WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING AT MILAN DESIGN WEEK?
It’s Milan. It’s Design Week. It’s a hell of a ride in the months before the fair and it’s even more crazy during those days. But for some reason, I’ve got to be there. London, Stockholm, Berlin, Basel all do well. But this week it’s all about Milano. I look forward to meeting a lot of designers, visitors of our exhibition, friends and press.
WHERE WILL YOU DEFINITELY DINE WHILE IN MILAN?
Our restaurant. When we decided to build A Belgian Village in Milan we knew we had to bring food (and Belgian beers) with us. Belgian chef Kevin Storms is joining us in Milan. He will cook daily for you to enjoy a plant-based fine dining in a great atmosphere. In Belgium his food is well known, so we’re trilled he’ll be part of our village. Seats are limited, get in contact to reserve your table. And next to that we’ll have plant-based fast food. Gotta try that, no?
BEST PLACE FOR AN ESPRESSO/QUICK BITE?
A tiny trattoria with traditional Milanese kitchen is Vecchia Latteria (Via Unione, 6), close to Duomo. At Joia (Via Panfilo Castaldi 18) chef Pietro Leemann’s menu is based on seasonal availability. Not the cheapest place to eat in Milan, but do grab a lunch there. For great vegan burgers Radicetonda (Piazza Buozzi 5) is a must visit. The best cold pressed juices and sweets can be found at Mantra Raw Vegan (Via Panfilo Castaldi, 21), Milan’s first raw vegan restaurant. Mudra (Via Parenzo, 7) is a great place to start your day. Try their vegappuccio (vegan cappuccino). But when you’re in for a cheap lunch, Hare-Krishna’s restaurant Govinda is the place to be.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF DESIGN WEEK, IN YOUR OPINION?
For the past three years, ECAL (École cantonale d’art de Lausanne) blew me away. So I’ll visit them again this year, for sure. I guess I’m not the first or only one citing Rossana Orlandi’s spazio as a favorite place to hang out during Milan Design Week. But it really is a great place to stroll. Mark one day for Ventura Lambrate. There is a lot to see and do in that area. They host 24 academies from all over the world which makes them the avant-garde location.- Which particular events will you be attending during Design Week?Belgians support Belgians. Last year Atelier Vierkant had a small but great installation in the centre of Milan. Not sure if they’re back on Milan grounds this year, but here’s another great exhibition: Belgium is Design focusses on the ’10 designers of the year’ (the ones selected since 2006). The exhibition, named Confronting the Masters is located in Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera (Via Brera, 28).
WHERE WILL YOU BE STAYING? OR WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE HOTEL IN MILAN?
We like to host friends, press and members of the DIFT team. So we book via AirBnB. We found a great apartment in Lambrate – which we booked already in May 2014 (we stayed there last year too). Sorry, It’s ours! Find your own apartment, because let’s be honest: there’s nothing more fun than relaxing in an apartment in one of those great palazzos. And we have to be honest: we can’t really afford a hotel during Milan Design Week.
“It’s Milan. It’s Design Week. It’s a hell of a ride in the months before the fair and it’s even more crazy during those days. But for some reason, I’ve got to be there.”
ONE PIECE OF ADVICE FOR A FIRST TIME GOER.
Take your time. You’ll have the feeling you need to rush all the time. But even when you rush from district to district, that feeling won’t stop. So you better calm down, take your time, enjoy the installations by all the brands, meet the designers, eat, drink and enjoy the most vibrant event of the year: you’re in Milan!
FAVORITE DESIGN MOVEMENT OR TREND AT THE MOMENT?
I’m not a big fan of exhibitions with an ordinary booth at an ordinary fairground. I’d rather visit places where they know how to create a context, tell a story and make me wonder. Daylight, fresh air… it’s all about those sentimental stimulants. That’s what I’m curious about. Who are those hybrid studios, designers and labels showing their work at this year’s Salone without focusing on a product fetish?