Milan has long been a platform for creating design. The infrastructure and facilities in Milan have made it central to the world of design, graphics, and architecture since the mid-1950s, and the Milan Furniture Fair and fashion industry have given it a permanent place of prominence on international calendars. Designers, companies, and furniture makers have long been the driving force of a world that must always make itself anew to stay fresh and competitive. The book would like to cover major past events and their connection to Milan while also exploring the current situation and offer thoughts for the future. The volume spotlights the stories of many generations of Italian and foreign designers who share having contributed to the Milan design system, which became well established on an international scale over the span of nearly a century (1950–2020). The designers were chosen based on their careers, their connections to Milan because they studied or worked here, whether opening their own studios or serving in other organizations (such as style offices, technical company offices, and schools), and for having kept their international relevance. The two common threads are the places where their creative design process happened and the voices of the designers themselves. Interviews with the key players of the Milan design scene bring together ideas and insights of the creative people who bring the city alive. The goal is to capture an ever-evolving world and to portray Milan’s international spirit through the voices of those who embody it.

MARCO SAMMICHELI teaches at the Design School of the Politecnico of Milan, and he has been design curator for Abitare since 2014. After graduating in Communication Science in Siena and specializing in the history of design at Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany, he completed a PhD in Design and Technologies for Cultural Heritage with a study on sacred architecture in Italy and Chile.He wrote a monograph about Zaha Hadid and has written catalogue essays about Nendo, Studio65, Ingo Maurer, and Simonetta Ferrante. He participated in the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2014 with the studies “Designing the sacred” and “Assisi laboratory”. In 2016, he published the illustrated essay “Disegnare il sacro”. For the Museo del Novecento in Milan, he curated the exhibitions Munari politecnico and James Irvine. An Englishman in Milan. He created the exhibition cycles for TIM Milano Galleria focusing on the new talents of Italian design. For the Triennale di Milano, with Dejan Sudjic and Ermanno Ranzani, he curated the retrospective show Mario Bellini: Italian Beauty. He recently organized a residency program for designers at the Embassy of Italy in Copenhagen.

ANNA MAINOLI is a consultant and editorial curator of cultural events, and the co-curator of the Corriere della Sera for the series on the monographs “Lezioni di Architettura e Design” and “Architetture e interni urbani” in collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano. She has been the head editor of many publications dedicated to architecture and design, as well as different monographs in the series “I protagonisti dell’Architettura” for La Repubblica. At Hachette she was responsible for the realisation of monographs on major designers including Bruni Munari, Joe Colombo, and Achille Castiglioni. She curated the speeches on architecture and town-planning for Festival Utopia, Varese, for which she led meetings on the themes of the urban park with Andreas Kipar, and on suburbs with Marco Ermentini “Gruppo di Lavoro G124 del Senatore Renzo Piano”. She is the author of Case di creative e Case d’autore and curated the Italian translation of the volumes Eero Saarinen, Case Study Houses and Key Houses of the Twentieth Century: Plans, Sections and Elevation.


The Design City – Milan: extraordinary Lab

Weight 2.86 kg
Dimensions 24 × 30 × 3.5 cm


Year of publication







bound hardback



Number of images


edited by Marco Sammicheli and Anna Mainoli

English edition

Original price was: €98.00.Current price is: €93.10.

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ISBN: 978-88-99534-66-0

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