Kartell's collaboration with Moschino produced 'Toy' a bear that is both novelty and light. 

Kartell's collaboration with Moschino produced 'Toy' a bear that is both novelty and light. 

We have reached the mid-point of Milan Design Week when design themes and variations start taking shape. Always a cultural barometer the fair is also a platform for broader issues. This year exhibitions are tackling ethical consumption, reversing the waste stream and living smaller, to investigating our connection with technology – big social issues that are focusing the attention of designers globally. 

 One of the most popular spots in Milan, Rossana Orlandi's galleries and gardens spill over with ideas and designs by well-known names and newcomers. 

One of the most popular spots in Milan, Rossana Orlandi's galleries and gardens spill over with ideas and designs by well-known names and newcomers. 

At Rossana Orlandi, Orlandi herself announced: “make plastic guiltless”. Inside a room designed by Jacopo Foggini (well known for his research into plastics for Edra) a program of talks and presentations is dedicated to the project ’Sense of Guilt’’ looking at plastics recycling and how to turn a problem into a creative opportunity. The ongoing initiative has Michele De Lucchi, Livia Peraldo, Li Edelkoort, Cristina Morozzi, Alessandro Mendini, and Massimiliano Adami onboard, while Australian designer Alexander Lotersztain exhibited his 100% recycled plastic QTZ chair developed with an Italian research lab. 

 In the streets of the Brera Design District where more than 100 exhibitions themeed around 'Be Human: Designing with Empathy'.

In the streets of the Brera Design District where more than 100 exhibitions themeed around 'Be Human: Designing with Empathy'.

 London architects Studiomama presented ‘MINI Living – Built By All’, a "micro-city", demonstrating the power of small. 

London architects Studiomama presented ‘MINI Living – Built By All’, a "micro-city", demonstrating the power of small. 

The Brera Design District hosted 'Be Human: Designing with Empathy' curated by Raffaella Guidobono and involving more than 100 exhibitors. While at via Tortona London-based Studiomama presented ‘MINI Living – Built By All’, a show they describe as a "micro-city" and demonstrating how a 20 square metre living space, well designed, can be liveable, functional and offer up solutions for cities tackling the biggest growth moment in history. 

Visitng the Kartell Museum, we were taken back in time with an exhibition organised in collaboration with the Achille Castiglioni Foundation to celebrate Achille Castiglioni’s 100th birthday.

 The Kartell Museum's tribute to designer Achille Castiglioni and his brother Per Giacomo. 

The Kartell Museum's tribute to designer Achille Castiglioni and his brother Per Giacomo. 

A show that traces the history between one of the world's best-known designers and Kartell, it is the first exhibition that looks at all of Castiglioni's designs for the brand. It is a collection that goes back to 1959 and includes the KD lights, the Rocchette coffee table and stool, and a system of modular mirrors. It’s a fantastic show that offers new insights into the designers' (Achille and his brother Per Giacomo) sophisticated reinterpretations of familiar shapes. Using subtle irony pieces are characterised by rich finishes and bold colours. This is one of many shows this year organised by the Achille Castiglioni Foundation. The exhibition continues beyond Milan Design Week with special guided tours in partnership with the foundation. 

 The Shanghai coffee table by Mario Bellini for Kartell. 

The Shanghai coffee table by Mario Bellini for Kartell. 

 The re-release of the K28 lamp designed by the 1970s master of cool, Joe Colombo. 

The re-release of the K28 lamp designed by the 1970s master of cool, Joe Colombo. 

On top of the three exhibitions in and around Milan, Kartell also launched its new collaboration with Moschino and the fashion label's creative director Jeremy Scott. Together the design teams have reimagined the iconic teddy bear as a table lamp. Called 'Toy', the lamp was photographed all over the city and has become Kartell's latest novelty.  Other highlights from the Kartell collection include the Matrix chairs by Tokujin Yoshioka, the Woody and Sun Tan collections by Philippe Stark, the Shanghai coffee table by Mario Bellini, Be Bop by Roberto Palombo, and the reissue of Joe Colombo's K28 lamp. Kartell also released a new range of bathroom products with Laufen that are clean and minimal in their approach. 

 Cartel's latest collaboration with Lauren produced a ranged of super refined bathroom products. 

Cartel's latest collaboration with Lauren produced a ranged of super refined bathroom products. 

 The Woody collection designed by Philippe Starck for Kartell. 

The Woody collection designed by Philippe Starck for Kartell. 

 Softly coloured cast-glass vessels embedded with copper mesh by Omar Arbel at ‘Unsighted.

Softly coloured cast-glass vessels embedded with copper mesh by Omar Arbel at ‘Unsighted.

Finally, the exhibition ‘Unsighted’ curated by Canadian art dealer Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte deserves a mention. It involved eight designers who were all were given an open brief to create pieces for a location, site-unseen. Inside the Milanese apartment building where Australian outfit Local Design is also showing this week, colourful, wallpapered rooms reveal work from the softly coloured cast-glass vessels are embedded with copper mesh by Omar Arbel, to forms reinterpreting industrial and classical ruins by Roberto Sironi. It's a beautiful and poetic show that reveals the very personal fabric of this city
 

more space will be back tomorrow with news from day four of Milan Design Week. All images by Space Furniture's photographer on the ground in Milan, Filippo Bamberghi, and supplied by Kartell.

Comment