Design Field Notes

Design Field Notes

Design Field Notes


Places & Faces, What's On

Tips For Visiting Milan During Design Week

The world is still centred around Europe in my opinion. The proximity of the countries mixed with the bursts of deep history and culture make it still, centuries on, the continent that others look to for inspiration and ideas. Sure, they don’t get everything right – think politics, or economy at the moment – but as far as ‘ideas’ are concerned I still feel it is epicentre. 

Travelling back to Milan for the Design Week and Salone del Mobile this month was such a treat. My passion is furniture, but also having lived in Europe many years ago, and being married to a European (Swede) I feel I have some connection with the continent that pulls at a heart string. 

Milan is a city known over the centuries as quite an industrial hub and it certainly has a grubby element to it. However, Italy is Italy and you can’t look past the beautiful paved streets, the architecture, the café culture and of course those wonderful Italians. Police dressed by Armani, smoking a mini cigar whilst describing their last meal with their hand movements alone. You can’t beat it. They’re not perfect the Italians, but it’s easy to love them.

If you visit Milan for Salone del Mobile you will note that the city comes alive for the furniture and design event. The Brera district alone has many showrooms and events on, then there’s Via Tortona district. Again with many pop up or permanent showrooms putting on their best dress for the thousands of design lovers. 

My tips for a trip to the fair would include: 

Stay Central

Accommodation in the centre is expensive, rates go up x 3 during this week, but it’s worth it. Getting around on foot is easy and the shopping is great!

Pre-Book Your Salone del Mobile Tickets

The queues are rather long for tickets at location, but not for pre purchase.

Get In Early & Leave Early

Taxi’s and transport are hard to get on the way out at rush hour at 5:30pm, so leave an hour or more earlier and you’ll beat the lines. 

First Day Overwhelm

The first day is hectic at the fair with every student and Chinese manufacturer on every stand trying to jostle a look at the new pieces, you can hardly get a look at the furniture. Be ready for it, it’s overwhelming on the stands.

See the City

Additional exhibitions in Brera and Tortona are worth a day each at least. Get out there and enjoy the design hubs whilst stopping for the occasional Aperol Spritz

D’Squared For Lunch

Best lunch I had whilst in Milan. The D’Sq’d restaurant (fashion brand) features two pools, bars, a great fit out and a killer rare view of flat Milan from up high.

Fly Qatar

I flew Qatar Airways for the first time and it was by far the best airline I have ever flown. The bar in the plane was twice the size of any other I’ve seen and the Al Mourjan Lounge in Doha had a lake in it… Need I say more.

Anthony Spon-Smith

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