Fresh Breezes: Reflections on Milan Design Week 2018

23. 4. 2018, Milan

An inspiring week of design, trends and creativity

Preciosa Lighting debuted a magically playful installation at Milan Design Week called Breath of Light. We were overwhelmed by the wonderful reactions we received from visitors and hope we contributed to everyone’s enjoyment of the week.

The Preciosa team seize any opportunity to explore design fairs such as Salone del Mobile, and we fanned out over the city to soak up as much inspiration as possible. One aspect of Milan we especially appreciated is the concept of separate shows in different locations. Compared to more classic fairs in which there is one main hall or group of halls, locating exhibitions in a variety of spaces throughout the city seems to allow creativity to surge for both brands and individuals. It’s also a very welcoming atmosphere for people to wander the streets and discover something new.

Preciosa wasn’t the only brand to incorporate technology into their installation. Invisible tech, sensor-based tech, and intuitivity were all experimented with by a variety of brands, including those not common on the design scene, like Google and Sony. An interactive or connecting element was important to many of the lifestyle and interior brands who created installations for Milan.

The connections brands chose to make was also fascinating to discover. Some installations were balanced on the edge of design and conceptual art while others took full advantage of their locations to expose an unfamiliar side of themselves to visitors. Alternatively, many brands used their history as a way to present their story and experience.

Sustainability and environmental thinking was at the forefront of many of the products on display, especially a push for plastic awareness and ocean waste. In general, colours didn’t stray far from an earthy theme, with a muted selection of greys, greens, whites, and beiges. They may be warming up a bit however with orange, yellow, and rusty hues scattered about. Tactile experiences were quite common and it was interesting to note that material and colour seemed to win out over form. Illustrations and patterns were also happily incorporated into a range of products.

Postmodernism doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, and we also noticed a variety of Art Deco touches (similar to the Preciosa table lamp Chromo designed with Studio MUT) across product and interior design. Interesting also is that many designers seemed to merge different styles, taking their favourite aspects to create a look unique to their work.

From beautiful lighting to sleek furnishings, luxurious textiles to smooth finishes, Milan Design Week allows designers and brands the opportunity to create and share memorable experiences. It is nearly impossible to absorb it all in only one week but the connections made and the possibilities discovered ensures the Milan vibe is not going away any time soon.