After the Australian design set descended on Milan for Design Week last month, we spoke to Authentic Design Alliance members for an insider snapshot of their personal experience.
Cult founder and managing director Richard Munao is a Salone veteran having first attended in 1999!
Aside from discovering new product collections from the 20+ Cult partners, Richard always makes a point of experiencing the spectacular installations dotted across the city - the experiences that add to the unforgettable magic of Milan Design Week.
Additional text by Anne-Maree Sargeant.
How long have you attended Salone?
My first year at Salone was 1999, and I’ve been every year since then.
Who did you travel with?
I travelled with four of the Cult team - Sydney Showroom manager - Clinton Garofano, Head of Brand and Culture - Jeff Tsang, Commercial Sales Consultant - Mathew Fowler and Sean Coutts – Retail Sales Consultant.
What were your MDW objectives
Our main objective is to visit our international partners - to maintain strong relationships and learn about their new designs and collections.
I’m also always on the lookout for external inspiration, and there's nowhere better to find it than Milan during Design Week!
MUD AUSTRALIA Exhibition
‘STILL LIFE’ – a collaboration between Mud Australia, Calico Wallpaper and Ladies & Gentlemen Studio was a beautifully art directed exhibition that showcased one of our favourite local tableware brands.
LG OLED Rollable TV
I was really impressed by the new rollable OLED television by LG at their Redefining Space exhibition. Discover more about the new technology and the exhibition via Wallpaper Magazine
Foster+Partners joined forces with LG Electronics on the word’s first rolling OLED screen, which emerges seamlessly from a fixed base.
LOCAL MILAN Australian design exhibition
New designs by Australian designers in the LOCAL MILAN installation – in particular Trapeze lighting by Zachary Hanna and the Moored shelving system by Rosanna Ceravolo.
LOCAL MILAN is the brainchild of Sydney-based designer / creative director / stylist Emma Elizabeth, and this year's fourth edition represented the largest assembly of Antipodean design with work from 44 Australian and New Zealand designers showcased in an industrial building formerly occupied by Diesel and Moroso.
Identità Golose restaurant in Milano
Identita Golose in the heart of Milan is filled with Cappellini furniture, and features a rotation of guest Michelin star chefs that present the most incredible food – a truly special experience. It's worth the trip just to experience unique fine dining as only the Milanese can deliver.
NAU hosted an Aperitivo at Local Milan
One of my favourite evenings was our brand NAU Design hosting the evening Aperitivo at Local Design in the historic 5 Vie district! It was amazing to see so many Australians from the industry congregate in Milan to support Australian and New Zealand design.
NAU also exhibited works designed by Adam Goodrum, Kate Stokes (CocoFlip), Adam Cornish and Tom Fereday.
Google’s A Space for Being installation/experience
Visitors wear a wristband that detects their physical and physiological responses to each space, showing how design and aesthetics can impact our health and wellbeing.
"Our presence in Milan isn’t about selling products, it’s about being a thought leader in design. We wanted to be provocative" Google.
The collaboration was a partnership between Reddymade Architecture and the International Arts + Mind Lab at Johns Hopkins University, and the Muuto furniture brand.
"What you choose to surround yourself with affects your wellbeing and your body, and the fact that neuroscience is now proving that is thrilling to us" Ivy Ross, Google VP for hardware design
In an interactive multi-room installation at Spazio Maiocchi 'A Space for Being' explored the field of neuro-aesthetics - analysing how design and the elements around us can impact human biology and well-being.
Visitors wore specially made wristbands that were developed by Google in partnership with the International Arts + Mind Lab at Johns Hopkins University.
The wristband sensors measured specific physical and physiological responses, like heart rate and skin conductivity - real-time tracking the spaces visitors felt most comfortable in.
Read about how and why Google believe design is integral to well-being in this Wallpaper Magazine article
Timeless classics never date
Created by Danish designer Vernor Panton for Varna restaurant, the 1970's design classic was put firmly on the map after featuring in the James Bond classic 'The Spy Who Loved Me.'
In the Roger Moore thriller, the Pantanova (1971) seating installation featured in the villain, evil shipping tycoon Karl Stromberg's lair - as seen at 0.33 / 0.41 in the official movie trailer.
Panton was a close friend of Montana founder Peter J Lassen, who is Joakim's father and also the great-grandson of furniture pioneer Fritz Hansen.
Pantonova's distinctive curved chrome frame has three different versions that when grouped form striking geometric shapes, including circles, waves and S-shapes.
Linear is the seat that most resembles a typical chair form, with a gently curved back rest that comfortably wraps the sitter.
Convex is similar to Linear, but has a more exaggerated form that creates a stronger curve. Meanwhile Concave is the reverse, with a back rest and seat that curve forward rather than backward. READ MORE ON THIS IN DEZEEN
“We wanted to create a modern lounge chair that was light and sculptural in its expression; fusing Fritz Hansen’s expertise with Jaime Hayon’s sculptural design language”
3 trends we won’t be able to ignore
Re-released classics are prominent at the moment – proof that great design truly is timeless; decorative detailing with a sense of Art Nouveau; and a lot more colour than we have been seeing recently, even on stand designs!
"Re-released classic designs, decorative detailing, and a return to bold colours"
Most memorable installation / meal / purchase
The new permanent exhibition of Italian design at La Triennale di Milano is a must-see. The exhibited works represent some of the most iconic pieces in the Triennale collection, and the most iconic, instantly recognisable Italian designed objects and furnishings.
Best thing that had nothing to do with design
The apartment we stayed in. It was authentically Milanese and on our doorstep were buildings designed by the maestro Gio Ponti.
Pro tips on post Milan recuperation?
Land the evening before you have to go back to work! Stage sleep on the flight home to align with our time zone.
On an unlimited budget you would return home with …….
The deeds to the Milanese apartment we stayed in - our Design Week retreat!
IMAGES // by Richard Munao with additional photography courtesy of CULT.
LOCAL MILAN No.4 photography by Fiona Susanto
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