Salone del Mobile is an international furniture fair, held at the Fiera Milano exhibition centre yearly. While Salone del Mobile is a paid entry exhibition the Fuorisalone is free and displays work from up and coming designers and not just established ones. Also, the Fuorisalone is centred around Milan’s city centre while the Salone del Mobile is located further out from the city centre.
* I estimated 2 days for Fuorisalone, overly confident I wouldn’t need more than that. But it clearly wasn’t enough, as you’d need at least 4 days to cover all the districts. Plus Milan is too beautiful to be rushing through the street and not take in its surrounding cafés, people and gelatos!
Zona Tortona is known for its funky-cool-indie flare for things and is home to the ‘in’ crowd for its unique stores and cafes.
During Fourisalone, Via Tortona and its adjoining streets (Via Savona and Via Forcella) becomes a platform exhibiting futuristic, experimental and original design work for all to take part in. This partly due to the fact that there are many former industrial warehouses that allows companies and design groups to create a unique space for their exhibits.
This year I’ve seen the likes of SuperStudio Pui, Moooi, France Design, ASUS, Designers Block and other major brands plus other independent designers show case their work. Moving installations was a craze this year too as there were a number of these installations found on this street. If you’re in luck, like me, to have clear blue skies with a temperature of 25 degree Celsius, you would want to take your time and explore not just the exhibitions but sample the cafés around and people watch. You’d find interesting if not eccentric characters floating about during this time of year.
Metro: M2 Green Line, Porta Genova or Sant’Agostino
One of the pretties district to walk around aimless on any given day, this place in particular you’d want to spend time not only on the design exhibitions but also take in the many galleries and ambiance. It’s a rather charming area that lays 15-minutes-walk from the Duomo. Cobble stone covered streets, lined with galleries, antique shops, restaurant and cafés serving some of the best Milan has to offer, this place becomes a focal point during design week where its exhibition focuses on furniture and contemporary design.
This years exhibition is this district is nothing short of a show stopper, especially from established brands. Their show rooms and exhibition space were decked out to please the eye. You might say the vibe in this sector is rather different of that from Zona Tortona – more upper class-chic-bohemian.
Metro: M2 Green Line, Lanza or Moscova.
The Lambrate district lies in Zone 3 of the Metro circuit in Milan. This converted industrial area has buildings that are more modern built in terms of design compared to the other two areas. Venture Lambrate project organises the design exhibitions here with a focus on the relationship between design, social progress and science.
Metro: M2 Green Line, Lambrate FS
These are the main 3 districts to cover during Milan Design Week if you’re in a ‘rush’ or not sure where to start. There are other smaller venue such and San Babila, Porta Venezia, Zona Sant’ Ambrogio, 5 Vie Art + Design and more. Plan your trip accordingly and do your research on the exhibitions and districts before you go especially if you’re there for a short while. Stick to the Metro as it’s easier to move around compared to the Tram. Also get a multi-pass, such as 10 trips on the metro, as it makes things easier and cheaper than getting a 24 hour or 48 hours pass.
Tip: Its free to visit the exhibitions in Fourisalone but its best to check online if a registration is needed, as some of the require you to submit in your details (such as SuperStudio Piu). It is best to do this before you head out if you want to avoid getting caught in a queue.
View the gallery for more photographs.