5 Things to Look Out for at the Milan Design Week

The most awaited event in the design industry is fast approaching and the city of Milan is gearing up to embrace the fraternity by putting on their best show. From April 15th to 21st, 2024, Milan will throw open its doors, presenting the 62th edition of the renowned Salone del Mobile programme, as well as a series of exhibitions and events across the city. Let us check out the most important design events that you just cannot miss at Milan this year.

New Experiences with Neuroscience

Salone del Mobile.Milano

Press Conference Milano. Mario Colobres, Moderator with Maria Porro, President Salone del Mobile. Milano. Photo Courtesy Salone Milano

Evolution and innovation are the key words that best describe the most important moment for the international design industry at the 62th edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano. And it is the Salone that sets the stage for Milan to attract the design community.

With its long history in organising events of this calibre, the Salone would be the best possible organisation to get the pulse of the design community and design shows that reflects the real needs of the community.

“From a trade fair event, the Salone is increasingly becoming an inclusive, value-based, responsible context and network to generate relationships, narratives and significant projects all through the year,” says Maria Porro, President of the Salone del Mobile.Milano.

Maria Porro, President Salone del Mobile. Milano. Photo Courtesy Salone Milano

“Capturing new trends, the evolution of an entire sector, by involving and listening to communities near and far, identifying new approaches, methodologies and technologies, experimenting, being on the frontier, as they say: this is still the ambition of the Salone del Mobile today,” comments Maria Porro, President of the Salone del Mobile.Milano. “Neuroscience, artificial intelligence, new formats and paths, a unitary but widespread cultural project, encompassing consistency and multi-disciplinarity. Other innovations include a relaunch of the optimisation of the layouts and routes of Euro Cucina with FTK, Technology For the Kitchen and of the International Bathroom Exhibition with the contribution of the neurosciences, in keeping with our human-at-the-centre philosophy, thanks to the collaboration with Lombardini22, leading group on the Italian architecture and engineering scene.”

Look out for an easier access, to a trouble-free visitor experience and to pavilion designs that is comfortable and easy to navigate.

Maria Porro, President Salone del Mobile. Milano. Photo Courtesy Salone Milano

“The result of all the new formats and research is a layout involving a complete reorganization of the pavilions with the aim of grouping exhibitors by content and visitor target so as to amplify the value and meaning of the visitor experience. The ring-shaped layout chosen for both biennial events is more intuitive, being simple to walk and easy to remember, and the exhibition offering is full of significance along the whole route. A symmetrical path has been created by setting the stands against the external perimeter walls, the main aisles have been made wider to improve orientation and cultural installations and breakout areas have been installed to cope with the typical museum fatigue also experienced at the Salone despite the wonders on display. In particular, to visit all the stands, visitors will have to walk just 640 meters instead of the previous 1.2 kilometres,” explains Porro.

The Numbers: the 2024 Events will bring together a total of almost 1,900 exhibitors, including 600 young talents under 35 and 22 design schools and expects to welcome over 300,000 visitors worldwide.

This edition celebrates the 25th anniversary of SaloneSatellite, a platform showcasing emerging designers under 35. In contrast to 2023’s focus on Euroluce, this year’s Salone will feature Euro Cucina—a biennial exhibition dedicated to kitchens and bathrooms.

Salone del Mobile.Milano

Location: Rho Fiera fairground

When: 16 – 21 April 2024

—————————————————————————————————————————The Future Is Currently Unavailable

Isola Design Festival

ENHANCE by DesignWanted, Ambessa Play &, Pentagram Flashlight (1) ©Nick Rochowski

Isola Design Festival will present an evolution of its successful format venturing into new locations such as Lampo Milano, WAO PL7, and Galleria Bonelli within the Isola Design District that were never opened during Milan Design Week, Isola is set to turn these hidden gems into prominent hotspots. Inspiring exhibitions, outstanding installations, lively events, workshops, live demonstrations, and design talks with more than 320 international designers, design studios, creators, and manufacturers hosted in over 60 locations, including 3 main hubs, makes this design festival a must-visit.

Isola’s annual theme titled “This Future is Currently Unavailable” for 2024 is a statement to provoke action.

Gabriele Cavallaro and Elif Resitoglu of Isola Design Group ©Anwyn Howarth

“This Future is Currently Unavailable” is not just a tagline, but a call to action and reflection. The idea came during our adventurous travels to global design events, sparking a vision of the immense potential within our design community. This year, Isola is on a journey to prove that design is more than just sustainability, it is a powerhouse for tackling real-world issues. Picture it like this, a traveling hub of exciting, curated, and innovative design initiatives. We are not just building a community; we are setting the stage for the future of design,” says Gabriele Cavallaro, co-founder and CEO of Isola Design Group.

There are five different exhibitions grouped within the annual theme and each will bring designers from around the world.

Routes to Roots, work of Maryam Al-Homaid, EL WAKRAH ©Maryam Al-Homaid

Our interest is on Routes to Roots, first seen in Saudi Arabia for Tanween, the annual Creativity Conference conceived and created by The King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture.

Ithra, Routes to Roots, will be a journey through designs from MENA regions and the world that preserve heritage and the Earth. The focus will be on products that draw inspiration and expertise from ancestors pairing it with cutting-edge craftsmanship, in a demonstration of how emerging talents can breathe fresh life into the design landscape, bridging the gap between tradition and innovation. On show, functional objects that highlight an eco-conscious approach to design, integrating biomaterials, natural resources, household and industrial waste, and blending traditional methods with innovation to craft modern design pieces. In the building courtyard, Ithra will present the Iwan installation. Routes to Roots is organised by Isola Studio, Isola’s new project which offers support to design companies and institutions worldwide.

Routes to Roots participant, Boo design studio, Medaillon, ©Boo design studio

Participating designers and design studios include the following: Asma Derouiche, Bachir Mohamad, Booabbood, LameiceAbu.Aker, Manahel Alqassem, Marwa Samy, Maryam Al-Homaid, Mina Abouzahra, Pilgrim, Shell Homage, Studio Bazazo, T SAKHI.

Isola Design Festival

When: 15 – 21 April 2024

Location: Isola Design District

—————————————————————————————————————————Historic Sites and Design Festivals

Alcova Design Festival

Villa Bagatti Valsecchi, the historic venue of Alcova

The second venue for the Alcova Festial: Villa Borsani

The seventh edition of Alcova – an international platform for contemporary design will open to the public in the unprecedented setting of two iconic villas in the Milan metropolitan area, Villa Bagatti Valsecchi and Villa Borsani.

Valentina Ciuffi (Studio Vedèt) and Joseph Grima (Space Caviar), creators of Alcova

Now a must-see destination of Milan Design Week, Alcova presents projects by designers, galleries, companies, institutions and schools in dialogue with extraordinary works of architecture – an approach that has been the same for years, but each year produces new and surprising results. The research strands are renewed, intertwining: technological and sustainable materials and production processes, contemporary craft, experimental aesthetics, sociological, political and global issues.

The doors of these two historic sites will open to welcome the general public, inspiring visitors with a broad selection of works investigating a theme always close to Alcova: the dwelling, which this year will weave a thread through these two extraordinary “domestic” contexts. The site-specific approach will be stimulated by the strongly characterised architectures of the two villas, particularly in the rooms of Villa Borsani and the vastness of the park of Villa Bagatti Valsecchi. Alcova invites the public into an almost surreal microcosm; a historically relevant context in which to gather to imagine the future of design through installations, performances and collective moments.

Alcova Design Festival

When: April 15-21, 2024, from 11 am to 7 pm

Location: Villa Bagatti Valsecchi and Villa Borsani


New Paradigms in Light


Lina Bo Bardi, @Marco Reggi_03

In the dynamic context of Milan Design Week, Nemo will present a new layout concept inside the Monforte Showroom with a project by Giuliano Andrea dell’Uva of Studio dell’Uva Architetti that presents designs by Lina Bo Bardi, Álvaro Siza and Le Corbusier, enriching the catalogue with solutions that express new paradigms in the use of light in previously unexplored ways and places, such as the Sorrento collection by Valerio Sommella.

Lorosae table, Alvaro Siza, @Marco Reggi_03

Studio dell’Uva Architetti conceived a sophisticated installation articulated in three distinct spaces, each distinguished by a unique aesthetic and design philosophy. Two of these spaces are a tribute to the famous architects Le Corbusier and Lina Bo Bardi, while the third is the result of the creativity of Studio Giuliano Andrea dell’Uva Architetti.

Each room is a tangible expression of the stylistic language and materials favoured by the respective architects: polychrome wood for Le Corbusier, formica as a versatile and refined chromatic element for Lina Bo Bardi, and hand-painted tiles by Francesco De Maio that recall the Mediterranean atmosphere so dear to Studio dell’Uva.

The path along these three rooms is an evocative journey through the epochs of architecture and design, a subtle narrative that not only celebrates the past, but also reveals the company’s deep sensitivity, the result of collaboration with the most illustrious masters in the field. An exploration that, rather than stopping at nostalgia, opens up to the promising prospect of the future.


Where: Nemo Monforte Corso Monforte 19/A

When: April 15 – 21, 2024

—————————————————————————————————————–Design Space AlUla

AlUla Inspired Exhibition Space

Design Space AlUla with AlUla Design Residency, Unguessed Kinships Surface! by bahraini danish AlUla 2024 © Lorenzo Arrigoni_2

If you have been enthralled by the AlUla design and art desert experience in the Suadi Arabia then this exhibition in Milan brings it all together with the recent design initiatives inspired by the materiality of AlUla. It will be shown at the Mediateca Santa Teresa, in the heart of Brera, the historical design district of Milan 14-21 April 2024.

The exhibition includes works from recent projects launched in the burgeoning design destination of AlUla, an ancient oasis city with ambitious masterplans across the creative industries and design sector.

The pieces on display include designs by leading artists and designers; Dr Zahrah Alghamdi, Cristian Mohaded, TAKK (Mireia Luzarraga and Alejandro Muino), and TECHNOCrafts and were featured in two new design initiatives in AlUla this year – Madrasat Addeera Editions and the AlUla Design Residency, respectively curated by Samer Yamani and Ali Ismail Karami.

Design Space AlUla, Al Jadidah Art District, @RCU_16

Designed by renowned architectural practice CLOUD and designer Sabine Marcelis CLOUD & Studio Sabine Marcelis, the exhibition space reflects AlUla as a nexus of culture, creativity, and storytelling. Designed around the concept of light, central cylinder recreates an ideal sun, providing illumination to the main room. The dotted pattern on the floor reinterprets a traditional motif found in the streets of AlUla Old Town, while the Haus Dari seating system at the centre of the exhibition invites visitors to enjoy moments of relaxation and conviviality.

Design AlUla

Where: Mediateca Santa Teresa

When: April 14-21, 2024