Learning from the Best: Design Students Explore Milan
If you’re dreaming of becoming a designer, Milan is the place to be.
As first-year students from BA(Hons) Sustainable Product Design and BA(Hons) Interior Design recently discovered on a trip there, Milan is full of fascinating design leaders. It is also host to The International Salone del Mobile 2019, an immense annual celebration of design. The students attended the show, meeting some of the world’s hottest designers.
Originally a furniture show, The International Salone del Mobile is now a huge city-wide festival of international design. It includes exhibitions, installations and parties in venues ranging from abandoned industrial sites and underground warehouses to historic palazzos.
The trip was led by course tutors Amanda Losasso and Fay Freeman, who said: “It was a voyage of exploration of this gritty, industrial city to uncover its design treasures.”
“The goal,” they told us, “was to gain an insight into the ‘business’ of interior design, its specification networks and professionalism, and also tap into the creative outpourings of internationally renowned designers and architects, along with furniture, lighting, fashion and technology brands.”
Natasha Marler, BA(Hons) Interior Design student, said: “The trip was such a great experience. We saw a beautiful city, which is a design hub in Europe, giving us the chance to explore beyond what we may be used to seeing. It also gave us a chance to get to know our classmates more, which also made the experience a fun one.”
Throughout the trip, the students attended talks by high-profile designers such as Emanuela Plebani, who converted a unique eighteenth-century farmhouse into a meeting place promoting social interaction and sustainable living, and Michele De Lucchi, an internationally renowned architect and designer.
Natasha told us: “My favourite visit was Michele De Lucchi’s design studio. It was an interior/architecture practice, so I really got a raw view of what it is like to be an interior designer in the industry and what is expected of you.”
Amanda Losasso added: “We were lucky to be given a tour by Michele’s son Pico di Lucchi, who talked movingly about his father’s philosophy of craftmanship, the connection of the hand to the model and the material. The students were inspired by the forward-looking projects and sustainable agenda the studio espoused, as well as captivated by the calm and productive atmosphere of the design studios.”
Part of the tour and talk included a model making workshop, which was a highlight for Natasha: “Model making is my favourite aspect of my course and it was so amazing to be able to see how professional ones are created to sell a concept and bring it to life.”
Natasha added: “This trip helped with my understanding of the industry; it showed me how important it is to make connections with professionals and how not only is it important to stay on trend, but to also focus on what will last as a design which people can enjoy. I was very inspired to create something; my mind was filled with these amazing artistic things!”