“I don’t know what design is”, opined once the Italian designer Enzo Mari.

Not because he hadn’t considered the question. But because he had. A lot.

With the exhibition Enzo Mari curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist with Francesca Giacomelli the Triennale Milano present an opportunity to approach an understanding of that which in the course of those considerations, and his 60+ year career, Enzo Mari has variously understood both design to be, and what it could, should, must, be……..

Enzo Mari curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist with Francesca Giacomelli, Triennale Milano, Milan

“Last night the waiter put the celery on with the cheese, and I knew that summer was indeed dead”, opined once A.A. Milne, continuing that, while there may be other indications of autumn’s arrival, “it is only with the first celery that summer is over.”

And the first celery appears, or at least appeared in early 20th century England, in October.

Not that one should fear the celery, for in its crispness, freshness, tenderness, sweetness celery, so A.A. Milne, reminds us that winter isn’t only about the cold, wet, dark and dreary, but is a season which brings its own pleasures and joys, is a season of “crisp and sparkling days, long pleasant evenings, cheery fires” and to which we’ll add lingering visits to architecture and design exhibitions. Our recommendations for new showcases opening in October 2020 can be found in Munich, Milan, Rotterdam, Philadelphia and Brussels.

And as ever in these times, if you do feel comfortable about visiting any museum, please familiarise yourself in advance with the current ticketing, entry, safety, hygiene, cloakroom, etc rules and systems. And during your visit please stay safe, stay responsible, and above all, stay curious….

“Here’s to October—and, waiter, some more celery.”1

5 New Architecture & Design Exhibitions for October 2020

Not the Situla itself.

But rather what is depicted on that small, delicately carved, 10th century ivory object: the four Christian Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, busy writing their gospels while seated at height-adjustable desks…….

<em>La Situla del vescovo Gotofredo</em> (photo Dominik Matus via commons.wikimedia, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Backrests appeared to be a major feature of those new products Konstantin Grcic presented at Milan Furniture Fair 2017. Or perhaps better put, from those new product we saw by Konstantin Grcic, we interpreted the backrest as being central components. But it wasn’t all about backrests, a few thoughts on new products for Magis, Plank, Flos and Mattiazzi.

Noctambule by Konstantin Grcic for Flos, as seen at Milan Furniture Fair 2017

Much as we moan, moan, and moan about Milan Furniture Fair, it is a rare opportunity to get a snapshot of where individual designers are currently at: differing products for differing manufacturers being displayed in relatively proximity allowing for a nice overview. A few considerations on the latest projects by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra, Magis, Flos and Mattiazzi.

Verticale by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Flos, as seen at Milan Furniture Fair 2017

Modular bicycle bag/briefcase by Silvio Rebholz and Louis Michel, from the Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart project Più di Pegoretti (Photo courtesy AKB Stuttgart)

Every time we are in Milan, be it for the Design Week or simply to enjoy the city without the

"Community: Italy Architecture, city and landscape from the postwar period to 2000" at the Triennale Design Museum, Milan, Italy

December can be a trying month: always having to think of others; always having to patronise bars and restaurants you’ve

USM - Rethink the Modular, Milan Design Week 2015

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Fritz Haller and Paul Schärer’s USM Haller modular furniture system USM instigated a series

Belgium is Design - Confronting the Masters, Milan 2015

As is becoming traditional the interregional initiative Belgium is Design used Milan Design Week to present a showcase of contemporary

Programme S 830 by Emilia Becker for Thonet, as seen at Milan Furniture Fair 2015

Back in the hazy mists of 2014 the Grassi Museum for Applied Arts, Leipzig presented Sitting – Lying – Swinging.

Milan 2014 Artek Rival Konstantin Grcic

If we’re honest, we really, really, should have seen it coming. We didn’t. Having been acquired in 2013 by Vitra,

Milan 2014 Berlin Design Selection Crossboard LOCKWOOD

In design the term “readymade” is used to refer to products created by giving existing objects a new function; generally

Moooi Nut Chair Marcel Wanders Prop Light Bertjan Pot

Preparing for his solo exhibition “Pinned Up at the Stedelijk, 25 years of design” clearly helped Marcel Wanders tackle, and

Milan 2014 Source Material Kaleidoscope Project Space

Exhibitions in which designers present objects that inspire them are nothing new. But are by their very nature exhibitions that

milan preview

“Okay so is there ANYTHING interesting happening in Milan this year?” asked dezeen founder and Editor in Chief Marcus Fairs

After the relative calm and civility of July and August, September sees a more than inconsequential upping of our professional

Milan Design Week 2013 Droog 20+ Up to a beautiful future

A few weeks ago in our post on the opening of the Droog Lab exhibition The New Original in Guangzhou,

For us one of the true highlights of Saloni Milano 2009 was the kkaarrlls showcase from students at the Staatliche

We sadly didn’t meet the colleagues from Stylepark, but had we –  a day ticket for Milan costs €3 and

It’s almost time. The exhibition halls are half-empty, the beer fridge in the press room half-full and the hold of

They say that in every life a little rain must fall. The amount that has fallen in Milan in the

In our entry on the designersblock showcase we mentioned a foldable cardboard chair that had caught our attention. Now we

Make up your own joke… we like: “Apparently, he had heard that there are some classics here that never go

What the war on terror being won and everything, it appears Barack Obama has turned to his Secret Service to

At the kkaarrllss showcase we couldn’t help noticing that the students were using a copy of  “Das Kunstwerk” [The work