Top Picks from Milan 2013

Milan 2013
I’m just back from a trip to see the Milan Design shows, so while its all fresh in my mind, here is a taster of what I’ve seen.  Its in no particular order but hopefully giving a sense of the breadth of work there is to see, from the slick showroom presentations to the handcrafted and fun installations. The great thing about Milan is the way Art, Design, Fashion and a bit of performance are brought together in one festival.



The Face-O-Mat by Tobias Gutmann was a lovely example of Art and Design brought together with performance in the beautiful setting of the garden at Spazio Rossana Orlandi. Currently studying a Degree in Storytelling Tobias created the Face-O-Mat booth where the sitter can have their portrait painted. You can choose the style and colour and in just a few minutes your portrait will magically appear out of the Face-O-Mat. I chose to be abstract, in colour and have a facelift (well it seemed harmless)

Here’s my portrait popping out. A steal at €5 for No39 of the series.


Also at Rossana Orlandi’s I finally got the chance to see Dennis Parren‘s  CMYK Lamp . Originally shown at Dutch Design Week in 2011  and at Rossana’s last year (I missed Milan last year…)it was great to see a recent graduate again being supported by this influential store. Dennis has created an LED bulb that throws Neon light across the room. It explores the advances in LED and demonstrates the potential of this new technology.


Wallpaper’s Handmade exhibition had a number of pieces I loved.

On the trend for Super Brights and Neons these Mille Feuille storage units by Emmanuelle Moureaux and Schonbuch couldn’t fail to catch my eye. You can see how it relates to her work earlier work, the stunning Sugamo Shinkin Bank  


Bethan Grey collaborated with Lapicida to create some beautiful Monochrome Marble pieces and follows on from the work I featured in my Marble post

Bethan Gray & Lapicida 

I love the unexpected, and this clock made with Amtico Vinyl Flooring demonstrates how materials designed for a specific end use can be repurposed with wonderful results. Designed by Jean Baptiste Fastrez specifically for the show its a great piece of graphic design as well as product design. Much better images and more of his work can be found on his site.

Amtico Clock Wallpaper Handmade

At Designjunction  Case Furniture updated the display cabinet – a piece that curiously has been out of fashion amongst furniture makers for soooo long. Trying to find a vintage cabinet is like looking for gold, you can never find them as they’re always snapped up by professional shop fitters!

I loved the pop of Orange in this piece although you can choose other colours.

Case Furniture Cabinet


Moroso used their showroom in Milan to showcase Patricia Urquiola’s Hood Chair. Festooned with plants and foliage. I’m not sure if its a symptom of the never ending winter or a trend but I became really aware of the use of  lush plants this year – its one to think on.



At Ventura Lambrate I found Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Mats Horbach miniature wardrobes. There was something incredibly charming about seeing a little field of miniature wardrobes re-imagined. He’d exploded our preconceptions of what is a wardrobe to create child like fantasies that weren’t bound by conventions of practicality. More of Mats work can be seen at  Atelier Mats 


Heineken‘s Magazzini was an experimental hub mixing new designers from Designersblock along side work by artist Matt W Moore. But the piece that got me was the moving ceiling! Balloons wafted up to be caught on a fabric mesh that moved at the speed of relaxed breathing. You could lounge on the sofa’s below as the roof gently rippled… It was about the only thing that could be described as ‘relaxed’ in the whole week.

Heineken Magazzini


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