Miss You, Milan: Ross Lovegrove, Marcel Wanders, Michele De Lucchi in reflection
by STIRworldApr 02, 2020
•make your fridays matter with a well-read weekend
by STIRworldPublished on : Apr 17, 2020
It is the indomitable creative spirit of Milan that makes it resilient in the face of crisis, with the thriving design community holding it together with fond memories and an enduring togetherness.
As the Salone del Mobile stands cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the world now awaits the 60th edition next year from April 13-18, it is fond memories, fun flashbacks and candid moments that keep the fraternity going strong amid a world quarantine.
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 world's biggest design fair and the city of Milan.
In part 4 of Moments of Affection: Milanese Alliances (M.A.M.A.), we present reflections from South Africa-born British interior designer Kelly Hoppen, Slovenian product and interior designer Nika Zupanc, and Italian designer Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba.
South Africa-born British interior designer Kelly Hoppen has spent over 40 years at the forefront of design, and this is the first time that she has been faced with an important question about how to conduct business. “I think this is the time for reflection; this is the first time in my life that I have been in isolation. You realise that if you stand outside the box, we can all stand for each other and still do business. I think we can get through this, so let’s do this together,” she urges.
For her, the city of Milan during the Salone del Mobile has always been a celebration of the spontaneous spirit of surprise and creativity. “Milan is always very unexpected, so I was looking forward to seeing some innovative and creative designs,” she says, hoping that life returns to normalcy soon. “What am I missing? You get to meet new people and see amazing new pieces of furniture and products,” says the founder of Kelly Hoppen Interiors, who is a fan of the Bagutta restaurant in the city.
Some of her favourite brands to visit at the fair are Flexform, Duistt, Minotti, La Chance Paris, 1920 R – Made in Italy, Baxter (“probably one of the best during Milan”), Sergey Makhno Architects, Catellani & Smith, Brokis and Sé.
While all this action would have to wait until 2021, she has the year ahead envisioned clearly. “If I had to STIR things up in 2020, it would be with total motivation, positivity, focus, and try to figure out new ways to do business.”
Slovenian product and interior designer Nika Zupanc does not believe in trends per se, but she was hoping to see a more significant shift at the Salone del Mobile this year. “I was expecting to see the ‘meta trend’ of real and true sustainability being materialised, applied and shown through a number of projects and products. I believe this meta trend is marking the shift of the way in which we live and will live in our society, and it is so big and undeniable that it has to override all other smaller trends.”
A believer of what she calls ‘Milano magic’, Nika explains the phenomenon as 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”.
The designer always makes sure to visit Moooi, Magis, Sé, Scarlet Splendour, Ghidini, Qeeboo and Rossana Orlandi gallery at the Milan Design Week. This year, her studio was about to present four extensive furniture collections for four different brands, alongside some other solo products and projects. “It would have been a very special year for us in Milan, one of the years to which I was looking forward very much. However, all those projects will be launched anyhow, when the time is right. And of course we are all looking forward to Milano Design Week 2021, I am sure it will be a very special one.”
Aside from the Rossana Orlandi gallery and its creative vibe, Nika’s favourite Milan hotspot is cafe San Carlo, near Orlandi gallery, “where I always have my spritz aperol at the end of the day…very classic, very retro and very ‘my Milano’.”
“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 to maybe look for other commissions, or simply keep myself updated on all that is being produced. And one can also witness some big events and big installations that are wonderful!”
Marcantonio shares what he had planned for this year’s edition: “I had made many objects with six different companies, including the much-awaited Forest collection by Scarlet Splendour, which has tables, coffee tables, pouffes, chairs, sofas, cabinets, rugs, lamps, vases - all inspired by nature. In addition, this year I made a 12-metre sculpture: it would probably have been one of those installations that are talked about a lot, but it is postponed to next year.”
The designer’s work has always been underlined by a sense of irony and connections between man and nature. “I am lucky to have set a precise style: a little twisted, with natural references and a bit of irony and magic. I enrich it, refine it, reinforce it, experimenting but always keeping the dimension that is linked to the handmade, and the concept where simple subjects become functional.”
A few places that have always inspired him in Milan are the gallery of Rossana Orlandi, and Nilufar Depot. But it is Milan’s secrets that will always remain most special…“There are private places where everyone can’t go; private parties full of friends - maybe those are my favourite secret places!”
Click here to read what Richard Hutten, Giulio Cappellini, Valerie Barkowski , Fabio Novembre, Matteo Thun, Stephan Hamel, Ross Lovegrove, Marcel Wanders and Michele De Lucchi have to share, as part of the Miss You, Milan series, courtesy of FLOS, and conceptualised by Pramiti Madhavji.
by Samta Nadeem, Zohra Khan Jun 02, 2023
Speaking with STIR, the biennale director discusses how the event challenges the traditional biennale model and why there is a need for connections to pull people closer to design.
by Jincy Iype May 30, 2023
STIR unpacks five major brand rehauls that spell evolution and cater to the ‘phygital’—Nokia, 7UP, Amazon’s Prime Video, Nordoff and Robbins, and Disney’s Freeform.
by Zohra Khan, Samta Nadeem May 26, 2023
STIR visits the newly opened galleries of the centre, and peeks into an immersive collection of photos and installations that narrate some of the most fascinating stories.
by Preciosa Lighting May 23, 2023
The Czech decorative lighting brand conceives a new innovative lighting design, dubbed Crystal Grid that exudes the magic of crystal and light.
make your fridays matterSUBSCRIBE
Don't have an account?Sign Up
Or you can join with
Please select your profession for an enhanced experience.
Tap on things that interests you.
Select the Conversation Category you would like to watch
Please enter your details and click submit.
Enter the code sent to
What do you think?