Milano Design City: where to go, what to see

From 28 September to 10 October, two weeks of events, presentations and openings



Brera design week 2019 © Chiara-Venegoni
Brera design week 2019 © Chiara-Venegoni

Milan restarts with Milano Design City, from 28 September to 10 October, two weeks of events about design to liven up the city streets. The appointment – rather a ‘call to arms’ on the part of the municipality – sets out to revive the city’s status as an international reference point for design culture, filling the gap left by the cancellation of the Salone del Mobile until 2021.

“Milano Design City,” says Cristina Tajani, Councilor for Policies of Labor, Production, Commerce and Design, “is an open, inclusive gathering capable of involving all the people operating on the territory in the field of design, after the long hiatus caused by the Covid-19 emergency, inserting them in a program of widespread activities and initiatives across the territory of the city, open to all.”

Many players have joined in, grabbing an opportunity to present their new collections for 2020, organizing encounters with designers, restyling and openings of showrooms, talks and debates, which in most cases happen in a dual real and digital guise, alongside hundreds events spread on Fuorisalone.it.

Flexform, Outdoor Collection
Flexform, Outdoor Collection

One of the liveliest streets is definitely Corso Monforte: here Living Divani invites the public to explore the Living Design Gallery created by the art director Piero Lissoni, “not a showroom, not a store, but an almost theatrical space,” Lissoni remarks, with floating seats, a sheet metal floor and neon lights on the walls to create different luminous settings throughout the day. Also on Corso Monforte, at number 28, there is the intimate, refined showroom of Flexform, updated to present the 2020 Collection, with the Asolo seating system, the Gregory sofa, the Tessa armchair, all by Antonio Citterio, together with bestsellers like the A.B.C chairs and, in the inner courtyard, an outdoor zone furnished with the Atlante seating system, the Carlotta Outdoor chairs and the Pico Outdoor and Any Day Outdoor tables.

B&B Italia, showroom via Durini
B&B Italia, showroom via Durini

From Corso Monforte, just turn the corner to reach another main design drag, namely Via Durini: here Cassina, in the showroom at number 16, introduces new developments revised with a more sustainable approach and measures taken to boost personal wellbeing, as a result of collaboration between the R+D Center of Cassina and the Poli.design department of the Milan Polytechnic. Also on Via Durini, don’t miss the windows of B&B Italia with the protagonist Camaleonda, the seating system designed by Mario Bellini, reissued after 50 years in a sustainable version, together with the Gli Scacchi modules, the new table and chair by Mario Bellini, storage elements by Piero Lissoni and a seating system by Yabu Pushelberg.
Via Durini is also the location of Porro, showing new items created by GamFratesi and Piero Lissoni, based on pure forms, and of Giorgetti, which besides the store on Via Durini opens the doors of a renovated atelier on Via Serbelloni, a private dwelling of 500 square meters in which to stage the Giorgetti lifestyle, including famous products and new collections designed by Carlo Colombo, Adam D. Tihany, Setsu & Shinobu Ito, just to mention a few of the creators.

Giorgetti, Atelier Milano
Giorgetti, Atelier Milano

Our walk continues, taking us to Via Larga, where Minotti will be the showcase – with 8 windows – of the 2020 Collection coordinated by Rodolfo Dordoni, involving a multicultural team that includes the Japanese studio Nendo, the Brazilian designer Marcio Kogan, the Italian-Danish duo GamFratesi, and the French designer Christophe Delcourt. From Via Larga it takes 5 minutes to reach Lema, at Largo Augusto 8, to see the narration in chapters of the new products, like the Lucylle seats by Roberto Lazzeroni and the Uma bench by Federica Biasi. At Via Santa Cecilia, Casa Cappellini hosts designer Sebastian Herkner, while Alpi invites you to discover its new collections of wood surfaces at the showroom in Via Solferino 7, created with Patricia Urquiola and Piero Lissoni, and Visionnaire unveils the Beauty Collection in the flagship store on Piazza Cavour, with events and installations on the theme of beauty and the ability of the company to create unique projects, in a new set-up of the showroom designed by Alessandro La Spada.

Poltrona Frau, showroom via Manzoni
Poltrona Frau, showroom via Manzoni

Finally, Poltrona Frau, on Via Manzoni, takes part in the design week with a presentation of ColorSphere with the participation of Giulio Ridolfo, of the new Future of Heritage collection, and celebrations for the 90th anniversary of the Vanity Fair armchair, reinterpreted by Roberto Lazzeroni. 

The events are not just in showrooms: Rossana Orlandi offers two different initiatives, in the cloisters of the Museum of Science and TechnologyWe Are Nature, an exhibition of planet-friendly projects, and RO Plastic Prize 2020, the award on issues of reuse and recycling of plastic. Nilufar presents three projects in the Nilufar Depot: Terra (In)firma by the artist Flavie Audi, the second edition of the group show Far – Brassless, curated by Studio Vedèt, and Nina Yashar’s Heritage – A Lifelong Collection, a compendium of works collected by the gallerist over the years, while Nilufar Gallery hosts the exhibition It’s All About Colors by Studio Nucleo. 

As in any Fuorisalone worthy of the name, Zona Tortona comes alive with a series of events in three different locations. Also, not to be missed, the new home of design of ADI, with the exhibition Le Vie del Compasso D’Oro and the prize Design Helps to Heal, in collaboration with AIRC Lombardia.