Milan Design Week 2012: Monday 16 April

The Vogue Living team has arrived in Milan for the city’s annual design week. Over the next few days, editor David Clark, brand manager Zoe Jeffery and photographer Paul Barbera will be busy criss-crossing the city and its districts to take in the fair and its satellite design events and exhibitions. Our 30-page+ in-depth report from Milan will feature in the Vogue Living July/August issue, on news stands on June 13. In the meantime, keep up to date with all the excitement of the most anticipated event on the international design calendar by following team VL!


DAY 1: Monday 16 April


Museo Bagatti Valsecchi, Via Santo Spirito 10.

While the fair doesn’t officially kick off until the Tuesday, a few of the design showcases were already open to the press the day before. One which wasn’t, and of which the Vogue Living team was lucky enough to gain an exclusive first glimpse, was by Venini.

For the third year in a row, the Murano master glass company has exhibited new and archival works within Museo Bagatti Valsecchi, a grand 19th-century private house that now operates as a museum. The focus of the show was The White Collection, a new range of milky white glass, but we were caught up in the cheeky, cheerful ‘Happy Pills’. The series of handmade and blown glass objects mimic the forms of pharmaceutical drugs and are designed by Fabio Novembre as part of his first collaboration with the company.

A variation on Bolle, a 1968 series of Venini glassware by Finnish designer and sculptor Tapio Wirkkala,  Novembre’s designs are made using incalmo, a complex technique in which the upper and lower parts are made separately. The two differently coloured forms are then joined together while still hot, to form a single object.


Milano Design Village: Cappellini & Cassina
Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Via Solari 35

This year, the Poltrona Frau Group moved Milano Design Village – their showing of their luxury brands Poltrona Frau, Cassina, Cappellini and Nemo Cassina Lighting – to the Arnaldo Pomodoro Foundation.

Within the huge warehouse space was a reproduction of Cappellini’s new Milan showroom featuring pieces from the brand’s 2011 collection presented within beautifully styled living and dining environments.

Cassina has reconstructed the Refuge Tonneau, a mobile mountain shelter as relevant today as when it was originally designed by Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret in 1938. The dodecahedron structure is made from industrial materials with an aluminum exterior designed to withstand the extreme weather conditions in the Swiss Alps.

The two-storey hut is a brilliant study in the effective use of space. Able to host up to eight people, the cleverly designed pinewood interior is organised and compact to the nth degree with space saving features including a heater inside a central steel pillar that warms the entire interior, fold away beds and a minute kitchen. Take a quick walk through the space, below.


MOST: Tom Dixon Luminosity +  Sodastream Source
Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia, 
Via Olona 6B – 20100

Tom Dixon has instigated MOST, a new environment for design exhibits, within the Museo della Scienza e della Technologia (National Museum of Science and Technology). The British designer exhibited his company’s new products within Luminosity, a series of illuminated environments in which light was thrown and refracted via mirrors and other surfaces. The setting captured the beautiful atmospheric patterning of Etch, a series of digitally manufactured lights with an open structured shade formed from irregular pentagon shapes. When lit, the shade throws angular geometric shadows throughout a space. Also showing was Fin, a new series of LED lighting designs that make the heat sink and acrylic lens – components normally concealed within a light – the dominant design features.

Designer Yves Behar and SodaStream combat the purchase of disposable bottles of soft drink and sparkling water at the Soda Bar. Behar has reconsidered all elements of the design, manufacture and use of SodaStream’s products to create Source, a new minimalist home carbonation system.

We were impressed not only by the simple design but by the fantastic popping and fizzing noises generated by the appliance, as shown in our video below.

Driving home the project’s focus on environmental responsibility and the need to reduce the number of cans and bottles that unneccessarily end up as landfill, there are no bottles on site at MOST, with the Soda Bar instead providing free drinks for visitors.
Tomorrow, we’ll have more reports from our second day in Milan – Tuesday 17 April. You can also follow our team as they report live via Twitter (@vogueliving) and Facebook (
Producers: David Clark and Zoe Jeffrey
Photographer: Paul Barbera
Text: Madeleine Hinchy

5 Responses to “Milan Design Week 2012: Monday 16 April”
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  1. […] by Hermés and Georg Jensen and much, much more. If you enjoyed this post check out our report from Milan Design Week 2012 day 1. You can also follow our team as they report live via Twitter (@vogueliving) and see more content […]

  2. […] you enjoyed this post make sure you check out our blog reports from day 1, day 2 and day 3 of Milan Design Week. You can see more images from on the ground on Facebook […]

  3. […] found in simplicity.   If you enjoyed this post make sure you check out our blog reports from day 1, day 2, day 3 and day 4 of Milan Design Week. You can see more images from on the ground on […]

  4. […] for our 30-page report of all the highlights of the fair. You can also read our blog reports from day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4 and day 5 of our time in Milan and see more images from on the ground on […]

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