Travel diary: City guide for Milan Design Week

Late last year Joburg-based fine artist Makandal Schiess was chosen as the winner of the Heineken® Next Level campaign with the prize being an all-expenses paid trip for 2 to the Milan Design Week 2016, which has now just been. With the official Salone del Mobile Milano trade event at the centre, the Milan Design Week is a city wide, 7-day long binge of the best and most cutting edge design from around the world. During this time the city is taken over by design, with different design districts hosting pop-up events, parties, exhibitions, showcases and open studios.

Photographer Zelé Angelides accompanied Makandal on this trip, and together they were our eyes and ears on the ground at Milan Design Week 2016. Here’s a whirlwind video of what they saw and did, plus a photographic city guide to Milano, the most stylish city in the world. Look out for their design product highlights and a travel diary photo essay to follow.  


I. On our first day in Milan, we are taken on a private tour of the city and stop for lunch at Terrazza Aperol. We drink a classic Aperol Spritz and devour a Risotto alla Milanese based with saffron. II. We walk through the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, home to high-end fashion stores Gucci, Prada, Versace and the like to spin our heel on the bull’s balls for good luck. III. A butter yellow pole against a golden yellow wall meet us before we enter BASE Milano. IV. Red cables mark the start of the Brera Design District where we get a melon and pear gelato along our way at Garibaldi Crème

Milan_10&5_blue-01I. We are engrossed by a holographic tree for a moment on our way to the Archiproducts Design Selection 2016. II. A linen canopy mottles the light in the Sunbrella installation by Elise Fouin DesignIII. Gufram’s  1970 BOCCA lips strike our eyeballs at Galleria Carla Sozzani’s Gufram on the Rocks; 50 years of design against the tide exhibition. IV. Inside out Unbrella by h-concept will do well for Cape Town’s windy rainfall. V. Children collect tiny cut crystals scattered outside the CRYSTAL AUTOMATA exhibition showcasing mechanical marvels. 

Milan_10&5_greenI. Chestnut tree blossom blooms outside the EATALY complex. II. We stumble upon Issey Miyake’s X IITTALA displayIII. We sit on a park bench and watch the Milanese Celtis Australis which looked similar to our Witstinkhout, on our way to Sforza Castello. IV. Data visualisation from the BOG DATA exhibition by Cité du Design


I. Before we have a look at the Sempering exhibition curated by Luisa Collina and Cino Zucchi, we admire architect David Chipperfield’s ceiling in the MUDEC foyer. II. Zelé stands in the courtyard of 10 Corso Como. III. Makandal poses in front of the famed Bosco Verticale designed by Stefano Boeri. IV. The third landscape forges its way through at the entrance of the Aisin Imagine New Days exhibition. V. Makandal finds a miniature sculpture while waiting for the night bus to go to the MORNING LOVE party. VI. Folded coloured Postit paper is arranged on a wall in the Triennale di Milano where we saw the Takeo paper show Subtle, Neo-Prehistory – 100 Verbs curated by Andrea Branzi and Kenya Hara and the Stanze exhibition curated by Beppe Finessi. 

Milan_10&5_purpleI. We pass a graffiti stencil on our way back to Hotel NHOW in the heart of the Tortona Design District where we stayed for our four-day sojourn. II. A deflated unicorn rests on an arch entering the Piazza del DuomoIII. Illuminated light installations greet us as we arrive at MACAO for an underground party hosted by the artists on a residency from Amsterdam’s Dirty Art Department; The Wandering School. IV. Makandal mesmerised by the Amorphous AGC ASAHI GLASS installation at the Super Design Show. 

Milan_10&5_red-01I. Perhaps the coolest bag design we found in Milano, made by a team of girls. You can order your custom made bag online with IF Bags. II. We are spellbound by Citizan’s sensational “time is TIME” exhibitionIII. Pretty paper flowers clad a wall in the Tortona Design Week district. IV. We document the trash bin outside the Milan Stock Exchange after a long search for Maurizio Cattelan’s L.O.V.E sculpture, which was a gift to the mayor of Milan. 

Milan_10&5_greyI. We capture curious road markings on our way to La Tradizionale to catch a late Italian style buffet lunch. II. Lit up stairs lead us into the Joan Miro: The Force of Matter exhibition. III. We document traditional Milanese cobblestone as we find the historical Antico Lavatoio just off the Linea Traghetti Gaggiano. IV. A woman crosses the road as we search for Via Torino 51 home of a MUJI outlet

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