Event Reports

Milan Design Week 2010

What a production! What a show! What a wonderful spirit in the city! The most important design exhibition in Milan sets new standards once again.

After 3 days and a cancelled return flight due to the volcano we’re left not only with swollen feet but also an abundance of intense impressions and exciting stimuli in our heads.

The following list of superlatives is not intentional but the exhibition in Milan makes it impossible for us not to use scaling attributes: bigger, better, wilder, livelier, more vibrant, more impressive than anything we’ve become accustomed to in the creative industries.Milan was besieged by a creative armada between 14 and 19 April 2010.

"You are entering the creative sector"

The Stazione di Milano makes an immediate impact. The brunt of Art Deco and Jugendstil cumulate in impressive architectural insanity which has manifested itself since Mussolini. The first impression we gain of Lombardy’s capital is the bustle of transfer busses leaving the airport Malpensa to the city centre every minute.

After we get rid of our luggage at the hotel we are in dire need of a double espresso and have one in proper style at a small coffee bar on the lively Corso Venezia. We study several maps and are slightly confused since it seems there is more than one official exhibition catalogue: There are four! Actually, every district has its own map. So where do we start? We might as well get started nearby in the Zona Brera. There are countless locations and shows to be seen here. As we walk down the narrow alleys we don’t even know where to look first. To our left, to our right, there are small and medium-sized shops, boutiques and galleries everywhere tightly packed throughout the district.

We stumble through the alleys and are rendered speechless after we enter a typical Italian courtyard through a rather inconspicuous looking gateway. There are washing lines, a dog barking hysterically and a bunch of rusty Vespas standing around. We cross the courtyard and enter a hall with a green and yellow Interni-flag in front of it. These are the headquarters of Pow-Wow - Established & Sons and the dimensions of the place truly blow our minds! Probably well over 3.000 square metres!

After another espresso and a double cappuccino we decide not to wait until the next day and head over to Zona Tortona. We are simply too excited! So our curiosity gets the better of us and we drag our tired feet across half the city towards the south eastern parts where the bustling Tortona district awaits. Some exhibitors haven’t managed to finalise their stands on the first day of the fair. Quite a few of the vernissages are to take place in the evening and the locations are still closed. Never mind. There are plenty of others! We spend the rest of our first day in Milan being inspired and getting with the flow for example at the Superstudio: A multitude of high-quality exhibitors under one roof with many elaborate productions including black mazes constructed like a parcours. Cool!

Our trip to Milan has definitely been worth it. The turnout was a little smaller than in previous years, but that might just be mother nature’s fault. Not every product was great, not many of them stuck in mind after the excess of inputs we subjected ourselves to.  But each show was staged lovingly, professionally and with a lot of commitment.

And Milan makes you feel one thing that’s missing elsewhere: The unconditional urge to represent. They not only present products, they make an entire production around the trademark. And how!

© 2010, Ioanna Paraskeva for DESIGNSPOTTER.comvisit also our facebook fan page with hundreds of pix ::: thank you for more than 6.000 members :::

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