Our offices definitely don’t look like this, but we wish they did.
Photographer: Andrea Delfino
Whether you long for a window desk, are pining for more greenery or just want a comfortable chair, dreaming about a would-be office space is a common pastime for workers across the world. So what would you do if eight of the best interior designers decided to overhaul your office, Milan Design Week-style? Celebrate, we’d imagine. For members of Vogue Italia’s staff, the dream came true this week as part of Salone del Mobile 2018, when editor-in-chief Emanuele Farneti enlisted the help of experts to overhaul the publication’s Milan headquarters.
Designers Mario Bellini, Michael Bargo, Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, Sabine Marcelis, Faye Toogood, Patricia Urquiola, Muller Van Severen and Quinconces-Dragò took part in the challenge, which is now open to the public.
“Even though the idea of making life at the office more similar to life at home has been tossed around for many years now, nobody has ever gone so far as to present the office as the object of an authentic interior design intervention,” Farneti said of the project.
Named ‘Life in Vogue’, the project saw editorial staff rooms transformed into the stuff of design dreams—think brand new furniture, overhauled lighting and themed spaces. Designer Faye Toogood took charge of the heart of the office, the editor-in-chief’s office. Equipped with furniture from her own Roly-Poly collection, Toogood utilised wallpaper to make a statement, all with a decidedly rounded aesthetic and offset in bright, natural colourways—perfect for the impending Milanese summer.
Flemish designers Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen were allocated the ‘ VogueTalents’ office space, transforming it into a collaborative, user-friendly room meant for creative thought. Removing clutter, the duo created a collage-inspired room “connected like in a 3D painting.” Including a three-function workspace (designed to work, read or store) and their Wire s#9 piece that doubles as library and nap area, the designers managed to wrangle the creativity of Vogue with the functionality of a creative space.
For the creative director’s office, Rotterdam-based designer Sabine Marcelis was tasked with the job of overhauling and refitting the room that brings the magazine to life. Using the concept of old and new trends, Marcelis chose to install a Vogue curtain to divide the room: a visual representation of before and after.
For Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel, the task to reimagine the graphic artist’s office was a no brainer. Working closely with corporate clients for some years, the design duo had their sights set on the future of the workplace—drawing, of course, from the history of a brand like Vogue. “We wanted our proposal to illustrate the relationship between the aesthetics of fashion and the structure of design— like a single frame, only viewed from different angles,” they said of the finished project, describing the room as “comfortable, pleasant and inspiring.”
Designing two spaces was Patricia Urquiola, who transformed the current affairs’ editor’s offices. The world-renowned designer, who is best known for her collaborative approach to design and art, took colour and material to the next level, introducing two linked rooms with a focus on bold, statement-making pieces—to get that creativity flowing, naturally. “Two temperaments, two narrations. Two rooms set up in a sort of juxtaposition and continuity,” Urquiola described of the space.
For the magazine’s beauty room, New York-based art dealer Michael Bargo drew on cosmetics from the late 1960s and 1970s for inspiration. “The room’s walls are white and the carpet is bordeaux–so typical of what was in style back then. The furniture in the room includes a combination of pieces from that period, as well as those of European descent,” Bargo said, outlining his vision for the space. Complete with vintage advertising campaigns and products, the room is an ode to the beauty industry of the past.
Milanese architects David Lopez Quincoces and Fanny Bauer Grung of Quincoces-Dragò & Partners were enlisted with overhauling the Vogue Italia meeting room. Drawing on international influences but outfitting the room with local products from Italian designers, the office space is an ode to all things Milan. A nod to the futuristic nature of contemporary design (note the clean lines) but a tribute to all things natural and past, the meeting room is finished in a tonal navy colour scheme.
The final piece of the puzzle, completed by architect Mario Bellini, was the “multi-sensory” corridor installation. Linking all the editorial rooms, Bellini drew on the attributes of a human spine as his inspiration—the connector of everything. 32 metres in total, the space is linked by a series of resinous wooden boards which line the walkway. Life in Vogue is open to the public until April 20 from 12pm to 8pm.
“Beyond the Deep” by Lindsey Adelman x Calico Wallpaper
Lighting doyenne Lindsey Adelman joined forces with Calico Wallpaper to present “Beyond the Deep,” an immersive undersea installation at Via Pietro Maroncelli 7. It marks the launch of Adelman’s Drop System, a De Stijl–inspired lighting series that features hand-blown mini globes affixed to verdigris-finished brass tubes. Backdropping Adelman’s fixtures are Calico Wallpaper’s brand-new Oceania collection in three shades and fluid-like Sumi collection in a custom colorway.
“ACT III” by Apparatus
After creative director Gabriel Hendifar mined his personal cultural history as a first-generation Iranian-American to conceive Apparatus’s latest product introductions, he transformed the studio’s Milan showroom (Via Santa Marta 14) into a snapshot of bygone memories that simultaneously looks to the future. Hendifar infused each piece with Persian history—the brass-tubed Talisman sconce replicates details found on statues in Persepolis, while the gently curved Drum table evokes the Tombak, a foundational instrument in Persian music.
“Le Roi” by Marc Ange
After his installation Le Refuge took home top honors as the most Instagrammed piece of Milan Design Week 2017, Marc Ange returns both bigger and bolder. His signature leaf lamps, this time in a shimmering gold, beckon visitors inside a throne-like room where a giant bear lounge chair—illuminated by two Refuge lamps—presides over a duo of Les Araignées chairs, each upholstered in royal blue Sunbrella® fabric. Le Roi displays at Wallpaper*’s Mediateca di Brera space (Via Moscova 28) until April 22.
“Open Sky” by COS x Phillip K. Smith III
Phillip K. Smith III’s work challenges perceptions of light and space, particularly in California’s Palm Desert, where he’s based. So when Swedish fashion brand COS approached him to devise a site-specific installation during Salone del Mobile, he took on a new medium: 16th-century Italian architecture. Nestled inside Palazzo Isimbardi, Open Sky’s faceted mirrors reconfigure the surrounding colonnade into a geometric abstraction. The buildings dramatically pull away as one moves toward the center, until fully encircled by vast sky’s languorous drift and color changes. “Each participant is in control of how the sky and architecture merge across the nearly 14-meter-diameter surface,” Smith notes, making each experience unique.
“For You Everyone” by Herman Miller
To celebrate the launch of Cosm, Herman Miller’s first auto-tilt chair designed by Studio 7.5, the storied office furniture company transformed their Brera Design District digs into a veritable high-design automobile showroom called “For You Everyone.” Neon signage invites visitors inside, where Cosm’s size and color variations preside on clusters of pedestals. Visitors can then test drive the task chair’s Auto-Harmonic Tilt, experiencing how adaptable the workplace of the future is—and how Herman Miller is responding to the ever-changing office landscape.
“Into Marble” by Nendo and Marsotto edizioni
Prolific design firm Nendo teamed with Marsotto edizioni to devise “Into Marble,” a poetic exhibition where clean-lined marble furniture melts into liquid. Each piece sits askew on puddle-like pedestals, to which Nendo manually surfaced with gentle ripples. Pieces by Claesson Koivisto Rune, Jasper Morrison, Philippe Malouin, and Konstantin Grcic all make an appearance. “Into Marble” runs until April 22 at Spazio Bigli (Via Bigli 11/A).
“My Dream Home” by Piero Lissoni, Elisabetta Illy, and Stefano Guindani
Photographers Elisabetta Illy and Stefano Guindani present “My Dream Home,” an exhibit that juxtaposes photographs of Haitian children alongside drawings of their “dream homes.” Interior Design Hall of Fame member Piero Lissoni collaborated with Dmeco Engineering to design the venue: twelve stacked shipping containers in the colors of Haitian houses. All proceeds from the show, open until April 28 at the Cortile d’Onore of Universita Statale, will be donated to Fondazione Francesca Rava to construct homes in Cite du Solei, Haiti.
To mark the third phase of its home decor collection, Swarovski reveals four new product collaborations inside a grand greenhouse set within a hidden courtyard of a neoclassical Milanese palazzo (Corso Venezia 16). Objects by John Pawson, Nendo, Patricia Urquiola, and Peter Pilotto—who all push boundaries of crystal artistry—are featured, as are new lighting collections from Swarovski Crystal Palace by Tord Boontje and Marjan van Aubel.
Observatory by Lee Broom
Lee Broom’s stellar-inspired lighting fixtures, two years in the making, take center stage at “Observatory,” a traveling installation in a Grade II–listed building (Via Lovanio 6) in the heart of the Brera Design District. Eclipse, Orion, Aurora, and Tidal all glisten amid gallery-like environs, which Broom will show during NYCxDESIGN and the London Design Festival. “I wanted to create a celestial collection of sculptural lighting which is progressive and experimental using the latest LED technology,” says Broom.
“Altered States” by Snarkitecture x Caesarstone
To kick off Eurocucina, quartz manufacturer Caesarstonetapped Snarkitecture to explore the kitchen island at Fuorisalone. The New York–based collaborative practice then examined liquid as the kitchen’s most crucial element, channeling ice, water, and steam to create Altered States at Palazzo dell’Ufficio Elettorale di Porta Romana. Anchoring the amphitheatrical installation is a circular kitchen island surfaced in layers of Caesarstone White Attica, a nod to natural topography. Over 250 metal mesh pedestals in monochromatic gradients—emblematic of Snarkitecture’s oeuvre—gather around.
“Perfettamente Imperfetto” by Dimorestudio
One of three installations by Dimorestudio, Perfettamente Imperfetto (Via Solferino 11) showcases the studio’s Progetto Non Finito and Oggetti collections. Decidedly neutral backdrops, such as a corridor lined with white parachute silk, highlight precious materials and artistic expression, as seen in spider-like floor lamps that nod to Louise Bourgeoise.