Architecture and Italian inspiration for this London graphic designer

For the first time in probably twelve or so years, last week I took the trip down to Milan. Given it’s such an easy journey and there’s so much that’s fantastic and cultural in Europe which happens in that great city, it was almost certainly an oversight with a long-overdue correction. For anyone involved in the creative industries, especially this London graphic designer, it’s got to be a regularly visited hub.

I’ve made some notes on my favourite spots below, and included a few photo highlights from Instagram too.


Milan… great inspiration for a London graphic designer  

 

TOP OF THE LIST: FONDAZIONE PRADA

A big reason for the trip was to make the journey to Miuccia Prada’s new art gallery in the south of the city.

When I was at art college, its architect Rem Koolhaas was something of a Goldsmiths College Design Department idol for his wonderful book S, M, L, XL which was hugely influential on what we were doing back then. I realised before departing that I’d never actually seen one of Koolhaas’s buildings, so making the pilgrimage down to see this extraordinary new art foundation became central to my visit.

And guess what, it did not disappoint.

This particular travelling London graphic designer was waiting outside at opening time on a beautiful sunny Monday morning to take it all in, and… well… the results are below. In particular the golden ‘haunted’ tower at the heart of the complex positively gleamed in the hot Autumn sunshine making even the grey concrete around it glow. I had seen photos before visiting and was expecting something from a fairy story almost, but was unprepared for the effect the building had on the others around it.

Fondazione Prada… great inspiration for a London graphic designer

Wes Anderson’s Bar Luce #fondazioneprada #ciaoitalia15 #wesanderson #barluce #milano

A photo posted by Richard Chapman (@richardpchapman) on

Fondazione Prada… great inspiration for a London graphic designer

Fondazione Prada… great inspiration for a London graphic designer

Fondazione Prada… great inspiration for a London graphic designer  

 

AMAZING PRODUCT DESIGN COURTESY OF ACHILE CASTIGLIONE

It being mid-October, perfect weather wasn’t assured and as heavy rain fell, I decided that to continue my journey of inspiration, it would be a smart move to follow my Wallpaper guide’s suggestion of more gallery and studio-based tourism.  First stop was the studio of legendary industrial designer Achile Castiglione. I managed to sneak in at the tail end of a guided tour of the studio and was thrilled to see the precise, clean filing system and mid-century furniture and fittings, as well as his other extraordinary inventions.

A little dramatic Italian lighting #achilecastiglioni #milano #lightfixtureporn #ciaoitalia15 A photo posted by Richard Chapman (@richardpchapman) on

Studio Achile Castiglione… great inspiration for a London graphic designer

The studio of famed industrial designer Achile Castiglioni #achilecastiglioni #thingsorganisedneatly #milano #ciaoitalia15

A photo posted by Richard Chapman (@richardpchapman) on

Studio Achile Castiglione… great inspiration for a London graphic designer  

 

COLOURS GALORE AT GALLERY DIMORE

Something of a curiosity, I had read about the Dimore Gallery but exactly what was showing there was not immediately clear. And to be honest I’m not that much clearer afterwards.

However the space itself was quite amazing – a Milanese townhouse apartment decorated immaculately with the most incredible graphic floor tiles. Another source of interest and inspiration was the way the rooms had been immaculately decorated.

I gathered from the gallery director that this was something they do very regularly, changing up the colours and combinations depending on the temporary exhibits.

The stunning permanent fixtures and fittings then remain and change in mood depending on the new colours around them.

  Tile thriller at the Dimore Gallery #dimoregallery #lookdown #floor #milano #ciaoitalia15 ~ one for you @bradleyseymour   A photo posted by Richard Chapman (@richardpchapman) on

Dimore Gallery… great inspiration for a London graphic designer

Dimore Gallery… great inspiration for a London graphic designer  

 

ITALIAN INSPIRATION FOR A LONDON GRAPHIC DESIGNER

As I wandered around I was intrigued by the nature of Milan.

Not necessarily Italy’s most beautiful city, it reveals its charms by making a little more effort and seeking out all sorts of hidden gems.

A couple of favourites are below – one was a café/bakery called Bodega Cucina, which I thought had some really very lovely interior and indeed graphic design. The second is at 10 Corso Como. This is a more classic pitstop for those interested in art, photography and design because of the gallery and the (quite fantastic) bookshop. Anyway, I really loved the way everything had been designed there, and in particular the really super wrapping paper

london graphic designer 3

Bottega Cucina… great inspiration for a London graphic designer

london graphic designer 2

Wrapping paper at 10 Corso Como… great inspiration for a London graphic designer

Something to aspire towards #? #goodadvice #fondmagistretti #milano #handwritten #collage #moodboard #ciaoitalia15 A photo posted by Richard Chapman (@richardpchapman) on

Collage at Fondazione Magistretti… great inspiration for a London graphic designer

Museo del Novecento… great inspiration for a London graphic designer

 

TWO FINAL GEMS FROM MILAN

The first is the foundation of legendary architect Vico Magistretti. A last Wallpaper suggestion, I found myself in Milan on a (lucky, rare) day that his studio was open to the public, so wandered along. The architecture, and in particular the plans and blueprints, were really beautifully arranged, but my eye was particularly caught by the collage of Magistretti’s photos from his many travels.

And finally, a view from the Museo del Novocento overlooking Milan cathedral. If only ever city had such a vantage point to view its most beautiful building. An amazing, decidedly graphic view (with those big square, black-framed windows) of an almost staggeringly large ancient building.

Milano – I’ll have to return soon.