13 Luglio 2015 / / Expo Milano Design

Summer usually comes down on Milan as hot and moist weather and the average Milanese city sleeker looks for outdoor venues where to move his/her every-day ritual: the happy hour or as locals say aperitivoLet’s look at some of these outdoor happy hour settings in terms of furnishings and design.

La Terrazza di via Palestro is an elegant restaurant and a trendy happy hour location, situated on the rooftop of the Swiss Cultural Centre.  The terrace overlooks the beautiful and historical gardens of Porta Venezia and is furnished with many green plants recalling the large big area below. The guests can rest on comfortable rattan armchairs and sofas, which might make the Milanese city sleeker feel the sensation of being on a seaside kiosk.

la-terrazza-di-via-palestro
The rooftop bar of Via Palestro

As the sea is too far as well as holidays yet, a rooftop swimming pool might be an acceptable alternative.  Especially if, after a restoring bath, you can enjoy a couple of drinks by the pool. That place is Ceresio 7, a restaurant located on the top of the historical Enel building overlooking the renovated area of Garibaldi and Isola. Some nice cabanas are put up during summer to host guests that can sit on design sunbeds, besides the usual sofas and armchairs. The number of guests is limited, so that no one stands up uncomfortably, but everyone can sit down.

Volo Sun Bed
Volo sunbed

If you are looking for an astonishing view of the must-see Duomo cathedral, you can’t miss two bars: La Terrazza Martini and the rooftop of the Boscolo Hotel. Bearing the name of famous happy-hour Martini drink, whose producer is the owner too, the roof bar is an historical place that allows you have 360 degree look at the city. The interior furnishings belong to some famous Italian brands such as Poltrona Frau; the manufacturer has actually created a custom collection for the bar that is dominated by the red hue.

On the other hand, the Boscolo Hotel is located near La Scala, the famous opera house. On its roof top,  rattan chairs and small sofas accommodate the guests that relax in the shadow of large canopies. The Boscolo hotel has also two restaurants  and some of the furniture has been created by Modà. For example, the Remix chair, whose luxurious style suits the prestigious hotel of Milan. Boscolo Hotel closes this short, albeit stimulating, list of open-air bars where to spend your deserved Milanese happy hour.

 

 

 

 

 

13 Luglio 2015 / / Design

Wings by Libeskind

The Expo, as well as food, design and architecture, is characterized by the opportunity to see, during the visit, many artworks. Here there are the ones not to be missed and where they are situated in the Expo spaces:

1. THE QUADRIGA by FRANCESCO MESSINA near EATALY
Francesco Messina, author of the famous Dying Horse, in front of the RAI headquarters in Rome, created these four sculptures of horses in 1941, that should be exhibited in Eur with other artworks. With the italian defeat in the Second World War, they were never realized.

Ortolano by Arcimboldo

2. Exposition THE TREASURE OF ITALY at EATALY
There are many works on display inside the space dedicated to Eataly, to represent each region of Italy. Among these, of great importance, the Virgin by the ancient italian painter Guido Reni and the Macchina of Santa Rosa, unknown to most, transported and rebuilt in the spaces of Expo, and from 2013, taking part in the Intangible Heritage by Unesco.

3. THE LAST SUPPER by TINTORETTO into the HOLY SEE PAVILION
On display until July 31 took the Vatican pavilion is the large painting of the Last Supper Tintoretto devoted and from the church of San Trovaso.Dal August 1, there will be in place a work of Rubens, all to admire .

Vucciria by Renato Guttuso

4. WINGS by DANIEL LIEBESKIND at PIAZZA ITALIA
In the four sides of the square Italy, the sculptures designed by architect DANIEL LIEBESKIND stand out against the sky. Aluminum propellers become entangled in height to nearly 10 meters and suggest cause their form, the wings of a large bird. Up close, you can appreciate even the multimedia, with sounds and lights.

5. PALAZZO ITALIA
Inside Palazzo Italia, the Italian pavilion, are housed many works of art of all time themed “food”. You can admire the Ortolano by italian painter Arcimboldo or Vucciria by Renato Guttuso but also admire contemporary artworks such as those of Patrick Laroche or Vanessa Beecroft.

Action Art by Modà Collection

Also Modà have some artworks into his collection Mod’Arte; some items are hand-painted with acrylic painting by the artists Marco Minotti and Sabina Gaetani, so unique pieces suitables to decorate luxury interiors.

Mod’Arte by Modà Collection

 

5 Luglio 2015 / / Expo Milano Design

Expo 2015 and the Salone del Mobile attract millions of visitors who in most cases sleep for at least one night in Milan.

The numbers of tickets sold daily are kept secret to avoid any possible speculation by the press but we know that, before the end of May, 2.7 million tickets were distributed. Official fonts say that 20 million visitors are expected which, according to some, it is a pharaonic number but still it will attract a big deal of tourists, curious and professionals.

A view of Milan and the logo Expo 2015
A view of Milan and the logo Expo 2015

May was mainly the month of the local visitors from Milan and Lombardia and from June other countries took over and it still a few months to go, first of all the Chinese and Russian.

Often foreigners incorporate a holiday to the visit to Expo and spend a few days in Italy. Most people stay at least one night in Milan, making Expo 2015 not just about food but it about the city as well and what the city offers.

Accomodation facilities in Milan benefit massively from the event. Many B&B were born and hotels are booked even in the hottest months like July.

Another time the connection between Expo, Milan and design proves to be appropriate because hotels are one of the best windows where design and the work of interior designers and architects are displayed. For instance Modà collection was chosen to furnish the some of the most prestigious hotels and restaurants all over the world. Its pieces are perfect for decorating elegant spaces, lets think about the Moda’s bed Lansbury for instance with a tufted headboard available in measurements or the Moda’s side table Concept 3 in different finishing.

Modà Concept 3 sidetables
Modà Concept 3 sidetables

We are waiting to see the final numbers of the biggest event in Europe this year but we can say, without worrying to go wrong, that Expo was indeed a great opportunity for the city and the entrepeneurs; it is creating a big economical flow, many work places, a creative turmoil, it attracted the attention on good themes like sustainability and it made clear that  Italian quality, on a long term, doesn’t know crises.
A good example of the opportunities arisen are the many locals who decided to rent their houses or rooms in their houses during Expo. Staying and eating with locals is the new trend for some of the visitors who sleep for at least one night in Milan during Expo 2015.

Moda's Lansbury bed available in different versions
Moda’s Lansbury bed available in different versions
1 Luglio 2015 / / Design

One of the most important lessons that Expo 2015 aims to teach us is that there are enough resources for everyone if they are distributed better.

In 2015 it is imperative to understand that less is more, that if we, industrial countries, don’t waste, there is enough food to feed the planet, that the scarceness of resources in some countries is generally the result of a bad management of the resources in the capitalist countries. Less waste means more food and water for everyone.

Inside the Swiss Pavillion at Expo Milan
Inside of the Swiss pavilions Expo 2015

The same concept applies to energy and the environment; less cars means more clean air; more vegetable gardens in the city mean less fuel spent on delivering vegetables and fruit to the cities; less energy spent on fridges to keep vegetables and fruit fresh during the delivery means a reduced carbon footprint.

In other words, less waste means a better quality of life.

The Swiss pavilions give one of the best lessons at Expo Milano 2015.

Switzerland built four pavilions –nothing too fancy, the focus is not on the architectural wow- each pavilion contains a certain amount of typical Swiss food: salt cubes, dried apple slices, coffee and water.

Each visitor is allowed to take as many samples as they want but the towers are not going to be refilled, the food and water supply should last until the end of Expo.

You can check online how much of each product is left.

Each swiss pavilion contains a certain amount of typical Swiss food: salt cubes, dried apple slices, coffee and water.
Each swiss pavilion contains a certain amount of typical Swiss food: salt cubes, dried apple slices, coffee and water.

The message is clear, the resources are not endless and if you learn to take and consume only what you need, there is enough for everyone.

Modà has just opened a concept shop in Lugano, Switzerland, proposing quality pieces like the Seed table with a choice of tops or the versatile Armonia bookshelves and console, outstanding Italian products that last for ever and are always contemporary. Choosing the Modà designs for your spaces allows you to follow the principle of less is more, because its collection is an investment in life and a distinctive sign of timeless class.

Modà concept shop in Lugano, Switzerland.
Modà concept shop in Lugano, Switzerland.
26 Giugno 2015 / / Design

Modà Vegetable Garden

The urban vegetable gardens can give an important contribution in feeding the city and, at the same time, to educate, improve health and preserve local biodiversity. Plus, they subtract green areas to illegal construction and speculation, reducing pollution and redeveloping inner cities. In fact, more and more cities accommodate agricultural areas, the lands recovered degradation are able to produce quality products because worked carefully.

Modà Vegetable Garden

In fact, inside the city, the cultivated areas are properly irrigated , fertilized in a sustainable manner through composting and cultivated according to the time cycles of the plantations, increasing the market at 0 km of local products. On the contrary, in the countryside, traditional agriculture is replaced by monoculture, with the weakening of soil fertility and the reduction of biodiversity.
Present studies encouraging data emerge about: the urban horticulture is spreading and continues to increase, in fact urban areas cultivated represent 5.9 percent of the agricultural fields around the world.

Modà Vegetable Garden

The urban vegetable garden has several positive effects; in developed countries the ground care reduces pollution, improves food and environmental education; in the countries in developing, urban cultivated areas becomes a resource, promotes the integration of the weakest sectors, gives back the land to the citizens and becomes a form of sustenance .

Modà Vegetable Garden

An italian example, is the brand Modà Collection, always attentive to creative recycling and eco-friendly products; he has created, in his showroom in Meda, a green space dedicated to a design vegetable garden, sustainable and innovative; this could be a starting point to give a new face to the city.
Here the garden plants, to demonstrate that the protection of the soil is possible, were planted in very original containers, the bodies of armchairs and chairs from Modà Collection.

22 Giugno 2015 / / Expo Milano Design

Some advice on how to take on Expo 2015 could be useful considering that visiting the 1,1 million square metres of the Expo Milano 2015 can be physically exhausting, especially now that temperatures are rising and summer is here.

Unfortunately you can’t carry around with you some of the most comfortable and successful designs from the Modà collection like the De Havilland sofà or the Page Low armchair and use them to rest on when needed, so it is best you go prepared.

First of all, apart from looking around the main areas, your day will consist of walking and eating, so make yourself sure that you wear some comfortable clothing. Tight trousers and high heels could make your experience hell when your belly will be full of delicious, sustainable food and having walked miles in order to visit at least some of the 80 pavilions.

Napping at Expo (photo by Photogramma through Repubblica.it)
Napping at Expo (photo by Photogramma through Repubblica.it)

From another point of view, Expo Milano 2015 is the event of the year and the presence of photographers and TV operators is a constant so you might want to try to strike a blend between presentable but practical, you never know you might end up being photographed. I guess that the people in the pictures below and above were not really happy when they found out that their sleeping photographs are circulating on the web (yes, I know I am not helping it either).

When you go at the Salone del Mobile, try not to carry too much weight, also don’t forget your sunglasses and your camera or smart-phone and eventually your business card. Expo 2015 is an inspirational place and often a good occasion to socialize.

Of course you don’t have to worry about packing food or drinks, at Expo there are plenty of different places where you can eat, suited to every pocket and palate. The web is full of articles, blogs and websites with advice, descriptions and reviews of the different restaurants.

Last but not least, some advice that is a bit more personal, it is something I always do, which is carrying a notepad where I can write down names, ideas or sketch something that catches your eye. It doesn’t take much space, it is not heavy but it encourages you to keep a little diary of the event.

Napping at Expo (photo by Photogramma through Repubblica.it)
Napping at Expo (photo by Photogramma through Repubblica.it)

So, to recap, considering that it is a bit impractical to carry one of the numerous comfortable Modà seats around with you, when visiting the Expo go for a stylish comfortable outfit, flat shoes, light bag, sunglasses and camera. If tiredness still overcomes you, you can also copy one of the visitors pictured above and find a quiet, semi-comfortable spot to take a nap, hoping that a photographer won’t walk by.

De Havilland sofa by Modà
De Havilland sofa by Modà
19 Giugno 2015 / / Design

Israel

“Feeding the planet” is the theme of Expo 2015 in Milan, an issue that involves than agriculture, sustainability and land consumption.
A good solution to produce agricultural products in cities and reuse areas is the urban garden, with the conversion of areas of the city to be dedicated to the cultivation of fruit and vegetables and the reuse and recycling of discarded objects.
For example, in the Design Vegetable Garden, realized by Modà in his showroom in Meda in the occasion of Expo 2015, the bodies of chairs, armchairs and sofas have been reused to cultivate herbs and edible plants.

But the amount of soil remains limited; to obviate this problem, a good solution could be the creation of so-called “vertical farm” or “vertical vegetal garden”, that growing vertically on walls “green”, require less space than a traditional cultivation and at the same time safeguard the consumption of the earth.
This concept of vertical applied to agriculture was developed in the design and construction of several pavilions of the Exhibition, namely from the United States, Israle and Monaco and in the space of Coop.

For example, on the walls of the Pavilion of Israel,  a vertical garden develops, composed of a wall of 70 meters long and 12 high, entirely decorated with live plants, whose flowers and colors will change during Expo 2015, in contrast with the diffuse image the country as a land barren.

The Monaco’s Pavilion, which covers a total area of ​​1,010 square meters, is a project by Italian architect Enrico Pollini; mades of container, has a wooden roof type tent which contains a compound of sphagnum, a light, permeable peat moss that allows the vertical cultivation in gardens with Mediterranean crops.

 Monaco

Even the USA Pavilion has been designed with a vertical farm; here a vertical vegetable garden Provides a daily harvest. The vertical farm is organized on the grid system, as historical American farming. The cultivated walls suggest also that small farmers might achieve new efficiencies opinions more by growing crops on a vertical plane. Many of these sustainable agriculture strategies take into account the importance of geography and local conditions.

 USA

Also Coop, with an ENEA project, participates with an innovative vertical garden on the facades of the buildings Coop & Go: two glass walls 4 meters high and a hydroponics on multiple levels during the Expo, that will produce different crops.

16 Giugno 2015 / / Expo Milano Design

At Expo 2015 you can find a melting pot of cultures from all over the world, but to get a real taste of Italy’s food tradition there’s a few restaurants and coffee bars that you can’t miss.

When you arrive at the fair, in front of Pavilion Zero, you’ll find the stand of the world famous chef Davide Oldani.
The goal of the Chef Ambassador of Expo is to make the world know Milan’s taste through its symbolic food: saffron risotto.

Oldani restaurant

Though not a restaurant but an outdoor stand, Oldani’s is the right place to relax while eating Milan’s finest specialties. All around the stand, you’ll find comfortable and modern Masters chairs and TopTop square tables where to stop and sit down to enjoy your risotto.

If instead you want to have a taste of all Italian regions, Eataly regional restaurants are the right place for you; the pavilion “Italy is Eataly” has in fact been designed to show Italy’s biodiversity to visitors from all over the world.
In it you can find 20 restaurants that change every month and represent almost all the Italian regions; they give the possibility to experience Italy’s wine and food biodiversity offering the traditional local dishes of every territory.

eataly expo

All the food points are organized as self-services and there’s also a beverages stand where you can find a selection of high quality wines and beers.
Placed halfway through the Decumano, it is the perfect place where to stop, pick up the food you’re more curious to taste, place the dishes on TopTop tables and sit on Victoria Ghost chairs to enjoy your meal.

 

15 Giugno 2015 / / Expo Milano Design

Children are the future, Expo 2015 knows it but also the design market, the food industry, Milano and the creative minds of Modà knows it.

More and more activities, courses, TV programs, furniture design are dedicated to kids, the next consumers but above all the next influencers and thinkers.

Inside the massive area dedicated to Expo there is a children’s park, an area where kids can play educational games, learn something about feeding the planet, have fun or simply relax.

Children's Park at Expo 2015
Children’s Park at Expo 2015

At the Rotonda della Besana in Milan for 6 months special workshops, performances, game- exhibitions, exhibits and installations are organized for kids. This project is called Children Share and was selected above many other ideas.
During the past Salone del Mobile in April, the Science and Technology Museum in Milan hosted a Kids Design Week displaying the most innovative products for under 18’s.
Teaching kids to be respectful, to avoid waste and to appreciate beauty is more important than ever. That is why I think it is better to invest in a few beautiful and solid pieces, so that they can learn that quality is forever than showering them with many useless presents or pieces of furniture that last a season.

The Pisolo chair from Modà Collection for instance is not just funky but a timeless design too, it is always perfect to rock your baby when they wake up at night without having to walk lengths. I love the yellow version, it injects some colour into a space.
The Prince armchair comes in two sizes, for adults and for kids. Such a contemporary and baroque design for a kid is so much fun! Also having a comfortable armchair in a child’s bedroom invites them to sit and read, to stop and ponder.

Moda’s bookshelves Armonia, in its small version, are perfect to store all the kids books and encourage them to keep tidy. When the kids grow up, you can easily use it in another room, being a statement piece wherever you put it.

Pisolo wooden rocking chair by Modà
Pisolo wooden rocking chair by Modà
Prince armchair by Modàalso for kids
Prince armchair by Modàalso for kids

In brief, kids are the next adults and so apart from loving and having fun with them, we also need to teach them to be decent people, people who care and love. In order to do this we need to feed their curiosity, teach them to recognize beauty, teach them to avoid waste and to go for quality if quality means forever.

Expo 2015 Milan and the Modà collection, in different ways, have this in mind, that kids are our future.

Armonia bookshelves by Modà
Armonia bookshelves by Modà
12 Giugno 2015 / / Design

Mexican Pavilion

The Mexican Pavilion for Expo 2015, during the World Environment Day, was awarded the prize “Towards a Sustainable Expo“.

The outer building envelope of the pavilion, designed by Francisco López Guerra Almada Jorge Vallejo and by the biologist Juan Guzzy, consists of a triple skin that uses solar radiation with ecological materials. The theme on which the design team has been focused is the recyclability of materials and ease of assembly and disassembly, which allowed the South American Pavilion to win in the category “Design and Materials of the pavilions“.

Mexican Pavilion

The concept that guided the design of the exhibition is the form of a corn on the cob, one of traditional food of the Mexican culinary tradition, declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. It’s important to remember that Mexico has played a key role in the spread of maize in the world.

Mexican Pavilion

Inside the pavilion, spiral ramps wind up, flanked by a watercourse; finally there is a garden, shaded by a magnolia tree, typical of the Mexican climate zone.
At the end of Expo, the only items that will be demolished are the walking surfaces; everything else is completely recyclable. All the structures are secured with joints and screws, without welds, to achieve an itinerant pavilion for the future.