Dezeen Magazine

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Day three from Milan design week 2024

The Dezeen team are reporting live from Milan Design Week (15-19 April). Read on for all the coverage from the third day (Wednesday 17 April).


5:30pm Dezeen editor-at-large Amy Frearson has also been at Triennale Milano for the major exhibition exploring the legacy of the late designer, artist and architect Alessandro Mendini.

Colourful prints by Mendini decorate the Triennale's walls

Dezeen Studio have already produced a video of the exhibition for the institution (see 1:30pm update from day two coverage).

The show is a retrospective of the Italian designer and architect

Titled Io sono un drago, which translates as "I am a dragon", the show takes visitors on a journey through Mendini's work and ideas.

Proust armchair mendini
The Proust armchair is arguably Mendini's most iconic works

Starting with a scaled-up version of one of Mendini's most iconic works, the Proust armchair, other work on show includes a spinning carousel featuring works he created for homeware brand Alessi.

Mendini, who died in 2019, worked across media and scale

It concludes with a new, disorienting installation from designer Philippe Starck – a former collaborator of Mendini's – which surrounds visitors with projections of Mendini's floating head.

Starck and Mendini
Philipe Starck demonstrated his Mendin projection installation. Images by Amy Frearson

And on that note, we say a cheery ciao to you from day three in Milan! Tune in tomorrow for everything that is yet to come.

In the meantime, catch up on everything that happened on day one and day two.

Ciao from Mendini – and ciao from Dezeen! A domani
Ciao from Alessandro Mendini – and ciao from Dezeen! A domani


4:30pm After her sandwich outside (see the 2pm entry below) Dezeen design editor Jennifer Hahn reports on highlights from the Triennale Milano.

Inga Sempe
Inga Sempé has created a full-scale home interior

Besides the Alessandro Mendini retrospective (more on that shortly from Dezeen editor-at-large Amy Frearson), French designer Inga Sempé has created a full-scale home interior inside the museum.

Inga Sempe
The Imperfect Home showcases Sempé's colourful functionality

Sempé focuses her research on everyday household objects and their industrial production.

The installation at Triennale is called The Imperfect Home which invites visitors to "experience spaces with everyday gestures, filled with timeless objects, far from the rules of marketing".

Nartey table
Giles Nartey is exhibiting a communal table. Imagery by Jennifer Hahn

Elsewhere, British-Ghanaian designer Giles Nartey is exhibiting a communal table made for making fufu – a West African food made by pounding cassava and plantain into a dough – as part of the Wallpaper* class of 2024.

Julie Richoz
Julie Richoz's walking stick is an ode to the small gesture of picking a flower on a hike and taking it home

Also not to be missed is Walking Sticks and Canes, a small but mighty display of walking aids made by 18 designers for their future selves.

Alban le Henrey
Alban Le Henry's walking stick enables effortless height adjustment

Particular favourites include a height-adjustable model with a corkscrew mechanism by Alban Le Henry, a cane for off-road walking by Michel Charlot and a hollow version by Julie Richoz that was designed for picking flowers on hikes.

Michel Charlot
Michel Charlot's cane enables you to pick it up without bending over thanks to it's wide base


3:30pm In a break from the persistence of newness at Milan design week, writes Dezeen editorial director Max Fraser, architecture historian and researcher Adam Stěch has displayed thousands of his own photographs celebrating unique details from 20th century architecture and interiors.

"If you want to find the beauty, you have to spend the time searching for it"

"I want to look at old things and bring them to life again through these photographs," Stěch told Fraser."The show aims to inspire practitioners and designers, not academics."

Adam Stech at dropcity
The exhibition features hundreds of architecture and interiors details

The exhibition, in tunnel 56 of Dropcity (see the 9am entry below), is themed according to ten categories: lighting, seating, storage spaces, tables, railings, doors, handles, windows, floors and walls.

The images are collected from more than 45 countries in the world.

Adam Stech at dropcity
Images by Max Fraser

Stěch has been touring for years to collate what he hopes will become the biggest database of one-of-a-kind designs from specific buildings and interiors captured by a single person.

"If you want to find the beauty, you have to spend the time searching for it," he said. "It's a lifetime of work."


2:30pm Dezeen deputy editor Cajsa Carlson reports that furniture brand Knoll's stand at Salone del Mobile, designed from recycled materials by Belgian studio Office, features plenty of design classics.

knoll at salone del mobile
Knoll have filled cubicles with plants at Salone del Mobile

Chairs by Mies van der Rohe and Frank Gehry were placed between glass cubicles filled with plants, creating a modernist greenhouse office aesthetic.

knoll at salone
The space features Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona chairs
Frank Gehry's powerplay chair and footstool
Frank Gehry's Power Play chair and footstool was used to furnish the space. Images by Cajsa Carlson



2:00pm Lunch! from the build-your-own sandwich shop outside Triennale Milano, where the Alessandro Mendini retrospective exhibition is on show.

ham sandwich
Image by Jennifer Hahn


1:30pm Pink light glows in the interior of Bar Unniko – Finnish lifestyle brand Marimekko's pop-up cafe, which has taken over Milan's Bar Stoppani for the week.

Marimekko signature poppies appropriately adorn their pop-up

Dezeen's Jane Englefield reports that the traditional Milanese interior was left largely untouched with the exception of recognisable Marimekko poppies covering the umbrellas, awning, floor and petite espresso cups.

Poppy umbrellas provide shade outside the cafe


12:30pm Following the preview in yesterday's live coverage (see 10:30am entry from day two) you can now read Jennifer Hahn's full write-up of her conversation with Faye Toogood about the Rude Arts Club exhibition at the CC-Tapis showroom.

"Sexual energy is a big part of being human," Toogood said, as she talked Hahn through the thinking behind her new collections. Read the rest below › 


12:00pm Dezeen editor-at-large Amy Frearson paid a visit to an experimental pop-up shop, the New Store, installed by Rotterdam's Nieuwe Instituut in Milan's Isola area.

fucci haircuts
Alberto Fucci is cutting hair for the New Store's design projects

The store is offering free hair cuts, courtesy of local hairdresser Alberto Fucci, and using the harvested hair in different ways.

fucci haircuts
Human Material Loop is turning the cut hair into yarn

Textile producer Human Material Loop is turning the trimmings into yarns that can be used to make clothing, while textile artist Woo Jin Joo is creating a huge embroidered blanket with help from visitors.

fucci haircuts
Artist Woo Jin Joo is creating an embroidered blanket with the hair cuttings. Images by Amy Frearson

Unfortunately for Frearson, Fucci was booked up for the day so she didn't manage to get a trim.


11:45am Italian kitchen brand Elica's Straordinaria installation, designed by Japanese studio we+ and curated by Marcello Smarrelli of the Fondazione Ermanno Casoli, is shimmering in the courtyard of Palazzo Litta, reports Dezeen social editor Clara Finnigan.

Elica installation
The waving, coloured poles aim to echo the movement of heat and air in clouds

The installation is one of many at this year's Milan design week that focus on creating immersive, sensory experiences.

Straordinaria aims to mimic the lightness of clouds with colourful perspex poles that hang freely from the roof of the central pavilion, which visitors are invited to walk through and activate as they do so.

Watch the installation in motion on Dezeen's TikTok › 


11:30am Dezeen's Jane Englefield has skipped from one fashion brand (see Days exhibition at JW Anderson, 10:45am below) to another and is now at Loewe Lamps in the Palazzo Citterio.

loewe lamps
Loewe lamps are on show at the Palazzo Citterio

Spanish fashion brand Loewe is showing at Milan design week for the eighth time with an exhibition of lamps created by 24 international artists.

Loewe lamps
The fashion brand partnered with artists to create the lamps, including this glass and clay creation by South African artist Andile Dyalvane

Birch twigs, horse hair, glass and leather are among the range of materials used to create the individual lamps, which illuminate a large room in the palazzo.


11:15am Johanna Seelemann, who was shortlisted for emerging designer of the year at Dezeen Awards 2023, is exhibiting a series of urban interventions designed to make cities better places to live for both humans and other species such as plants and animals.

johanna seelemann
Terracotta vases feature  in the exhibition

Jennifer Hahn reports that among the products is cladding that doubles up as an insect hotel.

Terracotta vases that are buried beside urban plants so they can gradually release water through their porous shells to conserve resources.

johanna seelemann
Johanna Seelemann has designed an insect hotel

Visitors are encouraged to take away small seed bombs made by mixing local clays with native plant species. Shaped like Enzo Mari's iconic Milanese Panettone bollards, the souvenirs hope to encourage visitors to have a hand in bringing nature back into the city.

Johanna Seelemann
Visitors are encouraged to take away small seed bombs


10:45am Dezeen design and interiors reporter Jane Englefield has been to see Days, an exhibition by Patrick Carroll presented in the Milan JW Anderson store.

Carroll has stretched textiles that he has knitted onto stretcher bars as if they are paintings, using yarn salvaged from remainder shops that liquidate the fashion industry's leftovers.

Days exhibition
The knitted artworks feature words and phrases like "Boys do fall in love"

Knitted into the works are bits of text, half the works bear a single word like: abnegation, pity and permanence.

Days exhibition
Phrases like "Daily Life" and some works with only single words feature in the exhibition. Images by Jane Englefield


10:30am Dezeen’s editorial director Max Fraser moderated a panel discussion at kitchen brand Gaggenau's The Elevation of Gravity installation at Villa Necchi Campiglio this morning.

gaggenau panel talk
Dezeen's Max Fraser moderated the panel discussion for Gaggenau

Fraser was joined by Zaha Hadid Architects associate director Johannes Schafelner, SOM interiors lead Francesca Portesine and Industrial Facility founder Kim Colin to discuss how principles of reduction and essentialism in architecture and design can be employed to improve our lives.

gaggenau panel talk
A seamlessly integrated induction hob is cantilevered from a rock. Images Ben Hobson

The installation features an induction hob seamlessly integrated into a huge cantilevered slab that juts dramatically from a piece of rock.


10:15am Commerce platform Artemest's 2nd edition of L'Appartamento is taking place at Residenza Vignale on Via Enrico Toti.

artemest milan
The queue outside Artemest's L'Apartamento. Image by Jennifer Hahn

There's a very long line of people in the Milan sunshine waiting to get in but Dezeen social editor Clara Finnigan had an early doors appointment (watch this space for more on our Instagram later).

Artemest 'appartamento
The dining room was designed by VSHD Design

Inside six international interior design studios – Elicyon, Gachot, Rottet Studio, Studio Meshary, AINassar, Tamara Feldman and VSHD Design – have each curated a room, exclusively using furniture, lighting, décor and art from over 170 of Artemest's artisans, brands and artists.

artemest l'apartamento
The bedroom was designed by Tamara Feldman. Images by Clara Fiinigan

Find out more about Artemest's L'Appartamento on Dezeen Events Guide › 


9am Good morning! Day three is beginning at Milan design week and Dezeen's Starr Charles has been to new Milanese architecture and design centre Dropcity.

dropcity 3D printing
There are 15 adjacent tunnels at Dropcity, behind Milan's Central Station

Dropcity occupies previously abandoned, connected tunnels behind Milan Central Station and is due to open permanently in the autumn of this year.

3D printing drop city
Dropcity is a space for research and experimentation into alternative forms of architecture and design

Founded by architect Andrea Caputo, Dropcity will be showcasing its construction process taking place within the tunnels throughout the week, with one tunnel being reconstructed with 3D-printed walls and structures.

socii at dropcity
The crocodile series from Garbage Kids is made out of offcuts, walnut and ebonized with vinegar and steel mixture.

There are 15 variously numbered tunnels, and in tunnel 38 is an exhibition by Socii titled Socii Circus: Upholding cultural commons.

socii at dropcity
Furniture is displayed on a stage made from building waste

The space has been turned into part-workshop – with carpenters at work throughout the week– and part-display, with old and new creations showcased on a stage at the front of the tunnel, made from found materials and building waste.

socii at dropcity
The exhibition features a wooden daybed decorated with thousands of glossy beads. Imagery by Starr Charles

Recycled wood and other materials were used for all designs within the collection.

On of the pieces is a handcrafted wooden daybed decorated with 11,000 seeds created by design collective Garbage Kids, who make furniture in Tbilisi and Tallinn.


To keep you up to date, follow the live coverage from. You can catch up on everything that happened on day one and day two at Milan design week.

Dezeen Events Guide has created a Milan design week digital guide highlighting the key events at the festival.

See Dezeen Events Guide for all the latest information you need to know to attend the event, as well as a list of other architecture and design events taking place around the world.

All times are London time.

The lead image is by Jane Englefield.