Milano Design Week

Salone del Mobile and Fuorisalone 2024

Alcova and two villas in Brianza: Domus invites you to a walk to the origins of design

The nineteenth-century Lombard villa par excellence, an eclectic project by Osvaldo Borsani, and the platform for the intersection of design and research, symbol of Fuorisalone: history, present, and future of design in a walk curated by Matteo Pirola.

The event is sold out.

Alcova is a hybrid platform designed to bring together all the souls of the design system in a single space, which is constantly being rediscovered and reinterpreted within the ever-changing landscape of Milan. Founded in 2018 by Valentina Ciuffi (Studio Vedèt) and former director Joseph Grima (Space Caviar), with the aim of "investigating the future of living and producing", Alcova is perhaps one of the entities that best embodies the spirit of the Fuorisalone and Milan Design Week.

For the 2024 edition, confirming all this, it moves beyond the city limits: it arrives in Varedo for a takeover of two architecturally significant landmarks: Villa Borsani and Villa Bagatti Valsecchi.

Villa Bagatti Valsecchi, Varedo. Photo Piergiorgio Sorgetti, courtesy Alcova

The research lines and communicative methods typical of Alcova are once again proposed: installations, performances, exchanges, the presentation of objects with attention to “technological and sustainable materials and production processes, contemporary craft, experimental aesthetics, sociological, political and global issues”. But it is their interaction with the spaces they occupy that constitutes the heart of the project, its true unpredictable part: and it is this relationship that Domus invites you to discover with a dedicated walk.

The quintessential nineteenth-century Lombard villa, Villa Bagatti Valsecchi integrates history and its stratification, with elements such as the fifteenth-century columns recovered from the Lazzaretto of Milan at the time of its demolition. Villa Borsani, on the other hand, was born during the Second World War - completed in 1945 - and integrates the diversity of references and languages: it is a modernist architecture by Osvaldo Borsani, a crucial name in the history of Italian design, linked to the Tecno brand, who conceived it as a residence adjacent to the family furniture factory, then giving the place an eclectic masterpiece stretched between modern, historical, and metaphysical, where art passes and leaves material traces, as happens with Lucio Fontana who creates a fireplace.

Villa Borsetti, Varedo. Photo Piergiorgio Sorgetti courtesy Alcova

The walk is curated and conducted by Matteo Pirola, architect, critic, and researcher in Design for IULM University of Milan, Professor of History of Design and Contemporary Arts, Events for Creative Industries, Interior Architecture, and Set Design, author of several publications, and cultural consultant for various companies and institutions in the field of art, design, and architecture.

Opening image: Villa Borsetti, Varedo. Photo Piergiorgio Sorgetti courtesy Alcova

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