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Milan Design Week Highlights Part Two | In Association with Cult


Continuing on from Part One of this two-part series, I have another great round-up from Milan Design Week today. With a strong focus on the Danish heritage and newer Nordic brands, these are brought to you in association with Cult.


HAY, Sonos and WeWork joined forces to present a shared vision for the future of design, collaboration and living spaces. The incredible series of installations were set against a vast and opulent backdrop, located in the heart of Milan at the historical Palazzo Clerici. 

BERNARD chair by Shane Schneck 

Offering design for everyday living and working environments, the installations were created to celebrate the past while evolving for the future. An eye-catching fusion between old and new, visitors were offered the opportunity to explore the many spaces, socialise, shop and attend topical discussions.

HAY launched multiple new products from Shane Schneck, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Stefan Diez, GamFratesi and many more, ranging from furniture to textiles as well as accessories and lighting. The new BERNARD chair by Shane Schneck immediately caught my eye with its juxtaposition of a solid oak frame with a visually light cover. Aesthetically the two components work beautifully together, while resulting in a comfortable and durable chair with a distinctive design language. The frame is crafted in solid oak with different finishes, and the cover will be available in leather or industrial strength canvas.

CAN SOFA by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

ÉLÉMENTAIRE CHAIR by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

Designed for everyday life, the ÉLÉMENTAIRE CHAIR by the Bouroullecs strikes a balance between beauty and strength. A mélange of years of work and experience, Elementaire uses the latest technology to create a chair that is robust enough to be a long-lasting object while still appearing delicate. Precise proportions and a clear profile give Elementaire a charm that allows it to stand out on its own or look strong in a group. The jaw-dropping installation which featured a backdrop made with glass from Glas Italia was described by Cult as " truly mesmerising". 

An edited collection of products selected by Mette Hay were on sale at the gorgeous exhibition pop-up shop allowing visitors the opportunity to purchase newly launched HAY Accessories and HAY Kitchen Market products.

HAY Kitchen 

REBAR is a beautiful new series of coffee, side and tray tables by Brussels-based design studio Sylvain Willenz. Exploring the possibilities of re-contextualising construction materials and processes, the design juxtaposes the reinforced steel bar frame with black marble tops and metal trays to create a balanced aesthetic. Available in three different sizes in round and rectangular shapes, the tables are suitable for using in private, corporate or public spaces.

REBAR collection by Sylvain Willenz

PC DOUBLE ARM by Pierre Charpin, now available in a floor standing version

HAY and SONOS have combined their expertise to create a collection of limited-edition speakers, designed to fit within different home environments. Available in a range of colours, the HAY Sonos One Speakers were exhibited throughout the space, complemented by other Sonos products to provide a whole home sound system for the duration of the event.

DAPPER lounge chair by Doshi Levien

All HAY news will be available later in 2018 from Cult showrooms and the HAY store in Sydney’s Surry Hills.


After being introduced to the exquisite Danish brand Karakter at the Cult 20th Anniversary celebrations earlier this year I was excited to see coverage of their Milan installation. Taking part in The Litta Variations; a collaborative installation at the historical Palazzo Litta in the heart of Milan, Karakter was one of more than 25 brands exhibiting in different pockets of the palatial building. Now in its fourth year, the contemporary design event is curated by DAMN Magazine and Mosca Partners

Karakter’s exhibition, titled Another Nordic – Between Art & Design, highlighted the extraordinary personalities behind its handpicked selection of furniture, lighting, design objects and gallery pieces – from Paul McCobb, Bodil Kjær, Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, to Joe Colombo, Angelo Mangiarotti, Aldo Bakker and PlueerSmitt

Office Desk by Bodil Kjær (1959), one of the novelties by Karakter for 2018 presented alongside the Chair 300 by Joe Colombo (1965) and Aida lamp by Angelo Mangiarotti (1988)

The Pearl collection by Nick Ross 

There was a focus on famed architect and designer Bodil Kjaer, with the reintroduction of her iconic Office Desk, along with the Cross Plexi coffee table. Designed in 1959, the desk was the first of its kind with its pure and simplistic design, appearing to almost float in mid-air. It has been called ‘The most beautiful desk in the world’ – or, the ‘James Bond desk’ as it was featured prominently in three early Bond movies. Cult were lucky enough to have Bodil (now 86 years old) personally present the piece to them at the exhibition.

The new Pearl Collection by Nick Ross is a glass light series that references modernist Danish lighting archetypes but with a softer, more feminine appearance. The layered, mouth-blown glass creates a soft lighting effect as light passes through the outer glass dome, a reference to the effect created when light passes through water.

The Desk Series Console & Organiser paired with the Bronco Stool by Guillaume Deligne

Karakter also reissues designs by Paul McCobb including his slim-lined Desk Series (1952) and Steel Leg Series (1957). Scandinavian craftsmanship and functionalism at its core, the foundation of the Desk Series is a beautifully simplistic console table with two small drawers. A drop lid and two-door organiser can be added for more storage and personality.

Against the decorative Baroque backdrop of Palazzo Litta, these new releases were shown amongst the existing Karakter collection of sculptural design, such as the Lari lamp by Angelo Mangiarotti and Rampa by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni

Lari lamp by Angelo Mangiarotti

All novelties will be available from Cult showrooms later in 2018.


Saving one of the best for last, for this year’s Milan Design Week, Carl Hansen & Søn presented The Milan Retreat. A thoughtfully curated apartment with six rooms, the beautiful spaces were designed to explore the way we relax and recharge. Featuring a calming palette and gorgeous styling by Despina Curtis, the exhibition introduced the brand's very first outdoor collection, along with reissued designs by Hans J. Wegner, Kaare Klint and Borge Morgensen, and a new stool series by Brad Ascalon.

CH71 lounge chair and CH72 sofa by Hans J. Wegner

The PK1 chair by Poul Kjaerholm, which was reissued in 2017, is now available in wicker

The reissued writing desk by Arne Jacobsen 

Revisiting the classics, Carl Hansen & Søn has reintroduced the KK41180 and KK41181 sofas by Kaare Klint, which were first designed in 1930 for the office of Danish Prime Minister Thorvald Stauning. They also exhibited a unique writing desk by Arne Jacobsen which was designed in 1952 as a gift for the American-Scandinavian Foundation in New York. It features beautifully tailored detailing and elegantly unites Bauhaus, functionalism and industrial aesthetics. Finally, the CH71 lounge chair and CH72 sofa by Hans J. Wegner are also reissued, and the PK1 chair, which was reissued in 2017, is now available in wicker.

Throughout her diverse career, Bodil Kjær has worked to create harmony between design and architecture – an ambition that, in 1959, resulted in an elegant outdoor furniture series characterised by such high functional and aesthetic qualities, that it was also suitable for indoor use. Almost six decades after the initial launch of Indoor-Outdoor, Carl Hansen & Son is adding this architectural furniture series to its collection of design classics. Forming its first collection for the outdoors, here's a peek at what's on offer. 

All Carl Hansen & Søn novelties will be available from Cult Showrooms in Australia and New Zealand later in 2018.

Wrapping up this series with a big thank you to Cult for providing such an incredible pool of inspiration, I hope you've enjoyed my selection of highlights! 

Images courtesy of Cult

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