5 highlights of Brera Design District 2019

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.

Bisazza flagship Milan Brera Design District 2019
In bloom: Bisazza floral mosaics from the Affresco collection by Paola Navone next to the Ranunculus pattern by Kiki van Eijk. Photo: dreamsanddesign
Bisazza Pebbles Marcel Wanders Brera Design District
Floral fantasy: the interior of the new Bisazza flagship store in Brera.
Photo: dreamsanddesign
Bisazza flagship store Milan
Inspired by Marie Antoinette’s garden at the Petit Trianon: the floral Peach tree mosaic by Carlo dal Bianco. Photo: dreamsanddesign
Pebbles coffee tables Marcel Wanders Bisazza
Pebbles, a limited edition of coffee tables by Marcel Wanders. Photo: dreamsanddesign

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.

Le Refuge lamp Marc Ange Palazzo Cusani
Design in dialogue with architecture: Le Refuge floor lamp in front of Palazzo Cusani.
Photo: dreamsanddesign
Le Refuge de la Nuit Marc Ange Palazzo Cusani
Le Refuge de la Nuit in the Radetzky Room at Palazzo Cusani. Photo: dreamsanddesign
Le Refuge lamps Marc Ange Palazzo Cusani
A forest made of Le Refuge lamps, part of the installation ‘An Extraordinary World’ by Marc Ange. Photo: dreamsanddesign
Araignée sofa Marc Ange Palazzo Cusani
Design fairytale: Marc Ange’s designs, like his Araignée sofa, drew inspiration from the imaginary. Photo: dreamsanddesign

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. 

The Socialite Family bedroom
Warm colours and boho vibes in the bedroom of the Socialite Family Apartment in Milan. Photo: dreamsanddesign
The Socialite Family Cavallo chair Brera Design District 2019
A sitting area with Cavallo armchairs made in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Photo: dreamsanddesign
The Socialite Family apartment Milan Brera
A cosy corner with vintage-inspired furniture by The Socialite Family.
Photo: dreamsanddesign
The Socialite family Gioia table lamp
The brand’s new Gioia table lamp next to the queen of modern boho style, Kate Moss.
Photo: The Socialite Family

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.

Extendo Viking chair San Simpliciano Brera
The Extendo Viking chairs overlooking the peaceful San Simpliciano courtyard.
Photo: dreamsanddesign
Extendo Viking Chair The Secret Place of Design Brera
Bare essentials: Extendo, an Italian company specialising in interior design units, embraced functionality and comfort. Photo: dreamsanddesign
Moscova bookshelf Exto Andrea Morgante
Inspired by the cityscape of Milan: Moscova, the stone bookshelf designed by Andrea Morgante (Shiro Studio) for Exto. Photo: dreamsanddesign
Ripped, Teared and Colored rug Joost van Bleiswijk Nodus
Art and design: The new Ripped, Teared and Colored rug designed by Joost van Bleiswijk for Nodus. Photo: dreamsanddesign

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.

Tarkett Formations Circolo Filologico Milanese Fuorisalone 2019
Pillars of Change: 24 oversized totem-like columns in the Liberty room of Circolo Filologico Milanese. Photo: dreamsanddesign
Formations Tarkett Fuorisalone 2019 Maggio
Inside the Meeting Room furnished with the Tarket IQ vinyl Surface and Magis chairs.
Photo: dreamsanddesign
Tarkett Formation Circolo Filologico Milanese Fuorisalone 2019
In the library: The IQ Surface collection exhibited trough a series of small objects.
Photo: dreamsanddesign
Formations Tarkett Fuorisalone 2019
A harmony of shapes and patterns on the Tarkett IQ Surfaces.
Photo: dreamsanddesign

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.

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