30 May 2019
Milan: a city that is also a workspace, a trade fair, a college town, and a world unto itself. Milan, the city of designers. Design is palpable everywhere you go in Milan. Not just in the architecture practices, exquisite interior design stores, and the countless galleries and museums that focus on design, but also in the places where people congregate – hotels, restaurants, cafes – in private homes, and even in the streets. The design scene hits fever pitch during the week-long Salone del Mobile.Milano, when the whole city puts its best foot forward as the number one place in the world to design, create and thrive.
Milan boasts an impressive collection of top-notch, home-grown designers, all of whom have left an indelible mark, from Piero Portaluppi to Achille Castiglioni, Gae Aulenti, Gio Ponti, Vico Magistretti, Alessandro Mendini, Cini Boeri, Mario Bellini, and Enzo Mari. But there are also many professionals who have been drawn to Milan from all over the world, and “commuters”, who proudly retain close ties with the city and local manufacturers. All brilliant architects, designers and graphic artists who are, or have been, also artists and writers.
Forma Edizioni and Salone del Mobile.Milano brings them together in a book entitled The Design City in which these amazing men and women use their own words to describe their unbreakable bond with the city and its industrial fabric. The volume presents five groups of designers along with their work places and the objects they have created and that define them. For these outstanding talents, Milan is more than a physical location, it is a wellspring of opportunities and knowledge and a sounding board for creativity and dialogue. For working and manufacturing. And for doing business.
Curated by Marco Sammicheli and Anna Mainoli, the book is in fact a group portrait, a visual autobiography of the birth and development of a unique and distinctive industry that only a forward-looking, inspiring city like Milan could have generated.
Archival material provided by family members and foundations, and interviews with contemporary Milanese designers illustrate the gamut of perspectives on the city and its cultural scene, as well as on Milan’s historic furniture and design fair, the Salone, an event that owes its iconic status to the facilities, businesses and artisans who have transformed Milan into a hub for trade, education and training, and professional development. The designers offer their personal take on the profession by sharing their methods, approaches and secrets. Wherever they hail from, designers soon discover that Milan is the ideal place to express themselves, give free rein to their creative talents and nurture their work ethic. Here the “mysteries” of this remarkable environment are disclosed to them and they, in turn, feel the gush of new ideas and creations.
This is the spirit of The Design City.