Every Design Week is a discovery: thousands of products, projects and prototypes, inventions and installations. And then dozens of spaces that even the true Milanese people often cross the threshold of for the first time. There are the historical palaces and courtyards – this year, Tom Dixon at Palazzo Serbelloni and Porsche at Palazzo Clerici. There are the private terraces you can climb up on for a spectacular view over Milan and to see how much it has changed in the last 10 years – Buccellati’s Terrazza Portaluppi on Via Brisa and that of the Hotel Ariston at Carrobbio. Moreover, there are the former industrial or abandoned spaces – Flos at Fabbrica Orobia, Baranzate Ateliers in the former Necchi factory in Baranzate and Alcova at the military hospital in Baggio. Apart from this category, there are the places that are about to be demolished, to make way for the new: the former slaughterhouse this year and, in the past, the former Cova panettone factory, with the first edition of Alcova in 2018, and the former Binda paper mills, with the Ludovico Einaudi concert organised by Domus in 2004.
At the same time, every FuoriSalone also serves as an engine of change: there are discoveries, in fact, that remain not only in the memory of those who have visited them, but become new fragments of the city too. Thanks to this week’s prohibitive rents, those who can invest in something less ephemeral. In addition to the opening of new showrooms – Lodes in Via della Moscova, Henge in Via Spiga and Gervasoni in Via Spartaco to name but three – there are also ambitious public and semi-public projects, such as the restoration of the tunnels of the Milano Centrale railway station for the future DropCity.
In short, Design Week is more than just a collective frenzy of a few days, year after year, one Salone del Mobile at a time, it has helped to promote and transform the urban fabric. Here are 10 places that “have sprouted” this year: from Toiletpaper’s murals in the Città Studi district to Spazio Morel in the Certosa district, from Tokyo Toilet at the Duomo metro station to the Caffè del Circolo Filologico. Some are already open; others will take shape in the coming years.