The colorful spectacle that is Milan Design Week (MDW), the world of design’s most distinctive and popular yearly celebration of creativity, innovation, and style has a contradictory quality to it. The more talents it can attract and the more places it can colonize, the more difficult it gets to navigate through it as a whole and, as a result, to sift out the finest of the ever-expanding pleasures it has to offer. To put it another way, the more diverse a dining buffet develops, the simpler it becomes to feel stuffed without having tried anything.

Designers are well aware that each evening of Milan Design Week erupts into life with the celebration sweeping the city from its de facto headquarters at Salone del Mobile to the gleaming shops of the Brera neighborhood. Boldfaced designers, connoisseurs seeking the chicest and latest, and even local city bankers, dentists, engineers, and students are among the attendees of these prestigious event. Of course, we have a few design inspirations you can pick up from this annual glamour night.

What is most exciting to see in MDW is discovering new locations that have been cleverly repurposed by artists and designers, and the 2019 MDW did not disappoint. Consider the launch of Dimoremilano, a new brand created by Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci, the creative pair and minds behind Dimorestudio, which took a place at a disused cinema on Via Mascagni. Dimoremilano, a line of fabric, furniture, objects, and other outdoor collections provided with a glossy scheme of lacquers, polished stainless steel, bronze, and laminated surfaces, could not have been exhibited in a more suitable place than the former Cinema Arti’s glam rock ambiance.

Another cleverly repurposed venue that was praised by many was Studiopepe’s presentation of “Les Arcanistes,” the third Manifesto initiative by Chiara Di Pinto and Arianna Lelli Mami, the creative minds behind the studio itself, whose creations of bespoke and new designs, re-editions of historical artworks, installation roons, and pieces, punctuated with cryptic and arcane symbols, was held in an ex-goldsmith workshop in Porta Venezia.

And lastly, Alcova’s abandoned panettone factory in NoLo was one of the great attractions from MDW that blended a really lovely location with a treasure of head-turning displays and magical combinations. Alcova, being a platform for different designers, galleries, and institutions, rooted from their avant-garde spirit and was created by Studio Vedet and Space Caviar with the objective of activating neglected spaces and the people that occupy them. Among the poetic abonnements of Alcova’s repurposed facility included “Non-Objective Tables,” a collection of marble objects, and the DWA Design Studio’s checkerboard and striations.