House & Garden | Diary of a Somebody

Nigel Coates

The architect-designer jets to Milan for pre-Salone preparations

Nigel Coates

February 29 2012
Nigel Coates

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Up at a reasonable time for travelling, but I still manage to be in a rush, and leave half an hour late for the airport – the 12.25 from Gatwick to Milan Linate, and an easy hop if you do this as often as I seem to recently.

After endless negotiations and views of hundreds of possible exhibition spaces, last week I managed to sort out an extraordinary venue for the upcoming Salone: a moody, crumbling house at the back of the EntrataLibera showroom on the Corso Indipendenza. Today I have another meeting, a dinner with a curator from Rome who’s been trying to get me to rent a room in a palace near the centre. But I’m worried about the time needed to pull off something so big, and have already fixed on the house idea. Plans are well underway, with objects in production and our collaborating companies on board. Never mind. It’s all in a day’s work for an entrepreneurial designer, especially in Italy, where the mix of charm, bella figura and a good wine is always more palatable than a debate over a ploughman’s lunch. Despite the obfuscation, Milanese (and Roman) fog even, I’m happy to be here once more.

Tomorrow I have a meeting with my Brazilian partner for the event we’re co-hosting, also at EntrataLibera. Having my own show in the same venue means that the 100 or so Carioca designers, architects and design-store owners will get to see something of ours too on the big night. Exciting. Fellow designer Fabio Novembre and I will be on duty on the night, and Barnaba Fornasetti will be our after-dinner DJ. He’s worried he doesn’t have enough Brazilian music in his repertoire. Of course I want to reassure him – the Brazilians are coming to pick up the design mood in Italy, not to hear their own music.

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