Every April, designers, retailers, buyers and stylists descend upon Milan like clockwork – and no, we’re not referring to fashion week – it’s a different scene altogether, but you can be sure striking design is at the heart of it.

Milan Design Week (or Milan Furniture Fair) is the biggest event in the furniture/design scene – while fashion may be our main fare here at Female, we always appreciate good design.

Taking place April 4 – April 9 in the Italian city, here’s our guide to some designers you should be looking out for while attending the fair (not an easy task with literally hundreds of exhibitors!):

#1: Anna Varendorff


Melbourne-based sculptor and artist Anna Varendorff has made a name for herself with her lovely, unconventional brass vases that favour a single stalk of flora instead of the traditional full bouquet.

We’ve obsessed over Varendorff’s works in the February issue and she looks set to rise further still.

#2: Nendo



One of the most famous design studios from Japan, Nendo is known for its innovative, whimsical takes on every day objects and their Jellyfish Vases is a great example of that – made of ultra thin silicon, each vase is so light it bobs along with the current (the firm displayed it in a tank that controls the current), like a real jellyfish.

#3: Industry Plus

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Pour by Hans Tan

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Float by Olivia Lee

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Local stalwart Industry Plus is one of my favourite firms in the design scene – they connect and represent Asian designers with fellow manufacturers and the end result, as you can see, are beautiful objet d’arts.

P.S. read more about Industry Plus here – we’ve featured them in the January Art and Design issue.

#4: COS x Studio Swine


Everyone’s favourite minimalist label COS has teamed up with London-based multidisciplinary practice Studio Swine to come up with an interactive display involving what appears to be gas-filled bubbles.

As the duo behind Studio Swine explained to Dezeen, “The inspiration for the installation was nature and the changing of the seasons”.

With the bubbles’ apparent transience, is it meant to be a contrast against the apparent timelessness of COS’ apparel?

Whatever it is, experience the installation for yourself at Cinema Arti, a decommissioned 1930s cinema theatre.

#5: Paul Cocksedge


Brit product designer Paul Cocksedge is known for his “unorthodox” and organic methods – see his steel table above for reference – the “circles” are individual metal rods that were flash frozen with liquid nitrogen, causing them to shrink and fit into the drilled holes. Finally when the rods thaw, they expand and form a solid joint.

#6: Neri Oxman


World renowned researcher and designer Neri Oxman, who is known for her art that combines architecture, biology and material engineering (phew!), has come up with what is reportedly the world’s first “optically transparent printing process”.

While Oxman and her team at MIT have so far come up with homeware, they tell Dezeen that the technology could be further developed on an architectural scale and that in future, glass could potentially be printed to create a “single transparent building skin”.


Like this? Check out Bulgari’s exciting new collaboration with late starchitect Zaha Hadid, how this Singapore store champions Asian furniture/industrial designers and what to wear to hit up Singapore’s first ever black and white hotel

Main image: @studio_swine Instagram