This year’s Milan Design Week including the famous international furniture fair Salone Internazionale del Mobile, as well as the second part of the event, the so called Fuorisalone,was a huge success! While the official fair was staged at the halls of Rho Fiera and addressedd buyers, the Fuorisalone was a public and most exhibitions and installations were for free.
I had the chance to spend the whole week in Milan during Design Week that turned the whole City into a huge design playground! It was busy, it was a lot, but it was also incredibly amazing! I think I’ve never seen and experienced Milan that crowded with Italians from all over the country as well as internationals from all over the world. If you are into all things design, Milan Design Week should definitely be on your list!
In occasion of this year’s Design Week Rast.Los.Gelöst. teamed up with Rhianna May, a talented photographer and writer from Perth, Australia, now living in Milan. Rhianna asked me to show her some of my favorite spots around the City. We visited some of the exhibitions and installations in Tortona Design District and Brera Design District. To help you understand what this special week is all about and how to find your way through the City, I put together some highlights as well as relevant tips for you!
What is Milan Design Week?
Spring in Milan is always this time of the year when thousands of creatives, artists, interior designers, buyers as well as design enthusiasts come to the City for the world’s biggest furniture fair, the Salone Internazionale del Mobile. At the same time, Milan’s empty warehouses and palazzi, that are usually closed for public, turn into exclusive exhibition spaces that welcome art, fashion, architecture and design for presentations, design talks, installations, exhibitions and the legendary Fuorisalone events and parties.
An intersection of design, fashion, technology & science
This year’s 58th edition of the Salone del Mobile as well as the events and exhibitions of the Fuorisalone brought together the intersection of design and fashion, of technology and science. Numerous Italian as well as international fashion houses, as well as design studios presented their newest projects, important spots around the city were hosting installations and palazzos were opened for thousands of visitors.
Discover the hidden gems
Milan Design Week is definitely a delight for every sense! It is fascinating to see how fast everything is build up and how quickly it is torn down as soon as the event is over. Entire offices, palazzi, old warehouses and exhibition spaces are decorated and repainted, entire apartments are installed, furniture is presented in breathtaking locations and artworks pop up in every corner of the city.
Probably one of the best things about Design Week is that you have the chance to see the real hidden gems of Milan, a city that might appear grey and not very spectacular when you visit it for the first time. Once though former warehouses are restyled for Design Week, the extremely curated backdoor gardens start hosting installations and events, and Milan’s palazzi not only turn into showrooms of well-known brands, but also into unique party locations, you’ll get to know a much more vibrant side of Italy’s fashion and design capital.
How to plan your itinerary during Design Week?
There is so much to see during Milan Design Week! If it’s your first time in Milan and you do not know the City well yet, it might be tricky to find your way around. I talked to experienced Design Week visitors and walked more than 50 kilometers this week to see as much as possible. Here are my most important tips for you:
- Check the official websites and social media accounts of the numerous design districts: Brera Design District, Isola Design District, Lambrate Design District, Tortona Design District, Ventura Centrale Design District, 5 Vie Art Design District. They all publish some events and information online and on social media in advance.
- Find the best spots on social media: use #mdw, #fuorisalone and #salonedelmobile
- Pick your personal must-sees ahead: keep in mind that you will have to wait in line to see some of the exhibitions and installations. I recommend you to pick only a few must-sees in advance and also have some alternatives ready!
- Pick 1 to 2 areas per day: check out your must-sees and also leave some time to let some of the installations and exhibitions find you! Also, take your time and don’t rush: there’s so much to see and you’ll need some breaks, too! Focus on one or two areas per day.
- Head to quiet areas for lunch break or a coffee in between: all bars and restaurants in the main design districts will be pretty crowded during lunch time. For example, if you are in Brera or Isola, walk over to Chinatown and enjoy some fresh dim sum at La Ravioleria and a glass of Wine at Cantine Isola (both in Via Paolo Sarpi) and check out our Milan Food Guides.
Want to know more?
Milan Design Week takes place every year in Spring. Events, exhibitions and installation hotspots are announced only a few weeks in advance though. My personal recommendation is to follow the numerous design districts on social media to find out about their program in advance and be able to plan your trip. Since the list of great exhibitions and installations I saw this year honestly would turn into a never-ending list, I simply recommend you to have a look at some of the impressions you’ll find online.
If you are curious about our collaboration with Rhianna, head over to her website to find out more about the exhibitions at Superstudio in Tortona Design District, the latest furniture trends and surreal installations that combine art and architecture, as well as why you definitely should visit Brera Design District in the Milan Design Week 2019 Special in collaboration with Rast.Los.Gelöst.
Come to Milan Design Week in 2020
Now that the craziness is over, we are already planning our next stay in Milan for the 59th edition of Milan Design Week, taking place from April 21st to 26th 2020! Maybe you’ll want to join us!
Find some some insights about this year’s Milan Design Week in our latest posts and Milan story highlights on Instagram.