Taking shape: the best of Milan Design Week

Bright things: a visitor interacts with an artwork at the ‘Fuori Salone’ in Milan. The fair is the largest of its kind in the world. Photograph: Daniel Dal Zennaro/EPA
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It is the “experiential” installations in the hundreds of presentations that fringe the annual Milan Design Week (Salone del Mobile), away from the 57-year-old main trade fair, that have become the hottest attractions.

A 6m high scaffolding tree by Studio Swine for fashion brand Cos, which dispensed bouncing vapour bubbles, and a colourful pavilion by Spanish designer Jaime Hayon for quartz manufacturers Caesarstone, were probably the most Instagrammed pieces of the week.

And, ultimately, Instagram has become one of the main points.

For those who’ve obeyed the trend gods and painted walls in dark shades, there will be relief in knowing the corresponding dark furniture is still a thing: blackened oak armchairs at Brazilian brand, Sollos, were beautiful.

Graphic, geometric patterns were still evident, including bright red and white striped sideboards at Driade.

Pink is on the increase in design and was surprisingly pleasant in this context: a velvet chaise at and a day bed with giant metal palm leaves by Marc Ange for the Invisible Collection, shown at the Wallpaper* Handmade exhibition, were the nicest I spotted.

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