Milan Design Week has just wrapped and once again the team at Decor + Design have been inspired by the extraordinary creativity of designers from around the world.

Firstly, why is Milan Design Week so important?

It all started back in 1961, when the first edition of the Milan Furniture Fair took place. Since then, it has grown into the most important international event in the world of design and furnishing, with an average of 300,000 visitors from 165 countries descending on Milan every April.

The official Milan Furniture Fair – known as Salone del Mobile – has taken place in the Rho Fiera Milano Trade Fair complex since 2012. However, over the years, the city’s neighbourhoods also started to present experimental displays, emerging designers, design installations and various design talks and events. These are known collectively as ‘Fuorisalone‘, which literally translates in Italian as ‘outside salone’. Anything taking place outside the Trade Fair complex counts, including in the key design districts of Zona Tortona, Brera, 5VIE and Lambrate.

Many of the world’s biggest brands are located during the design districts during the week and host special events and parties which add to the sensational buzz.

While we look forward to Australia’s No.1 Interiors Event, Decor + Design – which will take place in Melbourne 18th – 21st July – let’s take a look at some of the incredible highlights from Milano 2019…

‘Neuroaesthetics’: Google’s A Space for Being Experimental Installation

Google’s “Transformative” Room – A Space for Being. Image: Wallpaper. Photography: Maremosso

This collaboration between Google and John Hopkins University’s Arts + Mind Lab set out to prove that aesthetics and design can transform the way we feel.

The multi-room installation explored the principles of “neuroaesthetics”, which studies how design can impact our lives; of how design and science can be used in tandem.

A Space for Being was comprised of several interactive spaces for visitors, including the room above ‘Transformative’, and the womb-like space (below) ‘Essential’. Visitors were fitted with a specially-made band designed by Google, which measured their physiological responses, while each of the spaces featured a subtle variation of lighting, smell, music and art that changed the sensory impact.

Why we loved it?

We know good design is fundamental but not everyone gets it. This is an important project, that helps people to understand that design is not just about status or comfort, it can go deeper and change the entire brain.

Google’s ‘Essential’ Room. Image: Dezeen

British Artist Alex Chinneck’s “Unzipped” Building

Image: DesignBoom. Photography: Marc Wilmot

British sculptor Alex Chinneck stopped passersby in their tracks by seemingly “unzipping” an old facade in the Tortona district. The artist built an entirely new elevation off an old Milanese building, creating the work for a commercial partnership with Iqos. The giant zip seems to open the front of the building to reveal a glowing light.

The artist also created zippers inside the building to intrigue visitors.

“Through the repeated use of the zipper, we have opened up the fabric of a seemingly historic Milanese building to playfully re-imagine what lies behind its facade, floors and walls,” said Chinneck.

Why we loved it?

Chinneck has made a name for himself by turning the quotidian into a question mark, and this is no exception. We love the sheer visual conundrum that this work presents.

Patrick Jouin’s Folding Chair

The stylish French designer Patrick Jouin unveiled his new TAMU chair at Milan Design Week. Inspired by nature and made using 3D printing and organic algorithms, it is sparing with material and features a geometric design.

Why we loved it?

It is also completely foldable.

We’re ready to take our camping trips to the next level!

Objet Nomades by Louis Vuitton

Since 2012, Louis Vuitton have been inviting designers to add to their ‘Objet Nomades’ collection, which asks designers to interpret the idea of travel through their own personal style. Contributors include India Mahdavi and Patricia Urquiola.

We love this piece created by the fabulous Italians Atelier Biagetti for Louis Vuitton. “Anemona” is a dining table with a glass top and wavy base covered in soft leather.

Why we loved it?

The fluidity of this table is spectacular, calling to mind journeys by sea. It takes a domestic piece of furniture and imbues it with a mystical sense of adventure.

Vitrine by Vitra and Panasonic Design

Perhaps one of our favourite pieces at Milan Design Week was Vitrine – a completely transparent television which is designed to fade into the background. It is a collaboration between the iconic Swiss furniture brand Vitra and Panasonic Design, and was on display at the Vitra stand at Salone del Mobile.

Why we loved it?

A transparent television completely challenges conventional design wisdom for living rooms. For years the gravity of a lurking, garish ‘black box’ has drawn the eye. Transparent televisions shouldn’t be underestimated as game changers.

Image: Vitra & Panasonic Design

Covetable Pieces by Covet House

Covet House wowed in Milan with a huge stand packed with gorgeous pieces from sought-after brands. The popular collective connects interior designers with curated selections from luxury brands.

Why we loved it?

We loved this Mira rug from The Rug Society, hung at Covet House’s stand. Hand-tufted in botanical silk and mohair, it references Cleopatra and cubism; a beautiful confluence of history and contemporary design.

Mira Rug by Rug Society at The Covet House stand, Salone del Mobile

There’s only one Milan Design Week. However, you can find some inspiration closer to home this July. Decor + Design, Australia’s No.1 Interiors Event, will take place from 18th – 21st July at Melbourne Exhibition Centre.

Co-located with the Australian International Furniture Fair, together they will feature 350+ leading exhibitors from across the soft furnishings, lighting and furniture sector. Register now for free entry to the trade-only exhibition.