Design Week is the realm of the ephemeral and a fierce battle to have the most original, most hidden, most splendid or most surprising space. Incredible palazzos filled with absurd and indefinite objects, filthy underpasses transformed into cool bars, secret gardens unveiled, apartments, terraces, convents, public toilets: everything is a location for one week. Only to turn back into pumpkin, mice and rags at midnight on Sunday. It used to be that the only permanent design points, apart from the Triennale, were the showrooms in the Brera, Durini and Monforte areas, but the number of galleries has multiplied in recent years, all walking that increasingly fine line between modern antiques and production, market and research, art and interior design. The more these boundaries crumble, the more frequently strange alliances between economy and culture are established, making the galleries sustainable and feeding new forms of collecting.
The fashion for vintage has without a doubt had a role in the development of this sharp eye for both the past and present and the hybridisation of old and new artisanal work, but recently the phenomenon of design appearing in art fairs has actually given an improvised energy to the market. Naturally the Object section of MiArt, curated by Domitilla Dardi, created an extremely fertile short-circuit in Milan.
What are now historic spaces in the city, such as Luisa Delle Piane in the Sarpi neighbourhood – a real treasure trove –, Nilufar on Via Spiga or Rossana Orlandi’s living room near San Vittore remain established. However, it is now also essential to have a look around Subalterno1, mecca for self-production in Lambrate, or Camp Design Gallery behind NABA, or Salvatore Lanteri in NOLO, or, naturally, Plusdesign, still in Via Ventura for now. These are the places for extreme experimentation or researched materials. These are the places where they dare.