Bid for limited edition pieces in charity auction ‘Design Loves Milano’

Designers including Formafantasma, Marlene Hussaud and Objects of Common Interest donate products to go under the hammer on 12 May, in a project between auction house Cambi and creative agency Mr Lawrence, raising funds for Ospedale Luigi Sacco in Milan

Left, Elle Stool by Marco Campardo with SEEDS Gallery, 2020. Right, Acquedotto Set, Delta, by Formafantasma, 2016
(Image credit: (L) Marco Campardo (R) Formafantasma)

Our design community continues to empower with unity during lockdown. In Milan, another project has piqued our interest – auction house Cambi has teamed up with Milan-based creative agency Mr Lawrence to launch a sale of donated limited edition products by a gobal design roster, titled Design Loves Milano.

‘At the beginning of the Milanese lockdown, we received several calls from friends and fellow designers around the world,’ say Annalisa Rosso and Francesco Mainardi, co-founders of Mr Lawrence. ‘They were not just calling to see how we were doing and to show affection from a distance; the recurring theme of the calls was always: “Let us know what we can do for Milan.”’

With the design world’s most pivotal event Salone del Mobile postponed until 2021 (it should have taken place just last week), Rosso and Mainardi realised that this affected not only the industry and business, but the people in it. ‘During the Design Week, we are accustomed to meeting and getting to know people from all over the world, in an extraordinary time of energy and pro-positivity....Because Milan is their city.’

Design Loves Milano is born from this global attitude of the Italian city being an epicentre for design – how can this unique cluster help and support during the crisis? Taking place on 12 May, and raising money for Ospedale Luigi Sacco in Milan, the initiative sees designers contribute from Brazil, Netherlands, Italy, France, London and beyond.


(Image credit: Max Rommel)


Above, Flamingo Palafitte Collection by Giacomo Moor, 2015. Below, Bocciolo, by Michela Cattai, 2018.

(Image credit: Andrea Valentini)

Inside the digital auction catalogue on the Cambi website, many of the donating designers have been asked ‘Why Milano?’ The positive responses flood in: ‘Here for the love,’ say Odd Matter; ‘During a time where we are feeling powerless and witnessing from a distance what is happening, it gives the opportunity to show support through my work,’ says Diego Faivre; ‘The design community provocates and connects people. There was no hesitation for me to join,’ says Hongjie Yang; ‘Milano has always been the Italian city which best dives into the future without fear. Now she deserves our support,’ say Stories of Italy.

So, what is up for grabs? Savvy bidders can choose from an array of contemporary pieces, from Marco Campardo’s stool for SEEDS and Sabine Marcelis’ ethereal lighting, to Marcel Wander’s playful pieces for Alessi and Giacomo Moor’s architecture-inspired tables.

Cabinet by Diego Faivre

(Image credit: made by Diego Faivre)


Above, Closet made by Diego Faivre, 2019. Below, Poster, by Alvvino, 2020

(Image credit: by Alvvino)

‘We like to think that the great design masters of the past, but also of today, international icons of Milan, are all reunited in this charitable initiative,’ says Matteo Cambi, president and CEO of Cambi Auction House. ‘Design Loves Milano is not just aimed at the city but at the entire population.’

Milan-based freelance art director and collage artist Alessandro Maffioletti has been commissioned to create an identity for the project. Made up of local architectural monuments graphically layered on a red backdrop, the artwork frames the initiative well, and is also available for purchase.

Explore more highlights from Design Loves Milano below


R3 by La Cube for Camp Gallery, 2018.

(Image credit: Alec Latan)

Petit by Marlene Huissoud

Petit by Marlene Huissoud, 2019.

(Image credit: Valentin Russo)


BARACCHE Hint of Mint by Paolo Gonzato for Camp Design Gallery, 2016.

(Image credit: Federico Floriani)


Designs by Valentina Cameranesi for SEM, 2019.

(Image credit: Delfino Sisto Legnan)


 Centerpiece by Marco Guazzini, 2015

(Image credit: Marco Guazzini)

Ombre table

Ondamarmo + varnish by Federica Elmo for Bloc Studios, 2019

(Image credit: Federica Elmo)


Ombre Glass Chair by Germans Ermičs with Galleria Rossana Orlandi, 2017

(Image credit: Germans Ermičs)

Chair with bolts

Alu chair 2020

(Image credit: Julien Carretero)


Qura vases 2018

(Image credit: by Samy Rio with Marolo & Isaure)


Voie light by Sabine Marcelis.

(Image credit: Pim Top)


Practice Practice Practice-Model #1 by Zaven 2017

(Image credit: by Zaven)


Design Loves Milano on 12 May

Sujata Burman is a writer and editor based in London, specialising in design and culture. She was Digital Design Editor at Wallpaper* before moving to her current role of Head of Content at London Design Festival and London Design Biennale where she is expanding the content offering of the showcases. Over the past decade, Sujata has written for global design and culture publications, and has been a speaker, moderator and judge for institutions and brands including RIBA, D&AD, Design Museum and Design Miami/. In 2019, she co-authored her first book, An Opinionated Guide to London Architecture, published by Hoxton Mini Press, which was driven by her aim to make the fields of design and architecture accessible to wider audiences.