creative potential of Tarkett IQ Surface. The company, Tarkett, in collaboration with Swedish design studio Note and Italian brand Magis, transformed the spaces inside the historic building with oversized, sculptural forms and colour-blocking.
Overall, each of these 5 installations revealed a different side of design: from purely commercial to conceptual, often exploring the middle ground. If you’re curious and want to see more coverage from Milan Design Week 2019, you can go to my previous posts about the most beautiful installations and the 5 vie events. Hope you find them inspiring.