Milan architecture is famous for its hidden courtyards, beautiful cathedrals, and historical buildings. During Milan Design Week these spaces become accessible to everyone and are magnificently staged with the latest furniture and design from countries around the world.
If you are in the city for the fair try our Milan Design Week Walking Tour. We focus on innovative and slow design exhibits with a focus on sustainability and future living staged inside some of Milan’s oldest architecture.
Where to start: The Brera Design District.
Starting at the Brera Botanical Gardens take a breath of fresh air and walk inside the Interni Human Spaces exhibit designed by Studio Carlo Ratti Associati with Eni. The circular economy themed installation redesigns the gardens into a playhouse with recyclable and reusable raw materials. Note: The Human Spaces exhibition extends beyond The Brera Botanical Gardens to the l’Università degli Studi di Milano (University of Milan) .
Location: Orto Botanico di Brera- Via Privata Fratelli Gabba, 10
An Extraordinary World by Marc Ange
A seven minute walk will place you in front of the Palazzo Cusani, a historic 17th century palace in the heart of the Brera Design District. Inside is An extraordinary world by Marc Ange exhibition with larger than life installations. The exhibit features a multifaceted experiential journey inside the designer’s universe starting from the palace doors to the imaginative garden created in collaboration with French liquor brand St-Germain. Tour the rooms on the main floor each unveiling new pieces from the Marc Ange furniture collection. The grand room features Le Refuge de La Nuit, Marc Ange’s world famous indoor/ outdoor bed, which inspires the designer’s new pieces.
Location: Palazzo Cusani – Via Brera, 13-15
Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades
A 16 minute walk will take you to the Palazzo Serbelloni, a 4400 square foot palace with spectacular architecture, operating as an extended design and decoration location of the formal Salone del Mobile. There French Maison Louis Vuitton presents their latest Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades collection. In total there are 34 Art Deco objects created by 14 award-winning international designers including Zanellato/Bortotto, Atelier Biagetti, Marcel Wanders, Raw Edges, The Campana Brothers, and Atelier Oï.
Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, one of Louis Vuitton’s close collaborators, also presents his “Temporary Paper” exhibit, an architectural installation made of recycled paper and cardboard. And if you need proof this exhibit will be unique the artist is none other than the architect behind the remarkable Pompidou Center in Metz, France. Do not miss it.
Location: Palazzo Serbelloni – Corso Venezia, 16
Conifera – COS x Mani
From there walk 6 minutes to Palazzo Isimbardi, a 16th century palace named after the last noble family in residence, and explore the 3-D printed pyramid structures created by COS in collaboration with Mamou Mani. The nature-inspired installation uses an experimental “bio-plastic” with compostable wood to create a new material. The objective is to show man-made and natural elements working together in a positive manner. Location: Palazzo Isimbardi – Corso Monforte, 35
The Secret Place of Design
After a 20 minute walk you will arrive at your final destination, The Secret Place of Design at the Theological University for Northern Italy. This final exhibition stages rooms with everyday interior designs reinterpreted in natural and innovative materials. The designers used to stage the home settings are Nodus, an interior design brand dedicated to handmade, high quality carpets, Exto, a slow design furniture company known for their Italian craftsmanship, Matì, an understated handcrafted luxury furniture brand, Extendo, an interior design unit specializing in bespoke design and production (fitted wall units and bookcases, walk-in wardrobes, tables, coffee tables and chairs), and Leolori, a company devoted to innovation and material research for design.
Location: Chiostro della Facoltà Teologica dell’Italia Settentrionale
– via Cavalieri del Santo Sepolcro, 3
The tour finishes in the Brera Design District, the perfect place to chill at a local trattoria, take an aperitivo, and talk about the events of the day. Later attend one of the many parties happening during Milan Design Week. We’ve outline our favorite hotspots in this link.