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Milan Design Fair 2017 · Local Milan


After a week of unashamed Insta-stalking of the Milan Design Fair (Salone Del Mobile), this afternoon we take a look at ‘Local Milan’, an impressive showcase of Australian design at the world’s biggest design fair last week.

Curated by Sydney based designer, stylist and creative director Emma Elizabeth, this exhibition brought together the work of eleven established Australian designers, displayed within a historic building in Milan’s 5 Vie district.

12th April, 2017
Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 12th April 2017

If you follow us on Instagram you may have noticed we’ve been keenly watching news from the Milan Design Fair (Salone Del Mobile) this year. The world’s biggest design fair is always a pivotal event for design news and trends globally, and this year, thanks to the immedicacy of Instagram Stories, we’ve been transfixed! Bold new furniture and lighting designs, incredible installations, and, of course, a vicarious peek at Milan’s most visually inspiring new bars and restaurants (we LOVE this one) and hotels (this one is on the bucket list). So. Much. To. Take. In.

We’ve been especially chuffed this year to see an impressive contingent of Australian designers exhibiting in Milan. Today, and again on Friday, we’ll review two exhibitions of Australian design which took place in Milan last week.

First up, we take a look at ‘Local Milan’, a showcase of work by eleven established Australian designers, curated by designer, stylist and creative director of ‘Local Design’ collective, Emma Elizabeth.

Emma is a Sydney based creative and seriously impressive go-getter, who has executed this exhibition almost single handedly, with the support of Brickworks Building Products.

A succinct collection of lighting, chairs and other functional design pieces were displayed atop sleek podiums created using 8000 hand-placed white bricks (!) within the Oratoria della Passione building in Milan’s historic ‘5 Vie’ district.

The exhibition brought together an impressive cross section of Australian designers, including Emma Elizabeth, Tom Fereday, ACV Studio, Kate Banazi + Ryan McGoldrick, Tom Skeehan, Ross Gardam, Adam Goodrum, Christopher Boots, Dowel Jones, Charles Wilson and Jon Goulder.

So, HOW does an international exhibition like this happen for Australian designers? Well, Emma says, it does help if you speak Italian.

‘I lived in Milan over ten years ago and studied here for three years… I know the city very well and can speak the language so this background has come in handy’ Emma admits.

‘It’s a passion project, I felt Australian design needed to stand tall and proud beside the best in the world.’ – Emma Elizabeth

Sydney-based industrial designer Adam Goodrum in Milan. Photo – Fiona Susanto.

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email