> posted by   on June 28th 2013

Milan 2013 Brand Events

In my last post from Milan Design Festival I would like to highlight big brand events. In everybody’s perception Milan is about furniture. Just to correct your perception, since the 1st edition of Zona Tortona (today: Tortona Design Week) Milan is about lifestyles. Lifestyles that include home, work, technology, health and the whole wide package of everything we call life. From the point of view of cultural interest and experimentation, Milan Design Festival has now crossed the boundaries of a conventional trade fair to become a festive urban event with the design projects invading the whole city and respective brands. Many leading brands want to be seen as trendy, innovative and creative (read: design); that’s why all these brands are occupying the largest spaces at this hot location to show off their creative statements.

Heineken – for the second year this Dutch multinational exhibits its creative potential. In the old railway warehouse, Heineken staged “The Magazzini”show.  This year Heineken celebrates its 140th anniversary. At this occasion, Heineken invited designers online to re-design (graphic) Heineken’s iconic bottle design. Visitors of The Magazzini experienced a showcase of 5 finalists of the 2nd edition of the “Your Future Bottle” – design award as well as educational workshops by day and a design-themed party space at night. Mark van Iterson, Global Head of Design at Heineken said, “At Heineken we’re passionate about social design – the way design brings people together. That is what The Magazzini is all about”.

Andy Audsley from Australia, Fernando Degrossi from Brazil and Anna Ptasińska and Bartek Bak from Poland were the 5 finalists of “Your Future Bottle” 2013, the second annual design contest devoted to Heineken’s 140th anniversary.

Renault teamed up with Ross Lovegrove. Together with Laurens van den Acker, Senior Vice President Corporate Design Renault, they unveiled at the Triennale of Milan their conceptual vision of the future of mobility. The Z.E. concept car certainly explores and determines the company’s future strategic direction. The project intended to bring awareness and understanding of the phenomena and the current environmental impacts within a transportation context. By examining nature and working with contemporary computational design methods, the venture revealed a new sustainable automotive form language that contains new surfaces, lightweight structures and new material behaviours. Personally, I love the light dots and sporty seatings.


Mini (by BMW) staged its show in the MINI Paceman Garage  in a hidden side street off Via Tortona 20. In the big hangar space, you could see the latest model of the MINI family – the MINI Paceman – in a two-part installation. In both installations the car’s body and parts were transformed into dynamic materials and colours. With its creative work, the MINI Design Team illustrated the diversity of the MINI Paceman brand. This venue also served as a launch pad and platform for a creative exchange between artists and designers while offering international visitors a varied programme ranging from workshops and DJ sets all the way to cooking sessions.


Samsung installation “What A Wonderful World” by François Confino. At the back building of the Superstudio Più complex,  the world’s leading electronic brand presented its vision to the design public for the third time in a space where the natural and the artificial world join together and where, using the magic of technology, they were able to add extraordinary changes. This led them on a journey into a new world through an imaginary reality, where everything is possible and can be transformed into a wonderful custom-made world. In this way, visitors became active players in the installation, which changed and transformed according to their individual wishes.


Durex. Maybe less spectacular than the previous brands, but for the second time the “Love Sex” company presented itself during the Milan Design Week. in the small shop just on the wrong side of the Via Tortona 12, you could enter the “Play Design” event. OK, maybe the event wasn’t over the top, but Durex Italia prepared some retail “experience” of its newest “little devils of pleasure”. Visitors could not only see but also buy the newest hot and slippery toys. Even shop assistants were staged to be young, innocent and subtle.



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