Design leaders reflect on Moments of Affection: Milanese Alliances (M.A.M.A)

In our Moments of Affection: Milanese Alliances (M.A.M.A.) series, courtesy of FLOS, designers muse the annual Milan Design Week to show solidarity amid the COVID-19 crisis.

by STIRworld Published on : Mar 20, 2020

What endures the toughest times? Creativity, togetherness, memories. Three things that define the Salone del Mobile, making it an uninterrupted force and a treasured emotion, not just the biggest design event in the world.

Even as this year’s fair bows out to make way for the 60th edition slated from April 13-18, 2021, it continues to hold the design community together in times of the coronavirus.

STIR believes that in such times of crisis, it is important to recall the strength of solidarity and open the conversation to creative leaders from around the world so that we all heal a little with the collective sharing of hope and positivity. We reached out to luminaries from around the world to know what they miss and what they remember most fondly from the Milan Design Week and the city of Milan.

Over our four-part Moments of Affection: Milanese Alliances (M.A.M.A.) series, some of the world’s most remarkable designers share with us notes and videos of fond memories, fun flashbacks and candid moments…

(Follow the links to read each part of the series)

Richard Hutten, Giulio Cappellini, and Valerie Barkowski | Moments of Affection: Milanese Alliances (M.A.M.A) | STIRworld
Richard Hutten, Giulio Cappellini and Valerie Barkowski Image Credit: Courtesy of designers

1. Richard Hutten, Giulio Cappellini and Valerie Barkowski

Richard Hutten: “Milan is the place where my journey of fame started. I have fond memories of the Droog presentation in 1998, with fellow Dutch designers Marcel Wanders, Jurgen Bey, and Hella Jongerius, among others. Droog is the last big movement in design, and at that time we were making history without knowing,” remembers the Dutch designer, sharing with us some interesting memories.

Giulio Cappellini: “During the Salone and Fuorisalone, I like to visit the booths and showrooms of the main international design brands such as Vitra, Cassina, Flos, but also I like to discover new, unknown brands like Karakter or young designers’ self-productions,” says Cappellini, one of the biggest ambassadors of Italian design.

Valerie Barkowski: “I like to feel and smell the new trends, see installations, wander in all those places that have a great vibe and energy,” shares the Belgian textile designer.

Fabio Novembre, Matteo Thun, and Stephan Hamel | Moments of Affection: Milanese Alliances (M.A.M.A) | STIRworld
Fabio Novembre, Matteo Thun and Stephan Hamel Image Credit: Courtesy of designers

2. Fabio Novembre, Matteo Thun and Stephan Hamel

Fabio Novembre: The Italian architect and designer shares with us a fond memory from his album. “It’s a picture of myself with the Mayor of Milano (Beppe Sala) during the ceremony of official opening of the Salone 2019. We are exchanging jackets for the photograph as a symbol of how Milano and the Salone become the same thing during that week, and everybody is welcome for its big celebration.”

Matteo Thun: “For us it is not about trends - it’s about meeting people, opening up dialogues, exchanging ideas, seeing clients…enjoying that creatives and industry come together for a week,” says the Italian designer.

Stephan Hamel: The innovator and design strategist's experience of the annual Salone del Mobile has evolved with the years. “Even though I am trying to see as much as I can, there are always surprises. I also am trying to see more periferia installations,” he shares with us. This year’s plan included a showcase of his collection of carpets, Zitanpixel.

Ross Lovegrove, Marcel Wanders, and Michele De Lucchi | Moments of Affection: Milanese Alliances (M.A.M.A) | STIRworld
Ross Lovegrove, Marcel Wanders and Michele De Lucchi Image Credit: Courtesy of designers

3. Ross Lovegrove, Marcel Wanders and Michele De Lucchi

Ross Lovegrove: The award-winning English designer is always seeking out the alternative. “I find the shows of individuals far more sincere and invigorating than corporate players…I am totally overwhelmed by the bloated scale of production and never know how the earth provides and sustains so much physical mass of material,” he shares.

Marcel Wanders and Gabriele Chiave: The Amsterdam-based design studio is missing the palpable action that happens every year during the Milan Design Week. “We work all year around to introduce new projects with our clients at Salone. It feels like a race with Salone being the finish line, as well as the starting line for coming year all over again.”

Michele De Lucchi: The Italian architect and designer offers an important perspective. “In these difficult times, creativity and humanity are the best tools that we have. While we are having our meetings online, you see different homes, different desks, many workplaces...yet, from distance, we all talk about the same ideas. Distance gives us all more time for personal reflection, and distance also makes you ask yourself: how can I shorten it?"

Kelly Hoppen, Nika Zupanc, and Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba | Moments of Affection: Milanese Alliances (M.A.M.A) | STIRworld
Kelly Hoppen, Nika Zupanc and Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba Image Credit: Courtesy of designers

4. Kelly Hoppen, Nika Zupanc and Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba

Kelly Hoppen: “What am I missing? You get to meet new people and see amazing new pieces of furniture and products. Milan is always very unexpected, so I was looking forward to seeing some innovative and creative designs,” says the South Africa-born British interior designer, who is a fan of the Bagutta restaurant in the city.

Nika Zupanc: The Slovenian product and interior designer is a strong believer of what she calls ‘Milano magic’: “the biggest secret of Milano Design Week, which you get, if you stir up creativity, innovation, business and meeting all the people that you usually meet”.

Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba: “I like to see ideas, materials, solutions,” shares the Italian designer, and the Milan Design Week brings it all together for him. “A designer often happens to sees his finished products live for the first time only during the design week, as everything is completed at the last moment. I also make contact with new realities and people…and one can also witness some big events and installations that are wonderful!”

Read the four-part Moments of Affection: Milanese Alliances (M.A.M.A.) series:-

1. Miss You, Milan: Richard Hutten, Giulio Cappellini and Valerie Barkowski in reflection

2. Miss You, Milan: Fabio Novembre, Matteo Thun and Stephan Hamel in reflection

3. Miss You, Milan: Ross Lovegrove, Marcel Wanders and Michele De Lucchi in reflection

4. Miss You, Milan: Kelly Hoppen, Nika Zupanc, Marcantonio Malerba in reflection

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