Salone 2013: Ventura Lambrate

If you were to choose – be it for the lack of time, be it for the lack interest – only a couple of things to see at Salone del mobile, one of those should be Ventura Lambrate. A particularly ‘independent’ design district in the corporate-owned design fair, this cluster of internationally acclaimed creatives, young talents and small creative brands is the place to be.

This year Ventura Lambrate sees the return of some of its already established appointments, like the one with Cos, once again presenting their pop-up shop this year designed by Bonsoir Paris. On the other hand, some other well-established companies have sensed the appeal and particular reputation of Ventura Lambrate, moving their stands away from the centre of Milan, like Established & Sons whose polished and eclectic furniture creates a quite strong contrast with the surrounding shows. Another (fashion) design giant has turned to Ventura Lambrate: we are speaking of Diesel, who has also created a special restaurant in the zone in collaboration with Amaro, named The Diesel Social Cafè Club.

While the popularity of the zone is attracting established design companies and thus, potentially, putting in question its role as hub of young and independent design talents, the presence of some of the most interesting European design schools surely brings it back on the ‘research’ track. You can see the works of Royal College of Art graduates that range from contemporary furniture, to interactive installations, to more narrative-based pieces, “all aiming to challenge the perception of design and provoke a change that would fundamentally shape our future world”. On the other hand, the provocative young designers of Design Academy in Eindhoven have concentrated on the process of designing, explored with the exhibition “Linking Process” whose goal is to reveal the beauty of creation putting on display the “phases of concept development, trial and error, sketching, building and rebuilding, and the new discoveries” that result from that processes.

Hopefully the sudden appeal of Ventura Lambrate won’t spoil its denomination as place of research, investigation, critical approach and speculation which the overcrowded corporate design world so much needs.

Rujana Rebernjak