The Milan Design Week 2008 was offering kind of sweet-sour experiences. I started to go to Milan already back in 1988 but I think I’m as curious (and critical) as I was twenty years ago. I do understand that it is maybe an utopia to expect the Milan Design Week to be better and better year after year. However, at least it should reflect current trends from the surrounding world. I’m not sure it really did that this year. But I’m not surprised, the furniture industry is normally comparatively slow. A few years ago you didn’t go to the Milan Design Week if your prime objective was to spot the latest lifestyle trends. But the event is slowly changing from being “just” a furniture fair to a wider design event with representatives from different areas like cars, jewellery and fashion.

Nowadays, at this kind of design happenings, I’m looking more at the overall appearance than on specific products itself. Kind of the total brand delivery. One conclusion was that you could really feel that we are going towards a recession. Anxious businessmen were doing their best to sell as much as possible. Of course this was affecting the total quality of the Milan Design Week. There were definitely a lack of originality and creativity this year.

But I also saw a couple of really interesting exhibitions. One was Established & Sons at Pelota, a former sports arena in Milano’s Brera area. Good show and nice to see how they are experimenting with basic materials and shapes. With a kind of idea-based simplicity as a common denominator. Another positive experience was the Japanese producer E&Y which had a qualitative exhibition with a beautiful natural light.

In the first room of Moroso‘s “The little garden of love”, water was pouring down from the ceiling. A show for all your senses. I have added some pictures from the mentioned exhibitions bellow. Stay tuned, further report from the Milan Design Week tomorrow!

First eight images is from the Established & Sons exhibition.

Next two images from the E & Y exhibition, with founder Yoichi Nakamuta.

And finally the Moroso exhibition called “The little garden of love”

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