Flowers and Fuorisalone in Milan #1


Each year in Milan in April there is Design week wich includes the international fair of furniture design “Salone Internazionale del Mobile” and the events of the “Fuorisalone”. The international furniture fair started in 1961 to improve the export of Italian furniture. Nowadays is a very important appointment for Italian and European design. This year there are 1258 spread all over the city. During this week Milan opens up its doors and treasures to everybody. The most important areas are: Triennale, 5 Vie, Brera, the citycentre, Tortona and Lambrate.

This year I decided to dedicate two days for the events at the Fuorisalone. Thinking about the itinerary I focused my attention on the interaction between design and historical spaces. It was a hard task to choose between all the events since they were all very interesting.

My first stop was at the space of Rossanda Orlandi, must for the design. A fascinating space with a courtyard surrounded by lush plants. A long white wooden table with a line of glass vases and colourful flowers stood in the middle. The nearby restaurant Marta boasted its eclectic and flamboyant floral decorations.

Moving on I visited two historical palaces. Palazzo Litta hosted an African village 2.0 created by Francis Kerè in the courtyard. On the first floor a project to furnish little flats in Singapore captured my attention. All the ceiling was covered whith colourful ballons… 125 Dutch designers set up home at Palazzo Turing for the week. Walking through the courtyard each visitor was welcomed by 15.000 tulip bulbs given by the Dutch consulate.

Then I explored the area of 5 Vie just behind Piazza Affari. A maze of small streets and allies where every corner held small craft workshops, unusual little shops and design or artistic installations.

A very peculiar installation was in the Sarnremo carpark, half carpark and half art gallery. I found the mixture between unconventional spaces and design very interesting and stimulating. Following this mood many installations were created in old and unkempt apartments but each of them had its own distinctive soul. One example was the “Ladies&Gentlemen” open apartment with its long and dark hallway covered with black wood panels, the doors with coloured glass and a dramatic terrace overlooking a closed courtyard.


The last stop was at the Sardinian fashion stylist Marras with the “Accumuli” installation. Walking through the lobby and opening the front gate I was embraced by the inebriating fragrance of the wisteria and then overwhelmed by its flowers. A flower corner inside a palace. A space where the inside and the outside were speaking to each other. Floral bouquets outside, dresses with floral patterns inside, floral wallpaper, vintage pieces of furniture. Everything to create a dreamlike atmosphere. Going down the “Accumuli” installation was very minimalist with ropes, terracotta and water. Finally a glimpse at a magical room filled with photos of old people and tables decorated with fine bone-china and flowers.


The fil rouge of this day: flowers and design

End of the first part!