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Curating a Milanese experience: Passeggiata


Italian creative Martina Mondadori, together with Airbnb, presented a new kind of experience at this year’s Milan design week, claiming that the Salone del Mobile has increasingly become more international.


Titled Passeggiata, the interactive installation brought together a selection of objets and curiosities all carefully displayed in a private home, built in the 15th century. Casa degli Atellani, which was once the residence of Leonardo da Vinci when he painted The Last Supper, is an opulent vessel to showcase the history of Milan. Passeggiata translates to English as ‘to leisurely stroll’, with a particular focus on the social aspect of walking – a fitting title for the exhibition that encourages strolling both through the private residence and out on bespoke excursions.


Casa degli Atellani is a 15th century-designed home in Milan.

Alongside the exhibitions within the home, tours were also conducted to show people a selection of undiscovered gems across Milan. From a visit to a dried fruit store through to meetings with jewellery historians and a viewing of The Last Supper, the excursions aimed to highlight a different side to the city.

The curation of objects and art pieces in the Casa degli Atellani was by far the highlight. Mondadori pulled together an international mix of artists and designers to showcase process, inspiration and output.

Dimore Studio filled several cabinets with a hoarded collection of things, alongside a long list of people who inspired them and their work.


A list of the people who have inspired Dimore Studio. Cabinets situated at the entrance to Casa degli Atellani were also filled with objects of inspiration.

Up a stately, winding wooden staircase, Dutch-based designers Formafantasma covered a table in objects and curiosities – books, prototypes, founded ephemera – all the remnants and knick knacks that have driven the studio’s work.


An experimental clay prototype by Formafantasma.

The work of emerging designers was also showcased within the stately home. Nestled on bookshelves and perched on every window ledge sat experimental ceramics and colourful glass vases. These design objects having been made by a selection of talent from across the globe – from South Korea to Hungary. It was the blending of old and new, traditional with experimental, making for a true feast for the eyes.


Handmade vases by Simon Zsolt Jozsef made using a shiyo cast technique.

As an international design fair, there’s no doubt that over time the Milanese identity would start to fade as outside influences filter in. But by opening up beautiful residences and showing people a new and never-seen-before side to the city, visitors could experience a taste of Milan firsthand with the Passeggiata exhibition.


Colourful and textured vessels made by Korean designer Arhyun Lee are displayed within an old bookcase.

List of emerging and established designers included in Passeggiata:

Emerging designers

Arhyun Lee, Korea – a group of handmade textured and colourful porcelain bottles.

Dominic McHenry, UK – a selection of small oak sculptures and maquettes showcasing geometric and repeating patterns.

Elinor Portnoy, Israel – decorative glass pieces inspired by the natural formations of gems and precious stones.

Halima Cassell, Pakistan – a group of bronze and ceramic handcrafted sculptures.

Heike Brachlow, Germany – a group of colourful cast glass sculptures, constructed from several elements.

Hitomo Hosono, Japan – a selection of moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain.

Ines Suarez de Puga, Mexico – earthenware tiles with stained coloured inlays, topped with a transparent glaze, reminiscent of Venetian terrazzo.

Jim Shepherd, UK – a series of pieces exploring material and pattern through the use of repetition, colour and finish, all handmade in wood.

Marcantonio Brandolini D’Adda, Italy – a pair of dark green and black lamps, made entirely from Murano glass using the Palegoso technique.

Michael Eden, UK – a group of sculptures made by additive layer manufacturing from a high-quality nylon material with a soft mineral coating.

Pia Wüstenberg, Germany – glass stacking vessels in different shades of red incorporating copper and brass.

Simon Zsolt Jozsef, Hungary – handmade vases emulating natural and organic forms made using a cast technique.


Sculptures by Michael Eden (UK), made out of a nylon material by additive layering.


Ashley Hicks, UK – A group of Ashley Hicks’ mini totems in painted epoxy clay with forms inspired by gemstones, coral, rocks and fruit. These were hand sculpted by Ashley and exclusively made for this exhibition inspired by the colours of this room.

Dimore Studio, Italy based – A showcase of the memorabilia that symbolises the work and personal journey of Dimore Studio. There is a mixture of art, design, fashion, film and music. These are all elements that have contributed to their development and have enriched their cultural and aesthetic repertoire.

Faye Toogood, UK – A selection of British rocks from Faye Toogood’s personal collection. The rocks shown have been collected throughout Faye’s life and are also part of her large material library which she constantly references for much of her works.


Colourful handmade epoxy totems by Ashley Hicks sit above the fireplace in the main drawing room.

Felicity Aylieff, UK – A group of thrown and hand-glazed porcelain, hand painted and made by the artist in Jingdezhen China.

Formafantasma, Netherlands – A selection of mock-ups, collected objects and material samples and literature that surround and inspire Formafantasma in their studio. A true group of curiosities, these objects include volcanic rocks and sand as well as glass and marble fragments.


Hand moulded and carved porcelain vases by Japanese artist Hitomo Hosono sit atop a baroque table.

Matteo Thun, Italy – A recreation of Matteo Thun & partners via Appriani studio. Showcasing never before seen watercolours and drawings by Matteo.

Roberto Bacciocchi, Italy – Architect Roberto Bacciocchi’s private collection of Italian brooches dating from 1700 to 1900. This enchanting collection represents the enormous variety, creativity and personality of Italian craftsmanship.

Rodman Primack – A snapshot of a collection, a journey across Rodman Primack’s private stockpile of vintage textiles collected from every corner of the world. The patterns that inspire every aspect of rodman’s world are visible in these handcrafted works – embroidered, woven and dyed treasures from the 19th century through today.

Sam Baron, UK – Sam baron’s fantastic collection of utensils accumulated over time from his travels around the world. All of them are related to cooling and serving rituals and compose a rich journey blending a variety of materials with porcelain techniques highlighting his design attention to details.

Wieki Somers, Netherlands – Dylan van den Berg and Wieki Somers bring their studio to Casas degli Attellani, exhibiting personal objects collected throughout their careers. A selection of plastic bottles, maquettes and prototypes alongside beautiful images of Elspeth Diederix who interpreted the research themes of the studio.


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