Milan 2015: Top exhibitions 21.04.15

  • Mindcraft, curated by Gam Fratesi

  • Department Store by Lee Broom

  • Concertina chair by Raw Edges at the Louis Vuitton exhibition, Objets Nomades

  • Nendo Works

  • Mirrored trays by Giorgia Zanatello for Airbnb

  • The Workshop of a Nose by Lissoni Associati for Lundborg Bottles

  • Nilafur Depot

  • Krobo by Torbjørn Afdal at Norwegian Presence

Works by established and emerging stars were on display around the Italian city last week. These are some of the exhibitions that stood out for Icon


Broom was this week awarded the 2015 Queen's Award for Enterprise in the UK. Watch him discuss his Department Store exhibition above

For his highly-anticipated solo show, the London-based designer displayed a collection of lighting, furniture and accessories in a stylised, atmospheric version of a department store – an immersive experience as much as an exhibition. Colourful items, such as his Hanging Hoop chair and Chapel lights were juxtaposed against grey mannequins, plinths, packing crates and vintage fashion.

leebroom 2

Lee Broom's Chapel lights displayed over men's hats


minecraft 2

The Mindcraft exhibition took place in the old cloister Chiostro Minore di San Simpliciano in central Milan

Design duo Gam Fratesi chose the theme "In Between" for the exhibition of conceptual, experimental Danish design they curated at a religious cloister in central Milan, because "Danish craftspeople and designers work in a field of tension between mind and craft". Works by established names such as ceramicist Ole Jensen and those of emerging designers were displayed in striking fashion inside black, metal cages on a mirrored floor in the venue's central courtyard.


vuitton 2

Barber Osgerby's Bell lamps for Louis Vuittton were arranged as a chandelier

Design studio Raw Edges's Concertina chairs, made of folding leather panels, were among the new launches at Louis Vuitton's exhibition of travel-inspired objects – with a backdrop of dense green foliage creating the sense of a luxury safari. The collection, originally launched in 2012, includes works by Patricia Urquiola, the Campana brothers and Barber Osgerby, which were also on display. In the courtyard outside was a physical realisation of Charlotte Perriand's 1934 sketch, La Maison au Bord de L'Eau (the house by the water).


nendo 1

Nendo's Soft table

Oki Sato, who launched 100 products this year, avoided his usual trek from showroom to showroom in Milan last week by presenting all his work in one venue, he told Icon during an interview at his characteristically minimalist exhibition. Several collections for Glas Italia, including the Soft series of colourful low tables, were on display in a large white space, as were a range of his recent works that demonstrated the diversity of his output, from edible designs for Haagen-Dazs to a selection of wooden doors that open in unconventional ways.


housewarming 2

Sam Baron's paper flower bouquet at Palazzo Crespi

The Italian design collective presented its interpretations of welcome rituals for a project by holiday rental website Airbnb. The designers, installed in various parts of the spectacular Palazzo Crespi, interacted with visitors while creating their objects and experiences – among which were Giorgia Zanellato's mirrored trays for serving guests pastries and Marcello Venturini's soaps inspired by toeletta, the ancient ritual of washing your hands or face. Even the tea and coffee were part of the experience.


garden 2

Jaime Hayon's Kuriopotek for Felix Boissard

Brera's sunny Botanical Garden hosted an exploration of fragrance and scent, which will remain on show until the upcoming Milan Expo. Designers such as Tord Boontje, the Campana brothers, Jaime Hayon, Piero Lissoni and Nendo created pavilions focused around reviving forgotten perfume brands. The Campanas referenced a cave in Bahia in their native Brazil for their grotto-like installation for French perfume brand Biette, while Hayon created a whimsical scent lab, fit for a wizard, for British–French perfumery Felix Boissard.


nilafur 2

The Nilafor Depot warehouse featured historic and contemporary design

Celebrated Milanese design dealer Nina Yashar caused a stir by opening up her three-storey, 1,500sq m warehouse to the public for the first time last week, showing off her vast collection of historic and contemporary design collected over the past 30 years. The items, by designers ranging from Gio Ponti to Bethan Laura Wood, were exhibited in a series of booths, with the theatrical interior designed by Massimilliano Locatelli.


Norwegian 2 copy

Spring tray by Siv Lier at Norwegian Presence

Objects by 46 designers and artisans from Norway were shown against walls painted to echo the Norwegian landscape. Klubben, the Norwegian designers union, presented designs such as vessels by Oslo and New York-based studio Everything Elevated and the Spring tray by Siv Lier, known for her interactive and playful approach.

More Milan coverage to come on and in the July issue of Icon, out in early June



Debika Ray


Images: Jule Hering, Luke Hayes, Stéphane Muratet, Joakim Blockstrom, and Fabrica. it, Gionata Xerra, Kaja Bruskeland



Leave a comment

Click to show