Twenty unmissable installations and exhibitions at this year's Milan design week

In the lead-up to Milan design week, we have collected twenty of its must-see exhibitions, including a Salone del Mobile installation by David Lynch, an arts club by Faye Toogood and a “playground” by IKEA.

For this year’s Milan design week, numerous big brands and studios in the design, interior and fashion industries will present large-scale installations that will take over the city centre – as well as industrial spaces and modernist villas on the outskirts of Milan.

At furniture fair Salone del Mobile, SaloneSatellite – the fair’s section devoted to designers under the age of 35 – will celebrate its 25th anniversary. Salone del Mobile will also hold its biannual EuroCucina fair, which focuses on kitchen design and will have a new ring-shaped layout, as well as the International Bathroom Exhibition.

Notable this year is the number of fashion brands showing in the city, with Issey Miyake, Loewe and Hermès all presenting exhibitions and products.

As always, different parts of Milan also open up as design districts, including Isola, Brera and 5Vie, which will feature installations and projects by multiple local and international designers.

See Dezeen Events Guide’s guide to Milan design week 2024 for details of many of the hundreds of events taking place across the city.

Toilet by Samuel RossToilet by Samuel Ross

Formation 02 and Terminal 02 by Samuel Ross for Kohler

Designer Samuel Ross has created a colourful “brutalist” smart toilet, called Formation 02, for kitchen and bath brand Kohler. The design will be shown within an accompanying installation, called Terminal 02, comprised of a network of industrial pipes that form a maze at Milan’s Palazzo del Senato.

Designed as part of a multi-year partnership with Ross and Kohler, the toilet is “closer to a sculpture”, Ross told Dezeen in a recent interview.

Palazzo del Senato, 10 Via Senato, Milan

David Lynch installation at Salone del MobileDavid Lynch installation at Salone del Mobile

Thinking Room by David Lynch

Filmmaker Lynch will bring his recognisable aesthetic to furniture fair Salone del Mobile this year, with two “thinking rooms” designed by Lynch to be installed in pavilions 5 and 7.

The identical mirrored rooms were designed as “symbolic doors” that visitors will enter through to get to the exhibition. The rooms were conceived with the help of curator Antonio Monda, who described them as another dimension.

“It’s a place in which the visitor, the viewer enters into a dimension that is completely his own, completely other,” Monda said. “That is, you go into another place. It’s like going into Lost Highway.”

Salone del Mobile, Fiera Milano Rho, SS del Sempione 28, Rho

Faye Toogood in silver inflatable chairFaye Toogood in silver inflatable chair
Photo is by John William

Rude Arts Club by Faye Toogood

Together with Tacchini and CC-Tapis, Toogood has created the Rude Arts Club. The designer reimagined the CC-Tapis showroom for the exhibition, creating unique rooms for the collaboration.

“Combining the unparalleled craft and unwavering support of cc-tapis and Tacchini with my own design language has felt like a creative rebirth,” Toogood said.

CC-Tapis showroom, Piazza Santo Stefano 10, Milan

Photo of plates and mugs by Marimekko and ApartamentoPhoto of plates and mugs by Marimekko and Apartamento

Bar Unikko by Marimekko and Apartamento

Finnish design brand Marimekko has collaborated with interior magazine Apartamento on Bar Unikko, a week-long takeover of Milanese cafe Bar Stoppani.

The event will celebrate the 60th anniversary of Marimekko’s Unikko print, which depicts abstract flowers and was created by textile designer Maija Isola in 1964. At Bar Unikko visitors will be shown collectables featuring the print.

Bar Stoppani, Via Antonio Stoppani 15, Milan

Inflatable chair by IKEAInflatable chair by IKEA

1st by IKEA

Swedish furniture brand IKEA returns to Milan with 1st, an exhibition that it describes as a “playground.” Located in the large Padiglione Visconti venue that IKEA also used in 2023, visitors will be able to see new products including the brand’s “first successful inflatable chair” (pictured above).

The exhibition space will also have restaurants – including a selection of IKEA hotdogs designed for the event – and turn into a music venue at night.

Padiglione Visconti, Via Tortona 58, Milan

Nilufar at Milan design weekNilufar at Milan design week
Photo is by Alessandro Oliva

Time Traveler by Nilufar

Collectible-design gallery Nilufar, which has two locations in Milan, will be showcasing the Time Traveler exhibition this year. At its Via della Spiga location, it will present new solo shows by designers Draga & Aurel and Maarten de Ceulaer, as well as American vintage pieces from the 1960s.

At Viale Lancetti, Andrés Reisinger, Allegra Hicks and Objects of Common Interest are among the designers and studios that will show new works, and it will also feature pieces by Bethan Laura Wood and Martino Gamper as well as an installation by lava stone brand Ranieri (pictured).

Via Lancetti 34 and Via della Spiga 32, Milan

Photo of clay vesselPhoto of clay vessel
Photo by Nacho Alegre

Inspired in Barcelona: Terra Rossa by Júlia Esqué and Apartamento Studios

Càntir, the traditional Catalan clay pitcher, has been reimagined by sixteen designers and artists from Barcelona for the Terra Rossa exhibition, which was curated by Júlia Esqué and has a concept by Apartamento Studios.

It will be shown in the Porta Venezia Design District in Milan. At its centre will be a pyramid made from 80 artistic clay pitchers, specially made for the event, which will be 4.5 metres high and wide.

Casa Nervesa, Via Giuseppe Sirtori 26, Milan

Design Walk in BudapestDesign Walk in Budapest

Design Walk in Budapest by The Hungarian Fashion & Design Agency and Rossana Orlandi

Design gallerist Rossana Orlandi has curated the Design Walk in Budapest with The Hungarian Fashion & Design Agency, an exhibition of contemporary design that will be shown at the Triennale di Milano design museum.

The exhibition will feature works by contemporary designers and visual artists and aims to “celebrate the creative ambience of Budapest.”

Triennale di Milano, Viale Alemagna 6, Milan

Re/Creation by LasvitRe/Creation by Lasvit

Re/Creation by Lasvit

The Palazzo Isimbardi will play host to Czech brand Lasvit’s Re/Creation exhibition, which will feature a monumental outdoor installation made from fused glass. Titled Porta and designed by art director Maxim Velcovsky, the installation was made in Europe’s largest kiln.

Lasvit will also show a new collection by Swedish studio Claesson Koivisto Rune at the exhibition, called Nebula, which will comprise table lamps in two sizes as well as a ceiling light.

Palazzo Isimbardi, Corso Monforte 35, Via Vivaio, 1, Milan

Issey Miyake at Milan design weekIssey Miyake at Milan design week

Fold and Crease by Issey Miyake 

Fashion brand Issey Miyake’s Milan exhibition Fold and Crease will present a project that it worked on together with Dutch collective We Make Carpets. Together, they have created a series of installations designed to evoke the craftsmanship of Miyake’s clothing.

These will be made from “large quantities of everyday objects” that will be arranged to look like they’re woven, similar to We Make Carpets’ earlier pieces that feature “rugs” made from plastic bottles and paperclips.

Via Bagutta 12, Milan

Villa Borsani in MilanVilla Borsani in Milan


Roaming design platform Alcova, which recently also launched its first international edition in the US, will be taking over two villas in the Milan metropolitan area for this year’s Milan design week.

Villa Borsani and Villa Bagatti will present designer Laila Gohar’s brand Gohar World and architect Junya Ishigami’s collaboration with furniture brand Maniera, as well as an installation by lighting brand ANDlight. The buzzy exhibition space is usually one of the most talked about events in Milan.

Villa Borsani, Via Umberto I, 148, Varedo and Villa Bagatti Valsecchi, Via Vittorio Emanuele II, 48, Varedo

Installation by Nifemi Marcus-BelloInstallation by Nifemi Marcus-Bello

Omi Iyọ by Nifemi Marcus-Bello

Nigerian-American designer Nifemi Marcus-Bello will be showing Omi Iyọ, an installation that focuses on the dangerous journey undertaken by migrants from Africa to come to Europe. Curated by Anna Carnick, it will be on display as part of the 5VIE Design Week.

Omi Iyọ means salt water in the Yoruba language and the installation will comprise a stainless-steel piece that references the hull of a boat and is filled with salt. As the design week goes on, the salt will flow from an opening in the mirror-like object to form a salt-crystal pattern on the ground.

Palazzo Litta, Corso Magenta 24, Milan

Installation by Rhode Island School of DesignInstallation by Rhode Island School of Design
Photo by Erik Gould

Objects May Shift by Rhode Island School of Design

US design school Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) will be introducing its “first-ever global multidisciplinary presentation of work” during Milan design week.

Curated by two RISD professors, it will present works by 20 students studying ceramics, furniture design, glass, graphic design, industrial design, interior architecture and textiles. Objects May Shift will be part of SaloneSatellite, furniture fair Salone del Mobile’s showcase of designers under the age of 35.

Salone Satellite, Fiera Milano Rho, SS del Sempione 28, Rho

House of Switzerland at Milan design weekHouse of Switzerland at Milan design week

JOY at House of Switzerland Milano

Taking over three floors at the Casa Degli Artisti in Milan, House of Switzerland will be showcasing a wide array of designs by both emerging and established designers. The exhibition, which will explore “the nuances of joy and its connection to design”, will feature eye-catching pieces such as ropes, ladders, seesaws and swings.

Among the installations will be the 4321-market, which features souvenirs designed to symbolize the relationship between Switzerland and South Korea, and the Out of the Woodworks exhibitions. This will see designers create new pieces from existing wooden objects.

Casa degli Artisti, Via Tommaso da Cazzaniga, Corso Garibaldi, 89/A, Milan

Google exhibition about colourGoogle exhibition about colour

Making Sense of Colour by Google

Described as “a journey from the ethereal to the material that shines light on colour,” Making Sense of Colour will feature a light-and-sound installation by arts lab Chromasomic.

Visitors will wander around translucent scrims that create a colourful layout of open rooms, intended to show colour plays a big role in the technology company’s latest hardware design.

Garage 21, Via Archimede 26, Milan

Baranzate Ateliers venue in MilanBaranzate Ateliers venue in Milan

Baranzate Ateliers

A massive industrial building will be the setting for Baranzante Ateliers, an initiative that shows emerging designers in unusual settings and aims to revive “the concept of medieval guilds.

The exhibition will showcase collectible designs from a number of designers as well as European collectives, including Belgium is Design, and will also feature art pieces and performances.

Via Gaudenzio Fantoli 16/3, Milan

Aluminium installation by HydroAluminium installation by Hydro

100R by Hydro

Hydro Circal 100R, which Norwegian aluminium and energy company Hydro says is “the world’s first industrial-scale aluminium product made entirely of post-consumer scrap”, will be the focus of the 100R exhibition.

The brand worked with seven designers, including Inga Sempé and Max Lamb, to create design pieces made from recycled aluminium. Alongside lamps by Sempé and Lamb, there will be a shelving system by French designer Philippe Malouin.

Capsule Plaza, Spazio Maiocchi, Via Achille Maiocchi 7, Milan

Milan exhibition by Mario Cucinella ArchitectsMilan exhibition by Mario Cucinella Architects

Città Miniera: Design, Dismantle, Disseminate by Mario Cucinella Architects and Corriere della Sera

Italian studio Mario Cucinella Architects will team up with Milan newspaper Corriere della Sera to create a large installation at the courtyard of the newspaper’s headquarters in the Brera Design District.

Called Città Miniera: Design, Dismantle, Disseminate, the installation will be made from wooden fruit crates and designed to look like a “model city”. After the fair, it will be dismantled and once again used to store fruit. The exhibition aims to highlight “the need for fairs and festivals to opt for more sustainable solutions,” the studio said.

Via Solferino 28, Milan

Render of objects by MuutoRender of objects by Muuto

Muuto Milan apartment by Muuto

Danish brand Muuto will be taking over an entire apartment in the city centre for this year’s Milan design week. The Muuto Milan apartment will showcase an exhibition that focuses on neuroaesthetics – the study of how creative visuals can affect the brain.

This concept will be brought to life through art, architecture and design, as well as light, materials and scent. Each of the six rooms in the apartment will focus on art, biophilia, colour, light, repetition and sound to stimulate visitors’ senses.

Via Solferino 11, 3rd floor, Milan

Taiwan exhibition at Milan design weekTaiwan exhibition at Milan design week

Taiwan Pavilion

The “first Taiwan Pavilion in Milan”, this exhibition in the Brera Design District will showcase 15 Taiwanese studios. Under the theme “Who is going to raise the questions? The questions are designed in Taiwan”, the studios will show products ranging from home accessories to furniture.

There will be a focus on sustainability, with featured products including stackable seats made from recycled toy plastic.

Via Pietro Maroncelli 7, Milan

Milan design week 2024

Milan design week 2024 takes place from 16 to 21 April 2023. See our Milan design week 2024 guide on Dezeen Events Guide for information about the many other exhibitions, installations and talks taking place throughout the week.

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