Walking through the streets of Milan is the biggest thrill of the Salone del Mobile. Offsite exhibitions and events are scattered throughout the city, from the Duomo to Brera to the Canal District to neighborhoods poised to become the next design destination.
Highlights included a stunning exhibition by Japanese design studio Nendo, led by Oki Sato. Covering two floors of the Museo della Permanente, works on display comprised spectacular glass pieces for Glas Italia throughout the entire first floor, and more eclectic designs for a number of manufacturers, including a bag for architects for Tod's, upstairs.
The prestigious Nilafur Gallery, which sells rare vintage rugs and furniture by the likes of mid-century Italian architects such as Gio Ponti, Franco Albini, and Isola & Gabbetti, alongside contemporary lighting by Michael Anastassiades and American Lindsey Adelman, acquired a new warehouse, Nilafur Depot, located outside the city center. CLS Architetti, led by Massimiliano Locatelli, opened up its unique office space to the public during the Salone. Located inside the deconsecrated Church of San Paolo Converso, the office features a three-story black steel insertion within the soaring space, leaving the partners on the third level to work within feet of 16th-century ceiling frescoes.
One of the most interactive exhibits—and perhaps the most fun—was Caesarstone's "Movements," inside the 17th-century Palazzo Serbelloni. There, London-based designer Philippe Malouin built a large swing set featuring Caesarstone's latest collection of surface materials on the floors and seats of the swings to be enjoyed by the visiting throngs.