Top 6: Milan Design Week Collaborations.

With our love of a collaborative project, as we took in the many installations of Milan Design Week 2017 we were drawn to the interesting collaborations that were taking place throughout the event. We have selected six of our favourites that stood out in the Italian city.

COS x Studio Swine

We were looking forward to COS and Studio Swine’s experience at MDW ever since the teaser video was released online. We weren’t disappointed. Luckily we managed to get there before word spread and the hours-long queues started. A six-metre high sculpture – a kind of tree / Georgian street lamp hybrid – bore mist-filled bubbles that would bounce or rest on (COS) fabrics or pop into a puff of smoke as soon as they came into contact with skin.

Top 6 collaborations at Milan Design Week


Artemide x BIG Architects

Danish architecure group BIG was the co-creator of Italian lighting brand Artemide’s Alphabet of Light at MDW. Created from a simple modular system consisting of just two components – a curved and a straight stick of light. Available in different sizes so that the finished results can be scaled to fit different spaces, the lighting components are fixed in place with magnets, allowing the a full alphabet and number set to be created in seconds.

Top 6 collaborations at Milan Design Week



MINI teamed with New York-based architects SO-IL to create an air-filtering “house”. In a narrow Milanese courtyard, a three-storey structure was clad in white mesh that filtered the city air and allows natural light into the space while also being protective from the elements. Comprising a living, sleeping, washing and dining space, the floors are connected by a spiral staircase that leads to a plant covered roof. Inside the space, plants chosen for their purifying qualities bring the green inside. While it provides little in the way of privacy or a realistic living environment, it brings attention to the way living could be improved by thinking about the environment and microclimate of our homes.

“We view the installation as an active ecosystem, which makes a positive contribution to the lives and experiences of the people who live there and to the urban microclimate,” Oke Hauser, creative lead of MINI LIVING, told Dezeen.

Top 6 collaborations at Milan Design Week


Samsung x Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid Architects got together with Samsung and British design collective Universal Everything to create ‘Unconfined’, an interactive digital installation inspired by Samsung’s newly-launched Galaxy S8 phone. The phone’s seamless, curved screen fits perfectly with the famed curve style of Hadid’s buildings. For the installation, hanging displays were activated by visitors’ movement and displayed light, image and sounds, all housed in a pavillion made up from curved structures that took on the appearance of liquid metal.

Top 6 collaborations at Milan Design Week


Sabine Marcelis x Aesop Corso Magenta

To celebrate Frame Magazine’s 20th anniversary, cult Australian skincare line Aesop worked with Dutch designer Sabine Marcelis on an installation that took over the window of the brand’s impressive Corso Magenta store. Entitled ‘Vedovelle Fountain’, it takes its name from the prolific vedovelle, 481 drinking fountains across the Municipality of Milan that can be seen providing a constant stream of water.

Blue neon lights that mirror the colour used in the store interior are arched – providing a reference to another icon of Italia, the Roman aqueducts – under a curtain of water that falls from the top of the structure and back up through transparent pipes in a constant flow.

Top 6 collaborations at Milan Design Week


Tokujin Yoshioka x LG

Taking home the top prize at the end of the week, the Milano Design Award 2017, was LG’s project with world-renowned designer Tokujin Yoshioka. Their installation took the form of a large-scale, pulsating and illuminated wall at one side of a huge space – the ‘Wall of the Sun’ made from 30,000 individual lighting components – while “pods” were dispersed across the floor with a constantly changing spectrum of light and colour.

Making use of the South Korean electronics giant’s latest OLED technology, visitors were led into a sci-fi-esque glimpse of the future.It offered, as the brand put it, “a unique glimpse of how human-centric lighting can transform space” and marked LG’s 70th anniversary, as well as their first appearance at MDW.

Top 6 collaborations at Milan Design Week

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