It may be known as the Milan furniture fair, but this annual convergence of the global design community casts its net much wider. Brands from the worlds of fashion, beauty, automobiles, and even hospitality are getting in on the action, keen to put themselves in front of a design-minded audience.
Internet hospitality innovator Airbnb, which has previously hosted events at both Milan Design Week and the London Design Festival, provided a platform for their most popular design event to date during this year’s Salone. Taking the form of a pop-up cafe concept, "Makers and Bakers" showcased the work of 25 up and coming designers from 13 different countries within the pleasant surrounds of Marta, a restaurant fortuitously located next to a mecca of Milan design week, Spazio Rosanna Orlandi.
With a layout that was conceived by Auckland-based interior designer Katie Lockhart, who worked closely with Medda across the entire project, guests were seated at long communal tables and encouraged to chat with the designers over a spot of organic and locally-sourced cuisine served up by New Zealand baker Carter Were.
Cleverly, the concept presented visitors with the rare opportunity to actually experience the designers' work first hand. Gracing the tabletops were pieces by London designers Matteo Fogale and Laetitia De Allegri, who provided a hand-powered pepper grinder made from sustainable stones as well as a serving tray made from recycled denim and paper scraps; and among the many other objects being put to good use was a 3D printed titanium bread knife designed by New Zealand designer Jamie McLellan.
"I wanted to honor the company’s core values of building community through the experience of travel, and celebrate how that is enabled through design,” says Medda. "A space where guests can enjoy a piece of toast and admire what is on and around the table, designed by talents I believe in and want to support."