An Insider’s Guide to Milan Design Week 2019 – some hints and tips to get you started

From 9 to 14 April the international design world will be turned upside down again during the Milan Design Week.  There’s no complete overview because there’s simply too much to see and do, so here are some hints and tips I’ve put together.  During the week I’ll also keep you informed via Instagram, so follow me to make sure you get all the latest news and enjoy an insider’s view of the Design Week, even if you’re not able to get to Milan yourself.


For many years, the city centre was the commercial extension of the immense exhibition centre.  However, that has changed considerably. Brera is an area where you can easily wander around for two days coming across one surprise after the other. This theme of this year’s main design district is “Design your Life”, where designers are called upon to show more involvement in the sustainable impact of their work.

CC-tapis is presenting “Killer Knots from outer Space” where new designs by Patricia Urquiola, Studiopepe and Mae Engeleer (Ultimate Bliss) are being launched. Shows  at 10, Piazza Santo Stefano  (Metro Duomo).

Bolon is exhibiting as part of the collective Swedish Design Moves with “HEMMA Gone Wild” HEMMA presents the best of Scandinavian design in an inspiring setting: 15, Via Solferino

The Museumby design studio Space Encounters: At this museum, the background noise that constantly surrounds us has been done away with so that we can focus on what we really need. The Museum is a space of harmony that blocks out sounds and distractions from the outside world. You don’t have to think, you just have to connect: Palazzo Clerici, 5, Via Clerici.

From Brera, ’Masterly – The Dutch’ and the 5Vie district are easy to include in your itinerary.


This neighbourhood is perhaps the least known and therefore can be the most surprising. Many small (often Italian) designers, artists and architects have settled here with sometimes very conceptual and cultural studies. Let yourself be surprised and be sure to go here later in the week when Brera and the other neighbourhoods get really busy. And also, look up around lunch time. Many of the small restaurants and hotels in this area have wonderful roof terraces.

Don’t forget to visit Masterly – The Dutch in Milano. Curator Nicole Uniquole is in charge of Palazzo Francesco Turati with the Rembrandt year as the source of inspiration for all participants. And this is often reflected in surprising ways:  7, Via Meravigli.


For three years this has been the location for special collaborations and highlights. This year there are 17 installations on show that you really shouldn’t miss. It’s impressive, interactive and sometimes even provocative.  The first year they started by exhibiting in 8 abandoned storage sheds, this has now expanded to 16 vaults. Think of collaborations between Benjamin Hubert and Cosentino with “RayTrace”, Lensevelt and Maarten Baas, but also a real pool party by Weltevree.  Maarten Baas can always be relied on to provide a controversial presentation, and this year he comes to Milan with Bar Baas. He has temporarily transformed his favourite Pizzeria Dinky (across the street) into a pink design scene, executed with a limited edition of the 101 chair designed for Lensvelt: 27, Via Ferranti Aporti.


Students from 18 design courses come together here to examine the role of identity and culture in timeless design. They are engaged in rituals such as preparing food and breaking through taboos while the strong eight-member Future (H) eart (H) presents “8 Dutch Design Visions for a liveable earth” in which they share the latest developments in biotechnology in design.


The Isola district has a recognisable landmark in the tower block with vertical green gardens “Bosco Verticale”. It’s the neighbourhood where Dutch Invertuals is based, and for that reason alone worth a visit. Dutch Invertuals celebrates its tenth anniversary with the exhibition “The Circle’’ with curator Wendy Plomp: 12, Via Pastrengo.


Made its return to Milan last year. The Dutch enclave has moved to Ventura Future and “Masterly – The Dutch”, giving Tortona more room for Asian designers such as Nendo and Neri & Hu, but also brands such as Sony. The neighbourhood is especially nice to visit in the evening because you can stop for food at one of the many small restaurants by the water, on the other side of the green metro line.
Nendo brings Breeze of Light. An installation portraying the concept “air”: 18, Via Vigevano.

ENVISIONS in the city
Envisions is undertaking some new research during Milan Design Week. Their research will soon be accessible to everyone via their digital library. They’re easy to follow, connect with, invite, approach, engage and inspire through their social media channels. Through the special jackets that fashion designer Stella Verdult has designed for Envisions, they can be literally tracked and traced during their exploration of the city.  These parkas are the visual identity of the Envisionaires.  Envisions is also exhibiting as part of the “Guiltless Plastic” exhibition at Rossana Orlandi (see below).

When in Milan, always visit…

Galleria Rossana Orlandi – With dear friends like Lidewij Edelkoort and Piet-Hein Eek, you know that the grande dame always gathers an impressive crowd of inspiring people around her this week. This year, Li is exhibiting again with Eileen Fisher under the name ‘’Waste No More’’, part one of which was shown last year in Ventura Centrale.  In addition, the exhibition “Guiltless Plastic” by the finalists of the Ro Plastic Prize competition will take place. Rossana has created an international award and has invited designers to think about solutions to the global plastic problem. 300 participants from more than 50 countries responded.  The finalists have been announced and their ideas can be seen here: 14/16 Via Matteo Bandello.

10 Corso Como – the store, a concept. Just like Merci in Paris, but different😉.  And the address? Well, it’s the name of the store!

Bar Basso – Another concept. There are nice eateries and bars everywhere, but you should visit Bar Basso at least once. 39, Via Plinio. (It is Maarten Baas inspiration for Bar Baas.)  

Milan is MOOOI.  And Moooi also wants to continue to surprise us and reinvent itself.  Of course they’re present in Milan, but no longer at the location that is so familiar to everyone. Designs by Kranen / Gille (The Party) and Mae Engeleer (SWELL) will be presented in a more intimate setting. Moooi – ‘A life Extraordinary’ and Moooi Carpets can be found in Santa Teresa Mediateca, 28 Via Della Moscova, 20121 Milan


With this brief description, we hope that you can organize and spend your days well. We’re very curious to know which old acquaintances and new faces we’ll meet during the week. Any exhibitions or designers you’d like to add to this list? Don’t hesitate to share them under this blog for all subsequent readers. This creates a beautiful and increasingly complete picture. Thank you for reading and have fun! Hope to see you in Milano.
Bacci, Gaby