ArchiExpo e-Magazine - #45 - Milan 2018 - ArchiExpo e-Magazine

Special Issue

Special Issue

Milan Design Week #Special

Dear Readers,

This special issue on Milan Design Week coincides with the Year of Achille—marking the 100th birthday of Achille Castiglioni, the Italian architect and designer who received the Compasso d’Oro award seven times! Remembered for iconic designs like the Mezzadro stool, Arco lamp and Sella Stool, his daughter Giovanna, director of the Achille Castiglioni Foundation, launched the exhibition ‘100×100 Achille‘. It features 100 objects signed by 100 anonymous designers, many of whom had known Achille personally: Alessandro Mendini, Michele De Lucchi, Andrea Branzi, Lorenzo Damiani, Marcel Wanders, Jasper Morrison, Philippe Starck, Konstantin Grcic and others.    

Many of the objects designed by Achille Castiglioni have been produced by companies including Alessi, B&B Italia, Danese, Driade, Flos, Cassina, Poltrona Frau, Kartell and Zanotta. Achille Castiglioni passed away in Milan on December 2, 2002.

Responsible for the education of several of our renowned designers today—such as Patricia Urquiola—, the reminiscence of Castiglioni makes this issue exceptional. You will find a little bit of everything here as we unveil some of the best exhibitions and products from the fair and around the city.

Get a little taste of the Corallo cinatram, designed by architect and designer Cristina Celestino, in our video tour!


Erin Tallman, Editor-in-Chief

Hot Topic
Contemporary living in three categories: classic, design and luxury
Courtesy of Ton

We dig into the theme of this year’s Salone del Mobile which splits into three categories: classic, design and timeless luxury.   Last week, the city that holds the global title of de facto design capital was once again hit by storm, with the 57th edition of Salone Internazionale del Mobile. Held April 17-22 in Milan,...

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A screening room on rails!
Courtesy of Cristina Celestino

A screening room on rails! Designer and architect Cristina Celestino transformed the historical tram of 1928 into a traveling “cinema” which circulates the Brera Design District. Celestino tailor-made the interior of Corallo to reflect her aesthetic preference of precious materials, references to the past, contemporary intuitions and visionary spirit; she split it into two zones such as seen in theaters and cinemas: the foyer and the screening room.

The foyer acts as a waiting room featuring rigorous settees, windows screened by Rubelli drapes and soft inlaid carpeting. A light passementerie curtain separates the foyer and the screening room, where ottomans offer comfortable seating for visitors. Ribbon windows at the back of the tram offer surreal footage of Milan and its urban landscapes, “an unforeseen cinematic perspective on the city of Milan.”

Check out our video tour of the Corallo:   

Designer and architect Cristina Celestino has received many international prizes and honors, including the Special Jury Prize in the “Salone del Mobile.Milano Awards” in 2016 and an Elle Deco International Design Award with the “Plumage” facings project for BottegaNove. She designed the Happy Room collection for Fendi presented at DesignMiami 2016. In 2017, for Sergio Rossi, she created an exclusive interior design and a collection of furnishings for the concept of the new boutiques.


Read our article on some of the great products and projects we found in the Brera Design District.


Hot Topic
Technology will not kill design.
Ratio by Belgian architect Vincent van Duysen. Courtesy of Molteni&C|Dada

Discover the evolution of the kitchen with brands who combine technology and design for the in-demand efficient and emotional experience of today.   Two years ago Eurocucina and its collateral event FTK showcased the latest innovations in smart kitchen technology, increasingly sought after by consumers. This is one...

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  • Courtesy of Superdesign Show

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    The Superdesign Show in Tortona completed its 7th edition, having invited some of the most influential designers to participate with the goal of generating reflection. Guest designers sought not only to highlight sustainability and eco-friendly solutions, but also the tech-design combo trend. According to Superdesign studio CEO Gisella Borioli, in an interview with ArchiExpo e-Magazine:

    Technology, sustainability and design have to work together.

    The big names, innovative projects, lifestyle trends and technological solutions that improve the environment and everyday life reflect this year’s manifesto Only The Best, proposed by Gisella Borioli, founder of Superstudio Più.

    There’s a big mess in Milan at the moment, where visitors no longer know where to find what. Good and bad design are being mixed together. I wanted to make sure my visitors would understand that at the Superdesign show they would find nothing but good design.

    In a video interview with Oki Sato, we guide you through one of the four compass points of the show: the Forms of Movement exhibition by Nendo. The application of technology and the search and use of new materials for sustainable products was direct and visible throughout the exhibition. 

    Forms of Movement exhibition by Nendo. Photo credit: Takumi Ota.

    Forms of Movement exhibition by Nendo. Photo credit: Takumi Ota.

    However, Oki Sato does not think that sustainability should be a theme, but a mindset.

    We should always consider sustainability when we design or produce things. It’s another rule that we need to follow.

    Forms of Movement reunites design with people while incorporating new materials which have already been used in the robotics field.

    I try not to start a project by thinking about new technologies. In this exhibition we use some new materials such as a low-friction material used in the joints of robots and in the medical field, but the exhibition is all about people and objects and this movement created by people.

    You can learn more about Nendo’s zipper designs here.

    The other three notable points were the high-tech and sustainability collaboration between Dassault Systèmes and Kengo Kuma—which you can learn about in our video report here—, the Smart City exhibition under the direction of architect Giulio Ceppi, founder of Total Tool Milano, and the Superloft house, with top Italian brands, imagined by Cappellini—the house everyone dreams of living in.


    An Ongoing Reflection

    Smart City: Materials, Technologies & People is a month-long event which introduces materials and technological solutions for advanced building and infrastructures, connected cities, smart living, smart people, sustainable and circular cities, integrated mobility, food policies and urban agriculture Superdesign studio CEO Gisella Borioli spoke to ArchiExpo e-Magazine about her idea of the smart city of the future:

    I imagine the city of the future as a place where people live in good health because pollution has gone away; where we have vertical vegetable gardens in our houses; where we have robots that help us; where smart technology makes living in and controlling our homes easier; where the garbage is recycled to generate clean energy; where all of that includes beautiful design because we need beauty to live better.


    An Elite Selection

    Superstudio pushed the boundaries of contemporary living by exhibiting the “Nile Selection” in MyOwnGallery. Giulio Cappellini chose between the best proposals of Egyptian furniture to explore the theme of color through materials—wood, fabrics, lacquering. The selected products portray the braiding of tradition and modernism with art, handcrafting and graphics; all set on a base of contemporary design.

    Fine woven art was included in the exhibition. Courtesy of MeisterWerke.

    Fine woven art was included in the exhibition. Courtesy of MeisterWerke.

    Superstudio’s artistic board exhibited a special selection of small innovative companies and individual iconic objects such as Barcelona Rugs, furniture and accessories from Faina, handles and jewel knobs from NJ Interiors, a wardrobe-to-playground transformable piece from Size M design studio and more.


    Furniture and accessories from Faina. Courtesy of Faina.

    Furniture and accessories from Faina. Courtesy of Faina.

    Superdesign Show participating brands and designers: Nendo, Kengo Kuma and Associates, MIT Design Lab of Boston, Material ConneXion, Boffi, Cappellini, Linvisibile, Living Divani, Magis, Ron Arad, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Tom Dixon, Konstantin Grcic, Jaime Hayon, Marcel Wanders, Jasper Morrison, Philippe Starck, and more.



    You might also enjoy this video preview of the show.

    Courtesy of Maruni Wood Industry


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    Courtesy of Foscarini

    An Italian treasure in the heart of the Brera design district, Foscarini showcased its new outdoor furniture and lamp collections. Pre-event, Foscarini President and Co-founder Carlo Urbinati and designer Marc Sadler spoke to ArchiExpo e-Magazine about the inner workings of the company. Learn how not having a factory can actually be beneficial.  


    Freedom is the catalyst of creativity, Carlo Urbinati believes. As president and co-founder of  Foscarini, Urbinati has helped ensure the Italian lighting brand’s survival in a challenging market—where landmines such as the death of the incandescent bulb can lead to the death of a company. Founded in 1981 on the Venetian island of Murano, Foscarini now distributes in 88 countries. Urbinati told ArchiExpo e-Magazine: 

    When you have a factory, you have constraints. We are a company without any factory, and because of this we are totally free.

    What Urbinati means is Foscarini has no in-house production. The company currently collaborates with three factories for its 60 lamp collections and works directly with more than 30 designers to both develop ideas and create technological solutions for more than 20 different materials. The factories are strictly Italian, garnering Foscarini the Made in Italy stamp.

    A company without a factory can experiment,” Urbinati adds. “Though that means we have no excuses if we fail.

    This try and try again philosophy is built into the Foscarini corporate manifesto, as it has to be when you are a pioneer. There are few players in the lighting field creating products that are both industrial and handmade.

    Years ago, when we decided to settle on this concept of manufacturing with all these composites—fiberglass, carbon fibre and Kevlar synthetic fiber—,” says designer Marc Sadler, “we had to do prototypes and prototypes and prototypes to take away all the non-necessary [parts].

    An avid sportsman, Sadler conceived Foscarini’s highly successful coated-fiberglass composite Twiggy lamp while thinking about the flexibility of a fishing rod. He continues to be a key player in many of Foscarini’s experiments, addressing form, material composition and the cheapest production methods.

    The Twice as Twiggy pendant light by Marc Sadler. Photo courtesy of Foscarini.

    “I would call him our source of inspiration,” says Urbinati.

    “Foscarini is really my baby,” admits Sadler.

    Taking each product from design to production can take years—Twiggy took three. With its slender, flexible fishing-rod-like curve, the lamp was much too expensive at first. However something is impossible…until it isn’t. As Sadler recalls, workers struggling with initial very expensive, faulty molds said in frustration: “Why don’t you just make Twiggy straight?”

    My idea, of course, was to make it curved,” Sadler laughs. “Originally, it was a nice piece for me and you, but not a piece for production….every product, every product family has a little story behind it.

    With the advancement of Twiggy continuing with its larger cousin, Twice as Twiggy, the challenges continued. When creating a four-meter-high outdoor version, wind was a factor.

    “We had to start from scratch because it was very heavy,” says Sadler.

    We tested it with strong winds, and had to build a spring system on the bottom which allows the cane to turn and accept the wind. It flexes with the wind and then, when the wind passes, it goes back to its original position.

    Dancing a delicate ballet in the wind, Twice as Twiggy proves once again that sometimes a little freedom is all you need.


    Allyson Pereyra

    Born and raised in the concrete jungle of NYC, Allyson is passionate about languages—she speaks, reads and writes in five.

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    Mairi Beautyman

    Mairi Beautyman is a journalist based out of Berlin. She’s been writing about design and architecture since 2001.

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    Erin Tallman

    American artist Erin Tallman is a journalist for various online publications and is the Editor in Chief of ArchiExpo e-magazine. She has published three books, including her first novel.

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    Vanessa Liwanag

    Vanessa Liwanag, is an MBA alumni of the prestigious Mod’Art International in Paris and founder of Creative Talents Worldwide.

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    Erin Gigl

    Erin Gigl is a freelance design and travel writer, editor and artist.

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