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Milan Design Week 2023: New Experiences and Designs For The Home

From voluminous chairs to historical reinterpretations, PJ Almera of ACIIID reports on the hottest home trends from one of the biggest annual design events in the world

Milan Design Week is one of the biggest annual design events in the world. Last month, designers, design enthusiasts, and people alike traveled to Italy to get exposed to the latest design movements by some of the most talented people.

This year, Architect PJ Almera, the ACIIID team, with Idr. Denise Ayado on the field, found a lot of groundbreaking trends and insights that could shape the home in 2023-2024.

“Coming from Milan Design Week, the current direction towards home design is the amalgamation of prevalent macro trends that we’ve seen in the past few years. For example, voluminous chairs, which previously sat close to the floor and had monotonous bodies, are now reinterpreted with details such as legs and accents that celebrate traditional craftsmanship. Colors and patterns inspired from Latin American, Asian, and African cultures are also adapted as visual directions for textiles and homeware,” shares IDr. Denise Ayado of ACIIID

Almera, Ayado and the ACIIID Team break down some of the trends in home design from Milan Design Week's Fuorisalone and Salone Del Mobile:

Radical Patterns

Designing a contemporary home implements a lot of layered textures and prints. Taking a cue from the boldness of Italian design and the evolving playful scene of modern contemporary aesthetics, the play on patterns has always been a great way of communicating artistry and expression in the home through textile designs like rugs, pillows, and other soft decors. 

Missoni & Janneli & Volpi, Images from @missoni | Courtesy of PJ Almera, ACIIID

Missoni, an Italian luxury brand famous for its colorful knitwear designs, created a line featuring a fantasy landscape of unusual, ironic shapes and creatures in collaboration with Janneli & Volpi. The collection focused on new pouf chairs with an ironic oversized colorful criss-cross pattern that looked like a zoomed-in weaving pattern. 

Guadalupe collection by Bethan Laura Wood & CC Tapis | @alejandro_ramoroz from @cc_tapis

Another expressive piece we have seen is the Guadalupe collection by Bethan Laura Wood. She presented rugs born from her archive of “public patterns” which she has collected during her travels. In collaboration with CC-Tapis, the collection captures the graphical shapes of its stained-glass windows with a rhythmic and expressive pattern applied to rugs and one wall hanging piece that first perfectly to a playful and colorful home.

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Primitive Progression

One of the trends our team has been investigating is the contemporary progression of traditional and historical design. We discovered that this movement ultimately blossomed this year and has progressed towards a more specific language, that is primitive design.

Reshape Your World by @lanenahome | @lanenahome

The installation such as Reshape Your World by La Nena Home is a perfect example of a sustainable design aesthetic that captures this trend. La Nena presented a place where design and tradition meet, creating unique experiences as well as sustainable innovations. Made from 100% handmade production and natural materials, the brand’s philosophy is a vision of the future by returning to the past and appreciating craftsmanship.

Primitive Exhibition by @stefanodelvis | Courtesy of PJ Almera, ACIIID
L-R: JMM_CT1, designed by Porto-based design studio JMM headed by João Marcos Moreirai, Elisa Uberti, (Photo by Denise Ayado of ACIIID), Neolithic Thinker, designed by Panorammma Atelier,

There have been developments in home objects that take a lot of inspiration from the primeval concept. One literal example is the Primitive Exhibition by Stefano Del Vecchio, a development of home accessories through the use of experimental materials and ancient design elements. 

Movimento also presented a few primitive furniture pieces, one of which is a coffee table inspired by weaving through cave walls, ancient symbols, and time-hidden messages entitled JMM_CT1, designed by Porto-based design studio JMM headed by João Marcos Moreirais. Another is the Neolithic Thinker, designed by Panorammma Atelier in Mexico City. It is a stool hand sculpted from red tezontle stone, a highly oxidized and porous volcanic rock endemic to Mexico. Lastly, the Primitive Island collection designed by Elisa Uberti is a stunning home piece that would make a good mood lighting for a neutral-toned space.

Space Couture & Euphoric Lighting

Coming from past influences leads us to explore the future. Space couture is a trend that’s derived from Futuristic and Astro-industrial (a design movement infusing astronomical elements with industrial style) aesthetics, which looks like something straight from a spaceship or a house from Mars. This trend showcases a lot of metallic, chrome-like materials and is predominantly showing a fluid other-worldly silhouette, creating an uncanny surrealistic mood.

Zieta Studio, | @zieta_studio

If you’ve seen those inflatable metallic stools on Instagram & Tiktok, their designer, Zieta Studio presented a riveting collection of these metallic irregular objects made out of Inox. These designs flaunt the meticulous attention to detail that challenges the viewer’s perception of space and dimensionality. These pieces will surely go big as a lot of design influencers have already started styling their space with these pieces.

Portable Collection, Tom Dixon | @tomdixonstudio

Tom Dixon, known for some of the most iconic lighting designs, has been creating lamps that look like metallic blobs. This year, the brand created The PORTABLE collection which features miniature versions of their iconic pieces that were prominent lighting trends in the past year. They created versions of the classics such as the cone lamp, which you could use as a side table lamp or even a dining table lamp for a euphoria-styled light cast.

(L) Cloud by Maxim Velcovsky, (R) A:Live created by Stefan Mihailovic | @lasvitdesign

Talking about the space, universe, & euphoria-inspired pieces, Lasvit has been one of the best brands at the Salone Del Mobile Euroluce 2023 that captivated a lot of viewers. Their installation It All Comes from Above is an immersive display that flaunts their latest lighting fixtures and products that could be conversation pieces in your home. Some of our favorites are the Cloud by Maxim Velcovsky, made of crystal rods and optical fibers; and the A: Live created by Stefan Mihailovic which exhibits motion in lighting design.

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Strange Interpretations

If Astro-industrial space couture is already strange for your taste, then you’ve got to see these installations inspired by insatiable curiosities, whether from an esoteric angle, or reactive craftsmanship. This home trend has started subtly through art pieces and artistic furniture.

Roche Bobois Showroom | Denise Ayado, ACIIID

Roche Bobois, a French luxury brand, featured an exceptional masterpiece that is a majestic combination of portuguese heritage and nordic myth. This art piece was complemented by the new collection from the brand, both designed by visual artist Joana Vasconcelos

(L-R) Gen D Projects; Lucia Massari and Sara Ricciardi | @dolcegabbana_casa

Fashion brand collaborations are some of the most awaited highlights in Fuorisalone. Dolce & Gabbana collaborated with different artists and designers which gave birth to the Gen D project. Lucia Massari launched a unique collection of colourful voluminous vases. One of the MVPs of this year’s Milan Design Week, Sara Ricciardi, also partnered with numerous brands, one of which is a joyful curtain called Luminaria which was also from Dolce & Gabbana. She also featured her thoughts on how talent needs to always be nourished. “Inspiration is a natural by-product of insatiable curiosity."

Legami by Elena Salmistraro​​​​​​​​​, | Denise Ayado, ACIIID

In addition, Elena Salmistraro has created a series of bold and rug in collaboration with Tai Ping Carpets inspiration from the human hand, both as a graphic and conceptual theme, recognized universally as a symbol of human connection and exchange.

These peculiar designs are an interpretation of strange artistic visions that somewhat reminisce the retro vibes of the 70s to the 80s and would definitely fit a millennial's quirky home.

Altogether, this year’s Milan Design Week has explored a collection of evolved post-pandemic emotions, cultural progressions, and various interpretations of surrealistic moods. With homes being a space for creative expression, we’re excited to see how these trends are interpreted contextually in the near future.