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Scandinavian design has always played an important role during Milan Design Week in Italy, and this year is no exception. Let’s have a look at some of what to expect from this years event.

Milan Design Week 2023 will be held from the 17th to the 23rd of April, a week where the whole city is buzzing and full of inspiration. As a Norwegian living near Milan I always visit to look for the best in Scandinavian design and beyond, but this year unfortunately I will be traveling and won’t be able to attend or share live from it. Instead I thought I would present a few highlights to you in advance – so here are some of the best Scandinavian design & installations to look out for!

1 Bello! bench at Norwegian Presence | Collaboration between Hydro & Lars Beller Fjetland

The Norwegian Presence exhibition, which aims to showcase the best of Norwegian design, has been held annually during Milan Design Week since 2015 and is always a highlight worth visiting!

This year with a roster of inspiring new designs from Norway’s most exciting independent makers and creative studios including Noidoi, Jomi Evers, Ida Hagen, Tobias Berg, Anna Maria Øfstedal Eng, Martin Høgh Olsen, Stine Was + Siv Støldal, Live Berg + Osloleire, Studio Sløyd, Ann Kristin Einarsen, and Svingen Arkitektkontor + Wu Xian.

Launching this year at Norwegian Presence, the Bello! bench is the first product collaboration between the renewable energy and sustainable aluminium specialist Hydro and one of the great contemporary Norwegian designers – Lars Beller Fjetland. This one-of-a-kind bench was inspired by transportation and Italian cuisine; an indoor / outdoor seating solution with public transportation hubs in mind. With its elegant and timeless look, Bello! is made from nearly 90% recycled aluminium that is 100% recyclable. In fact, as a devotee of Italian cuisine, Beller Fjetland had ‘penne rigate’ in mind when developing the concept, resulting in a pasta-like appearance reminiscent of a somewhat exaggerated version of al dente pasta. 

Bello! is a delicate balancing act between achieving a low CO2 footprint, a high expected lifespan and a form and functionality that works across time and trends. I have been aiming towards creating something that should be able to not only last, but also fulfil its purpose for hundreds of years into the future.

Lars Beller Fjetland

Where: Norwegian Presence, Via Pietro Maroncelli 2, 20154 Milan

2 Instinctive installation by Muuto, H+O & Vzug

For this year’s design week, Scandinavian design brand Muuto is joining forces with Josephine Akvama Hoffmeyer and Elisa Ossino of H+O and Vzug to create an instinctive installation in the renowned H+O Apartment Gallery in Brera – exploring the concept of the Butterfly Effect.

Sharing a distinct passion for colour, form and tactility, they want to investigate how these impact our perception of a space and how it affects us. Here you can explore Muuto’s range of furniture, lighting, and accessories in an unexpected milieu; an apartment where rooms are set against fragments of cult film that provide a true shift in perspective.

Where: Via Solferino 11, 3rd floor, Brera District, 20121 Milan

3 Textile installation by Kvadrat

Danish brand Kvadrat is launching their new upholstery collection by Ronan Bouroullec during Salone del Mobile. Visit their showroom to explore the vibrant textiles inspired by Ronan’s original drawings through a special installation by the designer – and immerse yourself in a universe of beauty, paradoxes and contrasts.

Where: Kvadrat Showroom, Corso Monforte, 15, 20122 Milan

4 ‘Assembling the Future Together’ exhibition by IKEA

Assembling the Future Together and celebrating 80 years of innovation; this is the story that IKEA – which celebrates its 80th anniversary this year – will tell at Fuorisalone 2023. Hosted in the heart of Milan’s design district, the brand’s exhibition will be a completely re-imagined space designed to spark curiosity and inspire visitors. Inside the venue, the public will be greeted with some of the iconic products that shaped each decade of the brand’s history, alongside the unveiling of new products that speak to the IKEA vision for the future.

The IKEA exhibition will also offer plenty of entertainment. Each day, visitors will have the chance to try traditional Swedish food at the bar inside the space, and in the evenings, the venue will be completely transformed, with IKEA continuing to focus on music and cultural expression. The nightly music programme will be a platform for emerging and established Italian sound creatives to empower the youth and embrace the electronic music scene.   

Where: Padiglione Visconti, Via Tortona 58, 20144 Milan

5 ‘This is Denmark’ exhibition – a design playlist

This is Denmark will showcase the essence of Danish design featuring 15 objects chosen to represent the values of contemporary Danish design.

The exhibition will allow visitors to discover iconic products from companies that have embraced the founding values of Danish design: simplicity, quality and craftsmanship. Brands you will find here include &Tradition, 101 Copenhagen, Astep, AYTM, Carlsberg, Fredericia, HOUE, House of Finn Juhl, Kay Bojesen, Kvadrat, Mernøe, Notes of Colour, Royal Copenhagen, Skovby, Studio Roso and Matias Moellenbach.

Hosted by the Royal Danish Embassy, curated by Elena Cattaneo and Laura Traldi with exhibition design by Matteo Ragni Studio.

Where: This is Denmark, Via Molise 62, 20137 Milan

6 ‘The Capsule Collection’ installation by Marimekko

Finnish design house Marimekko’s latest Artist Series in collaboration with Barcelona-based German artist Sabine Finkenauer will be on display during the Milan Design Week this year in Brera Design District. Finkenauer’s series called The Capsule Collection includes 7 exclusive and colourful handmade artworks and the Marimekko home products they appear on, including ceramics and textiles, can be found at the conceptual and abstract installation.

The exhibition also premieres Marimekko’s new glassware series designed by Matti Knel.

Where: Galleria II Milione, Via Pietro Maroncelli 7, 20124 Milan

7 Salone del Mobile | exhibition

The Rho fairgrounds is the setting for the large furniture and lighting exhibition Salone del Mobile – a must-visit for anyone heading to Milan Design Week. At the fair you can discover exciting Italian and international brands including Scandinavian brands listed below.

Danish brands: Anour, Astep, Cane-line, Dan-form, Flexux, Hjort Knudsen, House of Finn Juhl, Linie Design, Made by Hand, Mindo, Sika-design, Softline, Theca & Tom Rossau.

Finnish brands: Nikari, Secto Design & Woodnotes.

Swedish brands: Abstracta, Blå Station, Blond, Gamla Fabrikers, Karl Andersson & Söner, Pilke Lights & Wästberg Lighting.

Find a list with location for each of the brands in the exhibition centre by clicking here.

Where: Rho – FieraMilano

8 ‘Still Life – The Art of Living’

Curated by Gabriel Tan and styled by Kråkvik D’Orazio, Still Life – the Art of Living is an exhibition which will be held in an authentic and intimate home of a Milanese couple in Porta Venezia. Here you can discover furniture by Ariake, handcrafted collectibles by Origin Made, lighting by Finnish brand Secto Design, Ethiopian-made rugs by Sera Helsinki, “calm technology’ by Mui, and a new headboard by Swedish luxury bed brand DUX + Ariake – each of these a master in one‘s own field but all sharing common values, philosophies and sensibilities.

The venue will also hosts discussions moderated by design writer Hanna Nova Beatrice and design consultant Tony Chambers, addressing design, craft and technology.

Where: Via Alessandro Tadino 2, 20124 Milan
(Second floor, Apartment 5)

9 ‘The Louis’ | Louis Poulsen

This is a bit of a teaser from Louis Poulsen, but with the caption ‘something exciting is happening the 17th April 2023’ and a few images shared on social media tagged with #milandesignweek I thought I would include this one as a bonus. Not knowing more than this, my guess is a temporary Louis Poulsen hotel in Milan – but let’s see in a few days :)

Where: ?… (check here for updates)

Are you visiting Milan Design Week this year? Be sure to check out these Scandinavian brands and let us know what you thought!


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