No design at all but delicious! Friet van Piet at Fuorisalone 2014
For the last six days, the fashion city Milan has been full of design. Like every year  the city fills-up with design lovers looking for the newest trends, talented students and the best works of famous studios. I’ll try to give an overview of what I saw, off-course seen from the eyes of Food in the Streets.

The Design week is divided into two main events: the Salone del Mobile in the Milano Fiera Rho and the fuorisalone which spreads out over the city. Personally I am not at all interested in the first one which takes place in the boring fairgrounds and is full of commercial agencies that mainly want to sell their furniture. No. As a ‘starter’ myself I am much more interested in the young people that are creative and create to make beautiful products. This year was extra interesting for Food in the Streets as also the Design Week is getting ready for EXPO 2015 exposing a lot of food related projects.

The fuorisalone started already on the Saturday before, as I promised my friends from Orti d’Azienda to help them to prepare their installation in the Ventura Lambrate District. I was delighted to spend some hours far from my computer and put my hands in the fertile soil to plant rosemary, tomatoes, colorful flowers and much more. While working where were surrounded by the  Dutch that are present in the area. One of the exhibitors was Amaro Creative Industries, a Dutch pop-up restaurant that – I found out later – was so arrogant to think he could prepare the Italians a spaghetti they would like. He was mistaken.

Esterni organized this years’ Public Design Festival on Piazza XXV Aprile, a busy square between the old center and the new Porta Garibaldi Area. Here 10 street food trucks where hosted, feeding the hungry design lovers with some creative energy. As I was one of the participants of their contest, I wanted to see what the others did. Although the atmosphere wasn’t optimal (it lacked a central area where people could eat all together), the idea was good and I could imagine that over the time (hopefully over the 5 days) it developed itself into something that functions.

One of the advantages of the fuorisalone is that it gives the visitors the possibility to visit places that are usually closed to the public. In Via Palermo I bumped into an interesting project by PiuArch. They presented an interesting project called DiCortile in Cortile which aims to make their courtyard (cortile in Italian) more green and more livable. In a similar location not far away, Amazelab presented their Sky Hives. In different courtyards within the city they build these ‘hotels’ for the bees, insects that are indispensable for our food system but which have a hard time surviving.

Just before the design week finished I passed through the Ventura Lambrate District again. Hungry after six days of visits in the city, aperitivi and short nights, it was time for a drink at Via Canzi. Besides the free beers there was, to my surprise, the delicious ‘Friet from Piet’. Like Amaro, Piet is also a Dutch project but Piet understood that you better stick with what you’re good at. Piet sells typical Dutch fresh fries with mayonnaise. Even though it is not something I used to eat a lot in the Netherlands, this was an opportunity I did not want to miss.

All in all it was an inspiring week again. Now it is time to translate this into more durable projects and see if we can get an even ‘foodier’ design week in 2015!