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Milan Design Week 2021 with Cult: A kaleidoscope of creativity, innovation and craft

Didn’t get a chance to attend Milan Design Week this year? Jump aboard. We’re heading to the Mediterranean to see what September looked like in the Italian capital of design.

Milan Design Week 2021 with Cult: A kaleidoscope of creativity, innovation and craft

Bringing together the best in international design, Italy’s annual festival of creativity, innovation and craft has been an unmissable happening for industry professionals and design enthusiasts since its inception in 1961. And while many in the international community were lucky enough to enjoy this year’s edition of the event in person, the Australian audience experienced Milan Design Week 2021 from afar. And so here, we take a quick trip up to Italy’s northern region of Lombardy to celebrate some of the favourite design brands and take another look at the latest in furniture, lighting and lifestyle. 


There was something uniquely whimsical about Cappellini’s Milan showroom this year. Weaving the brand’s iconic pieces and new designs with the enchanting work of the Italian designer, Elena Salmistraro, Cappellini created a charming and somewhat dreamy installation. With the space exploring the themes of socio-economic regeneration through the journey of a mythical character called AXO, the Basket Sofa by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, and Daybed by Jasper Morrison stood out as the most noteworthy design newcomers.

Continuing with the relaxed appeal of the broader range of padded lounges, the new models of Basket Sofa introduce a higher backrest designed to provide an enhanced level of privacy. As a quality particularly sought-after in high-traffic interiors, the new additions are an attractive spatial solution for any contemporary contract setting. Moving away from the contract context, Jasper Morrison’s confident Daybed has been dubbed an instant future classic. Evoking the memory of one of Morrison’s first projects for Cappellini, the new icon is defined by simple, atemporal lines that generate a decisively daring yet elegant personality.

Louis Poulsen

Louis Poulsen unveiled Milan’s latest design destination – “D Studio” – and then, there was light. Conceived in collaboration with a group of renowned international design brands, the showroom highlighted four new designs from the legendary lighting brand: PH 2/2 Limited Edition Question Mark, Moonsetter, Panthella Lamp in new size and finish, and Patera Oval.

The strikingly simple and intriguing Moonsetter by Danish designer Anne Boysen is a tactile invitation to examine the quality of the design. In a poetic fusion of sculpture-like form and engaging light source, this captivating luminaire exquisitely combines visual appeal and function.

In contrast to Moonsetter’s geometrical shape, the limited edition of PH 2/2 The Question Mark embraces the unique curvature of the silhouette with the fine quality of brass. Paired with the classic opal glass shades, the light generates glare-free downward illumination and a warm upward glow – the pleasant lighting attributes Poul Henningsen’s ingenious designs have been long renowned for.


Fredericia’s “I’ll Be Your Mirror” apartment installation offered the visitors an opportunity to contemplate their significance within the space. Carefully curated by Elisa Ossino, the faux residence represented a well-measured fusion of materiality, tactility and colour with a mix of Fredericia’s iconic pieces and reissued classics, like Børge Mogensen’s BM67 Coffee Table.

This pared-back and functional piece seduces with its simplicity of form and honest materiality. With the exposed construction underneath the sledge base, a significant part of the raw appeal of the design, and stretches in brass that promise a beautiful patina, the signature BM67 Coffee Table continues to be one of the Danish designer’s finest works.


Nanimarquina’s new collection of rugs will be any designer’s dream. “Formula Contract” offers a choice of five models and boasts 30 colours, creating a unique opportunity to design a bespoke rug for any context. Ranging from a warm, sunny yellow and deep ruby to a toned-down blue and a broad range of stunning neutrals, the collection offers over 250 combinations suitable for indoors and outdoors. Driven by a strong sustainability focus, this highly functional range will be a considerate choice for any contract project – and beyond.


Born out of the idea of interconnectedness, Zanotta’s collection celebrates the deep bond we develop with the surrounding objects. Aptly named “Intimacy”, the range features a selection of functional and timeless objects that are a fitting reinterpretation of domestic and commercial spaces.

PP Møbler

This year’s event was a treat for PP Møbler and Rosanna Orlandi aficionados. Orlandi’s showroom showcased a reimagined Peacock seat and featured a new take on the Flag Halyard chair, a striking embodiment of chic and comfort. The duo also joined forces in creating an exhibition for Milan’s Science and Technology Museum, which saw a broad range of their iconic pieces on display.

Fritz Hansen

Fritz Hansen celebrated Italy’s most prominent design event by showcasing a range of this season’s latest and greatest by inviting the spectators to admire a selection of revamped classics alongside an impressive suite of new designs.

One of the notable novelties was certainly the Clam pendant, designed by Ahm & Lund. This striking opal glass light evokes the subtle and familiar form of a seashell. Driven by innovation, inspired by nature and realised through artistry, Clam mimics the way an oyster hides the pearl as it opens and closes to expose or obscure the source of illumination. A measured combination of symmetry, balance and materiality, the luminaire is a magnificent ode to craftsmanship.

Carl Hansen and Son

This year, Carl Hanses and Son encouraged spectators to get truly comfortable. The showcased collection was suitably called “The Science of Comfort” and comprised a selection of existing and new seating designs. From chairs and armchairs to sofas and pouffes, the brand curated an inviting and comforting range of chairs. One of them was Plico FK10, a wonderfully modest yet eye-catching lounge chair designed by Fabricius Kastholm. A meeting of intuitive functionality and honest style, Pilco elevates the traditional premise of a fold-out chair by incorporating soft upholstery and adjustable backrest, combining ultimate comfort, desired functionality and charming aesthetic.

Celebrating the same qualities in a very different form, the sculptural silhouette of the reinterpreted OW58 T-Chair by Ole Wanscher is as distinct as it was in 1958. The updated design sees the chair slightly higher than the original – ensuring an optimum ergonomic profile for the contemporary design aficionados who have grown taller since the 50s – while maintaining the same light and effortless appearance.


Mater’s circular range certainly made a big splash at this year’s Milan Design Week. Produced with Carlsberg’s discarded beer kegs and upcycled plastic, the “Ocean Collection” was presented alongside Mater’s other sustainable designs in a bid to demonstrate how perceived waste can be transformed into exquisite pieces of furniture. Originally designed in 1955 by the renowned duo, Jørgen & Nanna Ditzel, the modernised collection has been expanded to include a lounge chair, a coffee table and a bench.

Impressed with some of the revamped icons or enchanted with any of the newcomers in the international design space? This wonderful medley of redefined classics and new design pieces is available with Cult Design. All of the 2021 novelties will be arriving in the showrooms in 2022 and are available to order now.

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