The month of April bears many delights; firstly, it indicates the end of the torture that is wearing 27 layers underneath a padded ski jacket to keep warm in the seemingly never-ending winter months. April usually also means a much-needed Easter break is around the corner, when eating chocolate becomes a cultural tradition, rather than just your typical Wednesday night.
But most importantly, April means the most buzzing week in the design industry is ready to kick off – and we are of course talking about Milan Design Week, or Salone, if you wish.
For 58 years, each Spring, the city of Milan opens its doors to architects, designers, journalists, creatives, press and visitors from all over the world in occasion of the Salone del Mobile, literally meaning the “the furniture salon”, which is the industry’s most significant trade show. Alongside the main trade show, a parallel string of events takes place across the city under a 25 degrees sun (most of the time). Shop owners, stretching out to other industries too, bounce off the back of the buzz that the thousands of visitors bring and host an infinite number of events, parties and exhibitions throughout the week.
This chain of events is referred to as “Fuorisalone”, which means “Outside Salone”. From the old town, known as Brera, to the up-and-coming, trendy area of Tortona and the Canals, visitors swarm the cobble-stoned streets of Milan in search of the most cutting-edge installation – and free prosecco.
This year, Danish tech brand Bang & Olufsen also made its mark in Milan, with a spectacular preview of its newest TV: the Beovision Harmony. To celebrate the launch of this iconic new product, LRR flew out journalists from the best of the best tech titles for an exclusive preview of the newest addition to the B&O family.
On the first day of Milan Design Week, Bang & Olufsen opened its doors to a handful of press and inaugurated Fuorisalone with a spectacular installation in Brera. Nestled off a post-card worthy street, the B&O showroom majestically presented the Beovision Harmony in a somewhat dystopic space, floating on a black water pool. As if the installation wasn’t enough, it is safe to say the brand’s newest design turned heads thanks to its revolutionary features: when it is turned on, the two fronts fan out — like a butterfly opening its wings — and the screen rises to the perfect viewing height. Turn off the TV, and the finely choreographed sequence plays out in reverse – rather mind blowing if you ask us.
On the evening of the press preview, Bang & Olufsen invited media back to the space for a cocktail party in celebration of the brand’s 93rd anniversary. From 7pm, journalists and design enthusiasts alike were greeted to a beautiful exploration of the brand’s most iconic products dating back to the last century. The showroom was then opened to the public for the remaining length of Design week.
And although we might be a little bit biased, favouring Bang & Olufsen’s installation, there were multiple highlights from Milan Design Week that the Coop enjoyed.
Being dedicated fans of the magazine, the Wallpaper* Handmade exhibition was also top of our list. This is an annual exhibition that aims to congregate big manufacturers and small designers to make “one-off wonders”. Fine, okay, we loved it even more because Bang & Olufsen A9 speakers provided the sound. We also spotted an exclusive Germans Ermics x B&O Harmony Machine called “Circle of Friths”, an interactive sound sculpture crafted from anodised aluminium. As visitors move their hand around the sculpture, proximity sensors pick up on their presence and produce harmonious notes in turn.
Located in the North area of Milan and hidden inside a typical Palazzo, this gathering of curated talents comprised everything we want in our homes and more. From musical denim walls to avant-garde, bubble-like stools, we came away with some pretty great office decoration ideas to say the least.
The Rossignoli court-yard off Corso Garibaldi was another must-see, where we fell in love with the historical bicycle manufacturer’s installation of 200 year old models. Covered with beautiful lilac wisteria, this really was a spectacular sight.
Finally, when in Milan one cannot miss a quick stop by the Duomo Cathedral, which this week is being hidden, despite its humongous dimensions, by a rather questionable installation reminiscent of…well we’re not too sure, so you might have to go and check it out yourself.