After three years of postponements, cancellations, and abridged and delayed editions, Milan Design Week returned to its usual April interval, bringing with it a sorely missed concentration of creative energy and inspiring design. Read on to learn about four of our favorite installations by leading female architects and designers.
Annabel Karim Kassar | Cabinet de Curiosités
As part of the annual INTERNI Design Re-Evolution exhibition at Università degli Studi di Milano Statale, French–Lebanese architect Annabel Karim Kassar presented Cabinet de Curiosités, an interactive installation constructed of plywood, honeycomb acrylic panels, and undulated polycarbonate sheets. Inspired by the pre-museum Wunderkammer, or cabinets of curiosities, collected by 16th- and 17th-century aristocrats for display, the multilevel design consists of a series of stairways and viewing platforms, revealing maps, decorative engravings, and hidden objects at every turn.
Joana Vasconcelos | BomBom Outdoor
To celebrate her new collection for French luxury furnishings retailer Roche Bobois, Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos designed a vibrant, suspended art piece, or “Valkyrie,” that snaked nearly 150 feet through the brand’s flagship showroom in Milan’s Durini Design District.
The intricately woven work incorporated many of the same pastels found in Vasconcelos’s new BomBom Outdoor collection. Inspired by colorful homes in Lisbon’s Old Town, the collection includes organically shaped sofas, rugs, and cushions for outdoor use.
Suchi Reddy | Shaped by Air
New York City–based architect and artist Suchi Reddy expanded her impressive exhibition design portfolio with Shaped by Air, an experiential collaboration with Lexus on view at Superstudio in Milan’s Tortona neighborhood. This reimagined iteration (the original was presented during Miami Art Week in December) obscures a scale interpretation of the Lexus Electrified Sport concept vehicle with suspended, leaflike shapes made from postconsumer material. Dappled lighting and a custom soundscape were used to evoke harmony with nature as a symbol for the brand’s commitment to carbon-neutrality and craftsmanship.
Sabine Marcelis | SolidNature
After a popular showing at Alcova in 2022, the collaboration between a Dutch trio of designer Sabine Marcelis, architecture firm OMA, and natural stone supplier SolidNature returned for a stand-alone presentation in the basement and gardens of neo-Romanesque Casa Maveri. Marcelis’s contribution was a dining table composed of six different types of SolidNature travertine topped with a plane of her signature treated glass that spanned over 20 feet. Folding in another female creative, Marcelis partnered with food artist Laila Gohar to activate the tabletop with an eye-grabbing display of local foods for cocktail snacking at the onset of the busy week.