Milan Design Week: Furniture, farfalle and the Face-O-Mat

A few weeks ago, the HTC team headed out to Salone del Mobile – otherwise known as Milan Design Week – to take a group of media on a tour that would give them exclusive behind-the-scenes design insights to help bring to life the new HTC One and its stunning aluminium design, and celebrate the launch of the new Wallpaper* HTC Global Design Tours Android application.

With a group of journalists drawn from the UK to the UAE and everywhere in between, representing titles such as VICE magazine and Elle Deco, the tour took place over two of Milan’s busiest days of the year, where thousands of the global design community descend upon the city to show off their latest creations. At each stop of our tour we were met by personalities who gave the group a unique insight into their work, giving the group an exclusive experience beyond just visiting the highlights.

The tour took in some Milan must-sees, such as the Spazio Rossana Orlandi – a gallery in a converted tie factory where Rosanna Orlandi, the grande dame of Milan design, brings together work from the up-and-coming designers she scouts from all over the world. We were met by Ms Orlandi herself, who brought along Maurizio Cattelan – an enfant terrible of the art world, famed for once having stolen the entire contents of a neighbouring artist’s gallery and passing it off as his own exhibition…thankfully no such hijinks this time around. We also had portraits done in the ‘Face-o-Mat’ – think photo booth, but instead of a camera, a Swedish guy painting an abstract likeness.

Over the course of the tour, we also saw ‘Milan’s ugliest building’ (the Torre Velasca – you be the judge), art deco splendour at the Villa Necchi Campiglio, the latest designs at the Wallpaper* Handmade exhibition and got a private tour of the MOST exhibition from the legendary Tom Dixon, learning how to inflate steel with bicycle pumps (!) along the way. With several amazing meals added to our waistlines, the tour was rounded off with a few Negronis at Bar Basso – a bar that goes from quiet local to crazy hub during Design Week, when hundreds of culturati line the pavements outside until the early hours.

The new Wallpaper* HTC Global Design Tours is a free Android app that gives users a completely new way to explore the design culture of some of the world’s most important design cities. Starting with Milan, the app gives recommendations on must-see design locations, curated by Wallpaper*’s contributors and editors, along with a suggested music track. You can download the app here [link] if you’re ever heading to Milan, New York or Hong Kong.

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