Alessi Milano Shop Resort

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For 24 years the house of Alessi in Milan was the store on Corso Matteotti, originally designed by Ettore Sottsass and later renovated by Atelier Mendini. Nevertheless, last week Alessi opened a totally new store conceived by design star Martí Guixé.

The project follows the collaborations for the Shop Museum in Paris and the recent experience of their exhibition at the Triennale Design Museum. Just a short walk from Montenapoleone, the store is located in via Manzoni, close to the metro station La Scala Theatre and the beautiful Poldi Pezzoli Museum.

Divided into four different sections, the space includes a large entrance overlooking Via Manzoni and an area called Museum to display the most sculptural objects in a gallery-like setting. A retail section is reminiscent of the old space, though turned upside down, and “Wunderkammer” hosts new collections and curiosities. Each section has its own strong character, with different lighting systems custom-designed by Guixé himself and produced by Danese.

The predominant colors are glossy red, shiny white and grey, while the materials are mainly aluminum, ceramic, resins and wood. The result is a perfect mixture of Alessi spirit and a design gallery.

Alessi at Milan Design Week

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The opening of Alessi’s new Milan space today was more than just a celebration of their new digs, but also an occasion to present some of the iconic Italian brand’s latest projects, including an innovative line of lamps and luminaries, produced by Foreverlamp and conceived by a team of three young designers.

The trio consists of Giovanni Alessi AnghiniGabriele Chiave and Frederic Gooris, who explained, “We work as a team, even though we still run our own design firms. We’ve known each other for years and Alberto Alessi decided to give us the chance to create something new.” The AlessiLux project breaks the boundaries between classic bulb and lamp, creating real enlightened and colorful objects. With high quality overall and the latest technology—both in terms of performance and environmentalism—will this team create something new for the future? “We cannot be precise by now, but we are working on ideas able to combine Alessi’s design excellence and mass market.”

Also in the new showroom, ECAL (the University of Art and Design of Lausanne) presented an interesting exhibition to showcase the desk and office objects designed by Bachelor students in industrial design that resulted from a workshop with Elric Petit. A pivoting opening and closing system characterizes the “Frana” pencil box, the “Spettro” flying saucer captures paper clips and “Ora” is a clock mobile that suspends time. Conceiving of the workspace as a friendly and welcoming environment, they came up with tools intended to provide some joy to their users—in true Alessi spirit.

See more images of all the designs in the gallery.

La Rinascente Design Supermarket

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The Design Supermarket, a new floor entirely devoted to design in its multiple expressions, debuted recently as part of Milanese shopping icon La Rinascente’s ongoing renovation. Over the past four years, international architects and designers such as Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, Cibic & Partners, Dordoni Architetti, Vincent Van Duysen and Future Systems, have been transforming the seven-floor department store with the basement-level design shop as the latest facet of its reinvented identity.

Directly linked to the nearby Duomo metro station, the new space houses a wide range of products from microelectronics to lighting, technological gadgets to office accessories and kitchen and tableware to small pieces of furniture. Starting with objects for just a few Euro to several hundreds, the range of prices makes the store the perfect place for both a little souvenir and important gifts.

Claudio Silvestrin Giuliana Salmaso Architects designed the 2,000 square-meter space, which creates the contemporary equivalent of a city square. The perimeter hosts various shops within the shop, including Alessi, Conran Shop, Kartell, Georg Jensen, Tumi, Samsonite and Nespresso, while long white stands run along the center. The display closely recalls a museum, with hundreds of objects from more than 200 different brands.

Overall, the boutique feels airy and bright, inviting browsers to touch and experiment with all the objects, like in a real supermarket. In the center of the floor, a colorful and cozy cafeteria designed by Martino Berghinz stands in contrast with the rest of the space, lending a bold splash of purple and dark grey with furnishing and fifties-inspired graphics.

Serie e Fuori Serie Design Exhibit

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The Triennale Design Museum in Milan is a dynamic museum, conceived to be renewed with different themes and offering visitors unusual views, standpoints and trails. After answering the question “what is Italian design?” with the exhibit “The Seven Obsessions Of Italian Design,” the museum’s new show, “Serie e Fuori Serie,” presents a new look at Italian design that focuses on the cycles of design.

Directed by Silvana Annichiarico and under the scientific direction of Andrea Branzi, this year’s interpretation illustrates the contemporary scene of Italian design, looking at experimental research to get to mass markets, using handicraft materials as well as sophisticated technology and how start-up companies get to the big global corporations. The name, Serie e Fuori Serie, stands for the extremes of the loop in which the most advanced, independent experimentation and research fuels industrial production and vice-versa. The latter cycle includes the custom-built prototype or the one-off piece.

Divided into broad theme areas, large mass productions, small mass productions and experimental and research design (eco-design, research prototypes, technological research, expressive research, superior craftsmanship, special pieces and custom-built pieces), the installation makes the concept clear with every detail perfectly underlined, thanks to the work of Antonio Citterio and Partners and the graphics by Studio FM.

The result is an impressive collection of big and small pieces, from the Alessi nutcracker to a very rare Ferrari prototype.