June 15, 2024

Building on its notable editions before, Durini Design District Milano returned this year in a celebration of colour during the week-long design spectacle that is Milan Design Week. Under its theme, Colour Design Experience, the design festival brought together the Italian city centre’s flagship stores “in a spirit of cohesion and partnership” from April 15-21, 2024.

“The Milano Durini Design Association is constantly growing and today counts 40 members, including the most important design brands known worldwide. The aim is to create a collaborative partnership project to unite design excellence in the city centre. An ‘urban design hub’ with recognisable value and content, on par with other important international design districts like the Miami Design District, the London Design District and the Shanghai Design District… Durini Design District Milano: where the heart of Design lives and beats!” reads their manifesto on their official website.

As a media partner, STIR caught up with Massimo Salamone, president of the Milano Durini Design Association, who reflected on the design district’s ambitions and contributions and what we can expect from its edition next year in Milan, Italy.

Jincy Iype: As the President of the Milano Durini Design Association, what are some key contributions and benefits of design regions and initiatives such as the Milano Design District and the MDDA?

Massimo Salamone: The value of an association like Milano Durini Design is certainly represented by the group and the number of participants, [while] the strength lies in the sharing of objectives and common goals of high-level companies that have chosen to be part of MDD.

After the design week, Durini Design District Milan remains and sustains itself as the epicentre of design in the city. There is no other district in Milan with such a high concentration of design stores, a must for those who are looking for exclusive industry news, operators and lifestyle lovers. The advantages are to be found in the sharing of the objectives and the concentration of the public business during events of extreme importance as the design fair, and in the channel of networking and collaboration between the participating companies to the associative plan.

Jincy: Please elaborate on your vision of founding the Milano Durini Design Association and your plans to expand its participating brands.

Massimo: The association was founded in 2016 on a stimulus of mine, but immediately found strong participation by companies. The goal was to focus on companies, especially those of Italian design, and push them to collaborate, to network with each other, giving value and meaning to their presence in the city as a recognisable and high-value rouge file.

Today, the companies are in strong, constant change in their policies and corporate governance and ask for further change that will push the association of MDD towards radical choices, or its transformation into a reality [that is] able to offer services, businesses and international representation.

Jincy: Have you identified any areas for improvement from this edition, specifically regarding visitor engagement with the city and the representation of design at large?

Massimo: This edition surprised everyone [with] the number of visitors. We realise more and more that there is a strong interest in both companies and the public towards the city; the experience that a visitor wants to have during this time is an experience extended to the urban scale, and not only to the fair.

It will be necessary to improve the reception and integrate the internal communication circuit to better understand what ‘design’ is, from what it is not.

Jincy: What were some significant ways that this year’s design event related to its theme, Colour Design Experience?

Massimo: Milan is a colourful city, lively and sparkling. Each member company has strongly expressed the colour or the dynamism of colours that best represents them. Each then perceives stronger design sensations related to the colours of environments and furnishings, from neutral and austere colours of the past years, while also increasingly switching to bright colours that are young and vital.

Jincy: What can we look forward to from Durini Design District Milano 2025?

Massimo: Many things, including the presence of various open installations that involve the participation of major architecture and design studios, the maximum enhancement of stores, at least two other important events in the year, the implementation of the internationalisation process undertaken, the enhancement of the design week circuit, and the implementation of the moments of internal confrontation.

Stay tuned to STIR’s coverage of Milan Design Week 2024 which showcases the best of exhibitions, studios, designers, installations, brands and events to look out for. Explore EuroCucina and all the design districts—Fuorisalone, 5vie Design Week, Isola Design Week, Brera Design District and Porta Venezia Design District.


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