Milan Design Week is undoubtedly the biggest trend focused interior event on our calendar.
This year, we were particularly impressed by the brands moving into experiential exhibits to showcase their latest product offering.
Here are 4 x that caught our eye.
#1 - Craft and Material
There is a massive rise in popularity and focus on craft-based products in interior design. And this was showcased across a number of exhibits of varying scales.
Loewe launched its most "ambitious" instalment yet, exploring basket making and inviting artists from around the world to create objects using their core material - leather.
Two renowned bamboo artists in Japan also looked to sculpt leather into creations interlaced with bamboo.
Snarkitecture’s exhibition, “Material Message”, explored Laufen’s manufacturing process by displaying the raw materials alongside the manufactured washstands - highlighting the processes that go into each product.
The exhibition is an interesting mix of organic forms and a precise 3D installation, which is enhanced through videos exploring the sequences/sounds and images of the manufacturing process.
Exhibited at the Viale Umbria 42, Marni took visitors on a ‘sensory journey’; a vision of the future rooted in primitive Columbian craft.
Furniture collections are constructed using the skills of Columbian craftspeople and the experience encourages visitors to relax underneath a UFO-style lighting rig; individual pieces in the collection also reference spaceships, tribal alien sculptures and totem stools.
#2 Shoppable spaces
As retail continues to show up in new ways, we are loving installations that encourage different ways to engage and convert consumers.
Coinciding with the opening of Milan design week, Gucci opened a temporary two-storey boutique with curated room sets including a salon, multiple lounge areas and a dining room. The signature maximalist style of the brand runs through every detail.
Vitra accessories launched a 24-hour ‘shoppable’ animal themed installation where people passing can purchase products by scanning a QR code, meaning products were available 24-7.
Tom Dixon launched three new furniture and lighting products at the Manzoni; a permanent restaurant and showroom fixture giving the brand a home to exhibit in year on year.
Dixon wanted the new permanent location to showcase products in a more engaging way.
“We need a place where people slow down and experience our products in a live setting.”
#3 Greenery and Hypernature
Exhibits are jam-packed with greenery this year, from temporary storefronts to structures made of mushrooms. This isn’t a new trend, but we love that planting is still a trend rising in popularity as people realise the benefits for health and wellbeing.
Kvadrat presented the newest iteration of its long-running collaboration with Raf Simons in an installation titled No Man’s Land.
Inspired by the flowers of a garden in an impressionist painting, Simons presented textiles that included corduroys in rich hues set against three of the architect Jean Prouvé’s prefab homes.
Planting is then used to bring the concept to life in the exhibit hall.
At Milan’s botanical garden, Carlo Ratti has unveiled a series of architectural structures made of mushrooms called the ‘circular garden’.
Each of the structures are made of a sequence of arches that comprise of over 1km of mycelium, experimenting with sustainable structures that can grow organically.
A large living installation of spontaneous plants picked from abandoned sites in Milan were conceived for Jil Sander’s headquarters by artist Linda Tegg. It provides a hidden living oasis in the heart of Milan.
#4 Human Interaction and emotional response to technology
At LOVE, we believe that as technology becomes more and more advanced, human interaction becomes even more important in our environments and spaces.
Nendo designed an installation for an air-conditioner manufacturer, Daikin, which revolves around the experience and sensation of invisible air.
We love the visual simplicity of the installation and encouraging the user to interact with a service product in a more expressive way.
The exhibition 'Leading with Light' designed by Rhizomatik explores two hot topics in design right now; sustainability and our emotional response to technology.
Light is explored through an immersive performance which examines the relationships between humans, light and technology. Each visitor receives a ball of light at the conclusion of the performance, signifying how light can affect human emotions.
The Future of Robotics by Sony consists of five distinctive spaces filled with colour and sound, encouraging interaction to build and strengthen an emotional connection between humans and robotics”.
As you walk through the exhibits, the robotics then become more physical and intellectual, slowly creating an emotional relationship between you.
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