Everyone is talking about Milan…
Italy’s city of the future, which is also its fashion, culture and design quarters, thrives in between Gothic architecture. The fast-paced metropolis of Milan comes alive in April for what is seen as the largest design event in the calendar, Milan Design Week. Leading designers, architects and journalists from all corners of the world descend onto the city. Visitors are warned pre-show by the festival guides to expect the unexpected – and each year, companies come to premiere new collections. Over the six days, everyone is talking about Milan.
But with all the pre-event noise in the world, nothing could have prepared us for what came next. Having attended the annual event now for five years running, the British designer Tom Dixon decided it was time to make his permanent mark on the city. Instead of exhibiting in the traditional way – on a stand at Salone del Mobile – he opened a restaurant and showroom in time for this year’s activities, allowing visitors the ability to browse the studio’s products in an active context.
Witnessing the constant stream of ideas, launches and collaboration announcements made the week an incredible time to be curating the content on the editorial desk – albeit remotely at times. Salone del Mobile recorded 386,236 attendees, over the six days, from 181 different countries. That is what the Italians would regard as a ‘successo’.
Back on home soil, last month I was fortunate enough to check in to what was one of last year’s most anticipated hotel openings. The University Arms in Cambridge, designed by The Brit list 2018’s Interior Designer of the Year, Martin Brudnizki, is a jewel in the heart of a city riddled in history. Taking an aptly earnest approach (when in Cambridge), we published the interactive hotel review after speaking with both Brudnizki and John Simpson from John Simpson Architects who were the visionaries behind the reinvention of the heritage hotel that now shelters a modern soul.
As the sun sets on yet another incredible, immersive and influential Milan Design Week, I am reminded that there’s never a dull day in the life of a design editor (I’m writing this in between seminars at the inaugural Interior Design & Architecture Summit (IDAS)). There’s optimism in the air and London, which has been at the centre of the world’s attention recently for putting the magnifying glass on climate change, is calling for more to be done in terms of building sustainable cities and hotels around the world. As we gear up for Clerkenwell Design Week , will sustainability dominate the talks and sessions as it has at IDAS? Well check out our recently published pre-event guide identifies the major product launches to look forward to.
During May, Hotel Designs will be putting Bathrooms and Bars & Restaurants under the spotlight. If you would like to contribute to these topics, please do not hesitate to email me.
Editor, Hotel Designs