Dutch born Piet Boon is one of the most relevant and iconic designers of our time. His three decade long career was inspired by a desire to combat a lack of functionality in today’s designs; to create solutions that are both functional and beautiful. His appreciation for simplicity is no doubt a hallmark of Dutch design.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING AT MILAN DESIGN WEEK?
Where to start?! The Milan Design Week is a treat for any design savvy person. There are so many beautiful, crazy and inspiring things to see and people to meet, it’s almost impossible to take it all in, in only just one week. I always look forward to feeling the overall the spirit of the week and what is happening in the world of design. Each year I visit Ventura Lambrate to see what’s happening there,the district has a certain cool factor and spontaneous energetic vibe to it. It’s bustling with creativity and new idea’s. I’m always curious to see the designs of the young and upcoming designers.
WHERE WILL YOU DEFINITELY DINE WHILE IN MILAN?
Fans of the Italian cuisine, like myself, will find that Milan has an abundance of great restaurants with an even better atmosphere. The trick is to find the places where the Italians themselves go to eat, the hidden gems if you will. Two of my favorite spots to enjoy delicious food and excellent wine are: Osteria La Risacca “6” andBugatta.
BEST PLACE FOR AN ESPRESSO/QUICK BITE?
During the Milan Design Week we often go out for coffee and quick bites in and around the Brera Design District– located in the historic center of Milan.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF DESIGN WEEK, IN YOUR OPINION?
Though each edition of the Milan Design Week has its own highlights, Wallpaper is always one of them. Every year they seize to amaze me with their fantastically curated collection of top notch luxury goods. Another highlight I can recommend is Dutch Invertuals, a collective of individual designers that always dare to innovate. Due to their almost secretive location each year, I consider them to be one of the hidden gems that one must try and visit.
WHICH PARTICULAR EVENTS WILL YOU BE ATTENDING DURING DESIGN WEEK?
Again, where to start?! I will definitely be attending various opening events and two exciting events we will be hosting in our showroom at Via Tortona 37: a cocktail in collaboration with renowned Dutch magazine “Eigen Huis & Interieur” on the 15th and the European book launch of the new Design Hotels book on the 16th. During the Design week there is a constant reason for celebration and you can leave it up to the Dutch to throw a party!
Where will you be staying? Or what’s your favorite hotel in Milan?
One of my favorite hotels in Milan, is the Bulgari hotel– a renovated 18th century Milanese palazzo located in the historic center. Its lush and luxurious interior leaves many in awe and its secret garden is great tranquil escape from the bustling city.
Can you recommend some of your favorite shops, places to see while in Milan?
I would recommend to give your eyes a feast when in Milan and especially during the Design Week. Also try to visit the high-end fashion stores near Via Montenapoleone, as their shop windows are very inspiring. Known by many, but one you just cannot miss when in Milan is also 10 Corso Como (which is also its actual location). This concept store boasts an extraordinary blend of art, music, design, food and culture from around the world. If you are lucky enough to get a table you should treat yourself to lunch on their patio!
“One of the movements that is coming back into style and that I always have found very interesting is: “brutalism”. This bold and yet elegant movement is synonymous with honest construction and concrete. Things we can relate to at Studio Piet Boon.”
One piece of advice for a first time goer.
Prepare! As this will save you a lot of time and will ensure you of being able to see everything you set out to see. Make a schedule of the exhibitions you would like to visit and preferably wait one day for all the important blogs and websites, like Trendland.com, to come out with their favorites of the week.
Favorite design movement or trend at the moment?
Trends and movements are quite volatile these days due to the internet. Having that said, one of the movements that is coming back into style and that I always have found very interesting is: “brutalism”. This bold and yet elegant movement is synonymous with honest construction and concrete. Things we can relate to at Studio Piet Boon as we like to work with linear lines, bold construction and work with raw materials such as concrete. It’s interesting to see that brutalism has also found its way to the fashion industry, Rick Owens leading the way.
Any up-and-coming designers we should get to know?
I look forward to tell you after I have visited Ventura Lambrate! The avant-garde students and young designers there are the ones to watch. Though he may not be up and coming anymore, I am also curious to see the next step Dutch designer Sjoerd Vroonland has taken in his work for Linteloo.