May 21, 2024

This year, the neighborhood comes to life with an array of installations

Courtesy of Piscina Cozzi 

With its many restaurants, galleries and green areas, Porta Venezia is one of the liveliest neighborhoods in Milan—and, as the rainbow decoration along the metro reminds us, it’s also a welcoming destination for the queer community. In recent years, it has also established itself as one of the most engaging epicenters for Milan Design Week. Last year, the Porta Venezia Design District saw over 40,000 visitors and memorable installations involving brands and designer of all kinds, from fashion to furniture, art to food. By its nature the district focuses on inclusivity and diversity, with the slogan “Made to be different made to be l’Altro.” This year’s specific theme is “EverythinK is design,” in search of the most varied meanings and innovative applications of design.

Courtesy of Porta Venezia Design District

“In Porta Venezia research continues in the identification of innovative, expressive codes,” Carlo Barbarossa, the creative director of the district, says. “At the origin of an experience there is always something to learn,” he adds. This is affirmed by the fact that schools and cultural centers are involved once again. The international design school Raffles Milano will organize a series of exhibitions and workshops, as well as a collaboration with Outpump for “Wallacome,” an interactive panel that will come to life thanks to the contributions by graphic design students. Technological and cultural innovation will be at the center of the activities of MEET Digital Culture Center, a hub that also transforms into the headquarters of the Porta Venezia Design District. Here visitors will find “Zero Gravity Eden,” a large installation of metal and plant nets, as well as the work of Montreal-based filmmaker and intermedia artist Thierry Loa.

Courtesy of the MEET Digital Culture Center

According to Enzo Perego, relationship manager of the district, the impact of design on the city must be substantial. “The contemporary city is no longer just a collection of architectural boxes, but an experiential, passable and transformable territory. The quality of a place depends on what animates it and the social fabric that characterizes it,” he says.

Courtesy of Capsule Plaza

For this reason, some historic places in the neighborhood will be accented with particularly innovative initiatives. The Biblioteca Venezia library, housed in a historic Art Nouveau building, will host “Nook” by Mara Bragagnolo, a project dedicated to furnishings for children with autism. The Piscina Cozzi swimming pool, the first indoor Italian swimming pool (built by Luigi Secchi in 1934), will also be open to the public. It will also be possible to visit the TOILETPAPER Apartment to discover a preview of TOILETALEXPAPERPRAGER, a photographic project born from the collaboration of Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari’s magazine with the American artist Alex Prager. 

Courtesy of Lasvit

Among the events we look forward to most is Google’s “Making Sense of Color.” At Garage 21, we will explore this installation born from a collaboration between Ivy Ross, vice president of hardware design at Google and the artistic collective Chromasonic. From technology to craftsmanship, Lasvit presents “Re/Creation” at Palazzo Isimbardi, an extensive crystal installation that promises to be an absolute “wow moment” from the week. WonderGlass will be the protagonist at “Contrasto,” an exhibition presented in the beautiful Istituto dei Ciechi of new lighting collections designed by nendo and Formafantasma.

Courtesy of Moooi

Other institutions in the area will be Brompton Junction, with its new titanium and wood bikes; Moooi with its unmissable, colorful vision; Kohler and a spectacular installation in collaboration with the SR_A studio; in addition to the always surprising collective exhibition of Capsule Plaza which hosts Rimowa, Poltronova, Verner Panton Design, Tiffany, UGG, Iittala, La Prairie and many others.

Courtesy of Kohler

Altogether, from 15 to 21 April Porta Venezia Design District will welcome dozens of brands and over 200 designers and curators. The complete program can be found on the official website and on maps that will be distributed throughout the neighborhood.

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