Emerging Talent to Keep Your Eyes on at this Year’s Milan Design Week

Every April, the convergence of creative fields finds its way to Milan. Bridging the likes of fashion, furniture, fine art, and more, Milan Design Week fills the city with fairs – the biggest being Salone del Mobile – and special activations from names both renowned and new to the scene.

Each year, fresh presentations and special exhibitions push the field forward, elevating elements that inhabit our everyday into spaces that elicit wonder and awe. With international eyes fixed upon this capital of design, the week can prove pivotal to many young creatives.

We’ve rounded up eight emerging talents to fix your gaze toward during this year’s Design Week.

Tom Fereday at Alcova

Fresh off the 10-year anniversary of his studio, Australian-based designer Tom Fereday is back in Milan to unveil a show-stopping collection in partnership with marble purveyor Agglomerati. Fereday’s approach to design has won over a dedicated following for its subtle directness and celebration of materials. For his presentation with Agglomerati at Alcova, Fereday has created six imposing sculptures made of Roman travertine stone. Not only do the works allude to the cultural history of the host country (the same material was used in the walls of the Colosseum in Rome), but they showcase a natural evolution of history and innovation.

Byborre presents The Elephant in the Room at Castello Sforzesco

Byborre — a group of knitters, designers, developers, and yarn specialists that joined together in the name of textile creation — will play host to a special presentation focused upon the past, present, and future of textile design. Located in Milan’s Castello Sforzesco, a 15th century castle standing in perfect condition amongst the city’s metropolitan, The Elephant in the Room celebrates the unsung heroes in the textile supply chain. Trivulzio Tapstries from the museum’s collection converge with contemporary installations to map the centuries old processes still at play today. With an ethos around making less, Byborre’s resourceful nod toward history makes a statement.

In Common With and Sophie Lou Jacobsen: Bar Flora

Two beloved names focusing on the everyday use of objects, Sophie Lou Jacobsen and In Common With are debuting their FLORA light collection for the first time in Europe. Aptly titled BAR FLORA, the collaboration takes over the hip Palinurobar, seamlessly integrating the pieces into the wine bar’s ambiance. The signature wavy lines of Jacobsen’s objects blend with In Common With’s novel lighting design to brighten BAR FLORA’s wood-paneled interiors and outdoor garden space.

Kiki Goti at Alcova

Part Daniel Buren, part Gaetano Pesce, and totally her own, Kiki Goti’s works on view at Alcova emulate a whimsical sense of chic. Bright, often primary colors dominate Goti’s practice, which features mirrors, side tables, and light fixtures, among other pieces of furniture and objects. Goti’s Greek heritage is at the heart of her practice, where specific references allude to Balkan folklore and traditional textiles. For her presentation at Alcova, Goti leans into metals, a departure from the softer forms the artist has leaned upon prior. The result, a collection entitled Neo-Vanity is a perfectly aligned contrast of utility and femininity.

Aurélien Veyrat at Alcova

Though many materials have overtime come to find a place both as structure and component of a living space, brick is one that seems to solely reside within the walls. Aurélien Veyrat turns that premise upside down. His practice of objects both functional and decorative explores the possibility of discarded material, with brick as a focal point. The artist’s presentation at Alcova stretches common ideas of what brick can look like, highlighting its subtle color variations and quality of texture. Displayed outside the walls of the fair (which takes place within an abandoned military hospital), Veyrat’s pieces create a dialogue with the Alcova area.

Tim Somers – The New Belgians at SaloneSatellite

Tim Somers Belgian-based furniture studio uses wood to make a statement. Functionality and artistry mesh in the creative process of the studio, which focuses on handmade projects. This week, Somers is showcasing his Piédestal collection as part of The New Belgians, a presentation of 13 Belgian designers at SaloneSatellite – a part of Salone del Mobile.Milano, reserved for designers under 35 years old. Piédestal highlights the sculptural and functional qualities of the pedestal. Somers designed each piece to have its own identity, both in the woodworking methods that brought it to life and in its purpose.

CFGNY: Emporium

Concept Foreign Garments New York, a four-person studio founded to explore the intersection of fashion, race, identity, and sexuality, lands in Milan this week with CFGNY: Emporium. Curated by Felix Burrichter, founder of Pin-Up Magazine, the showcase acts as a retrospective of sorts, bringing together elements from previous CFGNY shows to create a new site-specific installation for and in collaboration with artisanal shoe brand Marsèll. Encompassing clothing, design objects, architectural installations, ceramic sculpture, and video, Emporium “showcases many of the different material languages that we have developed over the years,” explain the four members of CFGNY.

Hannes Peer at Campo Base

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Milan Design Week hometown favorite Hannes Peer is a stand-out at Campo Base, where six Italian architecture studios have come together to create activations around intimacy and tranquility. A welcome refuge from the bustling week, Campo Base’s inaugural presentation, curated by Federica Sala, bills itself as a “manifesto” on contemporary interior design, self-produced and managed by each of the six studios. Hannes Peer’s installation ATELIER DES NYMPHEÁS provides contemporary updates to historical designs. Peer nods to the masterminds of 18th and 19th century culture and their scientific innovations as the jumping off point of his activation, which features jewel toned velvet chairs, crystal-like lighting, and marble accents to create a warm and decadent space.

  • mdw
  • milan design week
  • salone de mobile


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