Milan Trends 2016

Published on: 21st April 2016

For the last 10 years, DCA has sent a team of designers to the Milan Design Week to look for the freshest design inspiration and trends from around the world. The sheer size of the event  means that it would be impossible to see everything within our four day visit but we'll try to give you a flavour of what this design Mecca had to offer. 


Toyota presented their concept on sustainability with a car that is intended to be inherited through three generations. Its appearance changes as the wood matures over time and any imperfections sustained throughout its life are celebrated as they add character and sentimental value. Although not a unique concept to many products, this is a principle is certainly interesting for the automotive industry. The car was certainly a beautifully crafted object and the mirrored space in which it was exhibited was delightful.

Setsuna Toyota


‘The Invisible Kitchen’ offered a novel way to demonstrate how new technology and revolutionary kitchen design will shape our future sustainable living. A slightly different take on the invisible kitchen could be seen in several examples of collapsible kitchens illustrating how compact living is continuing to impact the innovative use of space in the home. 


Citizen ‘time is TIME’

The feeling experienced when walking into the Citizen exhibit can only be described as a mixture of wonder and disorientation. The clever use of light to illuminate the 120,000 watch components suspended on wire gave the impression of floating amongst the stars. Several faces represent time in different ways asking us to consider what time means from different perspectives.



"The Nature of Motion" was this year’s exhibit from Nike offering innovative design explorations from 10 progressive industrial designers. The products ranged from lamps to drums and chairs all employing Nike’s Flyknit fabric currently used in their trainers.



Danish design brand Hay used an impressive space with suspended walkways around room settings to showcase its 2016 furniture and homeware collection. This included hole-punched a customisable sofa by the Bouroullec brothers and elegant lighting designs from Wrong.


CMF - Marble

It seemed that everywhere we turned, some sort of tribute to marble was being made. This material has been increasingly used in recent years by early influencers but the sheer proliferation must mean that it will soon break free from the emerging trend category into the mainstream. How will its sustainability credentials fair with this level of demand?

CMF Marble Image

CMF - Irridescent

The mysterious colour shifting qualities of irridescent finishes were seen in several exhibitions. New technologies are enabling this effect to be created in many ways and we could see it emerging as a more commonly used treatment.

CMF - Colour juxtaposition

Bold and highly saturated colours were evident throughout the show with several instances of the same four colour combinations of teal, green yellow and red.

Colour Juxtaposition