Belgium is Design is the slogan under which three Belgian design organizations have banded together to present local creativity at Milan Design week. The effort has brought 34 exhibitors, well-known designers, emerging talents and companies to several locations throughout Milan.
The program 101% Designed in Brussels promotes Brussels-based designers that show a great deal of promise and innovation. Every year, they introduce designers to international fairs, thanks to a joint initiative of Designed in Brussels and a trade association formed in 2007. The five designers this year—Julien De Smedt, Benoît Deneufbourg, Corentin Dombrecht, Vanessa Hordies and Julien Renault—are exhibiting their most iconic creations in Milan, following a showing in Stockholm. A retrospective is also showing the 25 designers who have been selected since 2007.
Another exhibit, "Lightness," consists of a selection of products, prototypes and limited-editions about light and grace. The included products share a special focus on daily life, storytelling, reflections on functions and functionality, visual or tactile perception, environmental impact and design ethics.
At Salone Satellite, the Wallonie-Bruxelles Design/Mode is showing a choice of eight young designers from Wallonia and Brussels, some of whom (Antonin Bachet and Linda Topic, as well as Adeline Beaudry and Florine Giet) are having their first taste of an international fair, while others (Raphaël Charles, Loïc Detry/Vertige de lʼAjour, Dustdeluxe, Emmanuel Gardin/Krizalid Studio and Stuut) are more experienced and well-known.
While all the products under the "Belgium is Design" banner vary, from lamps to stools and from furniture to small objects, they all share a light touch, concretized in light shapes, essential functions and a bit of irony—in pure Belgian style.
For a selection of our favorites, see the gallery below.