Trends & Insights

Milan Design Week 2023

We are thrilled to bring you a recap of the highlights from Milan Design Week 2023. "The design industry's efforts to develop new, more sustainable materials are impressive. In Milan, we saw it all. From textiles made from human hair to bricks. I feel intoxicated by the inspiration and the desire to keep going," summarised Monica Blanes, department Design Development.

This year’s event showcased some of the most innovative and awe-inspiring designs yet, featuring multidimensional installations, outstanding scenography, unique locations, stunning colour and fabric choices, immersive storytelling, and artful displays. As Eilean Bloem, Corporate Communication Manager at Designplus, put it: “My highlight? The brands that created multidimensional experiences for all the senses through smell, sounds and special stagings!” Indeed, the designers at Milan Design Week did not disappoint in this regard.


Gaetano Pesce created one of the most impressive multidimensional settings for Bottega Veneta.

With 50 meters of continuous resin carpet created in one piece, Vieni a vedere invited visitors to slow down, focus on the good and take things with a grain of salt. The multilayered cave-like installation in the shape of a person throwing a ball perfectly staged the two main characters of the show: the two bags. Meanwhile, the Louis Vuitton Pavilion by Marc Fornes, THEVERYMANY, at Palazzo Serbelloni constructed an astounding play between light, the reflection of the sunbeams, and shadows.


Scenography at its best: Dancing chairs, classical music and a curved LED wall in the background.

Dior and Philippe Stark developed a unique scenography at Palazzo Citterio, choreographing Miss Dior Chairs, classical music, and moving illustrations on the large rounded LED wall behind. “The Highlight for me was Dior because it was a self-contained installation where you got involved with something for 10 minutes straight without getting distracted,” said Sarah Geißler, department Concept & Communication. Another scenographic highlight was “The Art of Light” by Elle Decor Italia. The installation narrated the essential role of light within the domestic space, lighting up the places where we live and influencing our mood.


Lost places that turned out too magical to be real.

With GUBI being the first ever to set up at marvellous Bagni Misteriosi, they formed a magical space to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Beetle chair by Danish-Italian duo GamFratesi. Ten artists reinterpreted the iconic seat for the TEN exhibition, which did not only stand out because of the unique location but also because of the well-rounded installation around it. Meanwhile, ALCOVA reclaimed another lost place with the former Porta Vittoria abattoir for the sake of independent art and design from around the world.


“An outstanding play between colours and fabrics.”

The immersive Butterfly Effect exhibition by Muuto, H+O, and V-ZUG explored how our environment can affect our well-being through a curated assortment of furniture, lighting, and accessories, creating an aesthetically outstanding play between colours and fabrics.


Designing the perfect story.

In collaboration with their Vice President of Hardware Design, Ivy Ross, and sound artist Lachlan Turczan, Google surprised us with an immersive multi-space installation that explored our connection to water as humans and as a source of design inspiration. Everything was on point: from artistic background and storytelling to setup and installation. The actual product stayed in the far background.


Staying with the element of water: the atmosphere at “Grohe AG SPA Health Through Water” was impeccable. Designed by the in-house LIXIL Global Design & Brand Identity team, the installation reflected the magnificent architecture of the Pinacoteca di Brera.

In the words of Hannes Melzian, department Experience Design: “Milano 2023 was like a firework show – loud, stunningly beautiful, and totally unsustainable.” While the event showcased some of the most impressive and inspiring designs, it is disheartening to see that sustainability still hasn’t taken centre stage. Despite the industry’s efforts to develop new sustainable materials, it is crucial to prioritize sustainability and use events like at Milan Design Week as an opportunity to lead the world of design towards a new era of sustainable practices.


We hope this overview of Milan Design Week 2023 has sparked your interest and given you a taste of the innovation and creativity on display at this year’s event. Thank you for reading, and stay tuned for more updates from the world of design and architecture.

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