STILL NOW. The Dinner by fferrone - Photo by Fferrone.

Milan Design Week 2023: 15 must-visit design exhibitions. STILL NOW. The Dinner by Fferrone – Photo by Fferrone.

Design – Archipanic’s founder and editor-in-chief Enrico Zilli picked 15 must-visit design exhibitions at Milan Design Week 2023. Nendo teams up with Daniel Arsham, and Ukrainian creatives join forces to deliver a strong freedom message, Ikea celebrates its 80th anniversary, and more.

Droog30. Design or Non-design? at Triennale

April 16-23. Triennale di Milano, Via Alemagna, 6 [Map].
Tree Trunk Bench - Photo by Marcel Loermans, courtesy of La Triennale di Milano.

Tree Trunk Bench – Photo by Marcel Loermans, courtesy of La Triennale di Milano.

After its first exhibition in Milan in 1993, the design group Droog returns to the city with an exhibition celebrating 30 years of activities and ideas. Dutch designers including Marcel Wanders, Gijs Bakker, and Renny Ramakers tackled issues that went beyond the field of design, venturing into social and political arenas. Droog’s designs are characterised by their linear forms – hence the name Droog, “dry” in Dutch – and their great communicative power. Droog’s young creatives. Developed in collaboration with the Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, the exhibition at the Triennale di Milano is curated by Maria Cristina Didero and Richard Hutton.

Desacralized by Galerie Philia

April 18-23. Via Lucania, 18 [Map].
Chandelier by Morghen Studio @ Desacralized exhibition by Galerie Philia - Photo by Galerie Philia.

Photo by Galerie Philia.

Staged in San Vittore e 40 Martiri, a deconsecrated church built in the XI century, Galerie Philia presents Desacralized, an exhibition featuring over 20 established and emerging international designers such as Studiopepe, Draga & Aurel, FAINA, and more. They took inspiration from objects which formerly had religious associations but that are now just quotidian, functional pieces. Italian design duo Morghen Studio designed a sculptural installation that transcends and sublimes the iconic significance of the historic chandelier, offering visitors a transformative experience of light.

A Life Extraordinary by Moooi

April 18-24. Salone dei Tessuti, Via S. Gregorio, 29 [Map].
Moooi at Milan Design Week 2023 - Photo by Moooi.

Knitty Lounge chair by Nika Zupanc – Photo by Moooi.

Dutch furniture and interior design company Moooi is back in Milan with a joyful exhibition featuring the new Knitty Lounge chair by Slovenian designer Nika Zupanc and the Pallana light by design firm IDEO. The brand also partners with perfume brand EveryHuman to create an interior fragrance using artificial intelligence and with LG to explore how technology products can be transformed into interior design pieces.

Brake to Make by Nendo and Daniel Arsham

April 18-23. Via Pinamonte da Vimercate, 4 [Map].
Brake to make exhibition by Nendo and Daniel Arsham - Illustration by Nendo.

Illustration by Nendo.

An artist who creates by breaking, and a designer who creates things to be broken.” Japanese design firm Nendo and multidisciplinary artist Daniel Arsham team up to give new functions to Nendo’s designs by breaking them. From a bathtub-like form, a loveseat emerged. From a long and narrow block, a bench or a stool was born; from a tall, square form, a console table was revealed. Supported by the Friedman Benda art gallery, the exhibition features various objects without intended use and is given a new function by being broken.

Surprise Party! by Constance Guisset

April 17-May 13. Institut Français Milano, Corso Magenta, 63 [Map].
Surprise Party, Constance Guisset solo exhibition at the Institut Francais Milano - ©Constance Guisset Studio.

©Constance Guisset Studio.

Institut Français Milano hosts the first solo exhibition in Italy of French designer Constance Guisset. The exhibition is conceived as a colourful bubble, a playful break in the frenzy of Milan. Through a work of colored lights and an evanescent scenography, the objects in shades of white reveal their silhouettes and materials as they have never been seen before.

CONTINUUM: creativity from Ukraine

April 18-23. Via Festa del Perdono 2, [Map].
Movchun collection by FAINA @ the CONTINUUM exhibirion - Photo by FAINA.

Movchun collection by FAINA @ the CONTINUUM exhibition – Photo by FAINA.

The CONTINUUM exhibition brings together five Ukrainian creatives who narrate their own personal idea of the future through their work and personal experience. “Ukrainian designers and artists now have an experience and vision shaped in another dimension. Under the influence of war, protecting our land, we understand so quickly and clearly what freedom is and why we have to fight for it.” Says FAINA founder Victoria Yakusha to Archipanic. Each of the five visionaries speaks with their own medium: FAINA for design, fashion, SOLOMIA—Reshetylivka for craft, pastry chef Dinara Kasko for culinary, and Vlad Zvarych for perfumery.

Abrakadabra by Wonderglass

April 18-22. Via Vivaio, 7 [Map].
Abrakadabra by Wonderglass - Photo by Wonderglass.

Photo by Wonderglass.

Wonderglass occupies the evocative 19th-century spaces of the Milan Institute for Blind People to showcase the new collective exhibition Abrakadabra. Paul Cocksedge, Tom Dixon, Elisa Ossino, John Pawson, Elena Salmistraro, studiopluz, Bethan Laura Wood, and Dan Yeffet stage installations exploring “the vitreous material in visual culture,” explains curator Jean Blanchaert. The exhibition also celebrates glass as the DNA of the Venetian company.

The King by Atelier Biagetti

April 17-23. Piazza Arcole, 4 [Map].
The King Sofa by Atelier Biagetti - Photo by Atelier Biagetti.

The King Sofa by Atelier Biagetti – Photo by Atelier Biagetti.

Inspired by Elvis Presley, Atelier Biagetti presents a new design project that brings you to discover how mankind has always attempted the impossible, to make the mortal immortal. The installation recreates the living room of a fantastical house, the quintessential expression of a gigantic ego. Unique, limited-edition objects such as a colossal King sofa and guitar cases turned into side tables break the boundaries between artistic disciplines. And The King? The studio co-founder Alberto Biagetti and Laura Baldassari promise he will be there!

STILL NOW. The Dinner by Fferrone

April 17-23. Villa Mirabello, Via Villa Mirabello, 6 [Map].
STILL NOW. The Dinner by fferrone - Photo by Fferrone.

Photo by Fferrone.

American glassware brand Fferrone opens the doors of the XV Century Villa Mirabello – one of the oldest ones in Milan, never before open to the public during Design Week. Set against a theatrical, monochrome ultramarine background, the ‘STILL NOW. The Dinner’ installation merges past and present. The brand’s new collections are on display with a series of contemporary still-life photographs that recall the tradition of the 1600s.

Silence by Dimorestudio

April 17-22. Dimorestudio HQs, Via G. B. Sammartini 63, [Map].
Courtesy of Dimorestudio.

Courtesy of Dimorestudio.

Dimorestudio celebrates its 20th anniversary with the Silence exhibition in its new Dimorecentrale headquarters. Here, four defined environments feature the firm’s recent collections. A fifth environment reveals Dimorestudio’s new vision for a new language that represents a return to classicism, to bon ton, without excess, all very aristocratic, very sophisticated, never ostentatious.

Doppia Firma 2023

Palazzo Litta, Corso Magenta 24, [Map].
Doppia Firma 2019 - Photo via IG, follow @madeincloister

Doppia Firma 2019 – Photo via IG, follow @madeincloister.

In the stunning halls of Palazzo Litta, the Michelangelo Foundation presents the Xth edition of Doppia Firma – Double signature -, a project from Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte that brings together European design innovation and the tradition of great artisanship by creating a unique collection of original, refined objects. This year’s creatives’ lineup includes Chris WolstonAtelier BiagettiMatteo CibicAdam Nathaniel FurmanLucia MassariLuca Nichetto, and Supertoys supertoys.

Assembling the future together by IKEA

April 17-23. Padiglione Visconti, Via Tortona, 58 [Map].
Assembling the future together exhibition by IKEA - Courtesy of IKEA.

Courtesy of IKEA.

IKEA celebrates its 80th anniversary with the Assembling the future together exhibition, a sensory journey through the past, present, and future of Life at Home. Iconic pieces that made history are on display with the company’s ultimate, never-before-seen collections. Installations linked to the four elements offer visitors a highly engaging sensory experience encouraging a reflection on sustainable living in the future. A giant FRAKTA blue bag installation brightens up the walls of the space, bringing a smile to visitors’ faces. By night, Padiglione Visconti becomes a dance floor with DJ sets and light shows by Swedish lighting designer Anders Heberling.

Porcodesain x Bestiario

Zona K, Via Spalato, 11 [Map].
Porcodesain x Bestiario - Courtesy of Matteo Ragni Studio.

Porcodesain x Bestiario – Courtesy of Matteo Ragni Studio.

Everything but the oink, says a famous anti-waste proverb referring to the fact that when pigs are butchered, nothing is thrown away. What about design? Such multifaceted and complex discipline is often inhabited by barkers and swindlers talking fancy with a foreign lexicon to camouflage weak ideas – sometimes even no ideas at all. The ironic exhibition and manifesto warns against the abuse of stereotypical expressions. “We provide a manual-like exhibition for all of us who fed off from this big pig design.” Says Matteo Ragni.


April 18-24. Via Sammartini, 48 [Map].
Homage to SHIRO KURAMATA by TAKT PROJECT - Photo by Masayuki Hayshi, courtesy of TAKT PROJECT.

Photo by Masayuki Hayashi, courtesy of TAKT PROJECT.

Designs solve existing problems. Designs uncover latent problems and solve them as well.” Says Satoshi Yoshiizumi, founder of TAKT PROJECT. The Tokyo-based design firm pays tribute to Shiro Kuramata, a pioneer of Japanese contemporary design, with an exhibition at Dropcity, the new design destination under the vaults of Milan Central Station.

Design for Communities by Giacomo Moor at AssabOne Gallery

April 18-23, h. 10-19. Via Privata Assab, 1 [Map].
Design for Communities Giacomo Moor for Live in Slums at Assab One - Courtesy of LiveinSlums.

Design for Communities Giacomo Moor for Live in Slums at Assab One – Courtesy of Live in Slums.

AssabOne gallery presents Design for Communities, an exhibition dedicated to the project carried out by the NGO Live in Slums in collaboration with designer Giacomo Moor, who designed beds, tables, and benches for the refectory and dormitory of the Mathare primary school, one of the largest Slums in Nairobi. The exhibition tells the public about the project through Moor’s furniture and photographs by Francesco Giusti, Filippo Romano, Mattia Zoppellaro, and Alessandro Treves of Perimetro.