Inspired by Italian Modernism, the Opulence of Paris, or a Brutalist Viennese Church, These Three Up-and-Coming Design Studios Wowed in Milan

Before we leave the spring design fair season entirely, we’d be remiss if we didn’t call out three of our favorite up-and-coming studios from Milan. Milan Design Week this year was, as usual, awash with global brands whose impressive, big-budget presentations took up the majority of space around the city — not to mention air time on Instagram. But that doesn’t mean that the emerging and independent designers weren’t represented as well — they just required a bit more searching among the noise. Design fairs, in our opinion, can and should still be great platforms for undiscovered talent to be — well, discovered. Hats off to shows like Alcova, which continue to champion those who are starting out in their careers, shifting mediums, or looking to expand into new markets; kudos to those designers who put in the time and effort to present in their own studio or gallery spaces, too. Here are three we predict even bigger things from in the near future.


Established in 2020 by Guglielmo Giagnotti and Patrizio Gola, Studioutte is a Milan-based multidisciplinary practice for interior architecture, decoration, and collectible design. This year, the duo showcased their new works in their own studio as part of an installation titled Sala D’Attesa, or waiting room. The collection leaned heavily into the chunky shapes, low forms, and glossy finishes of Italian Modernism, which was a huge trend in Milan this year, and it was presented against an oxblood-red backdrop (that’s also been trending for months and hit its peak during Salone). Satin fabric from Dedar covered the walls behind an aluminum framework, and vertical tube-shaped lights bathed the room in an orange-y glow. Aluminum also covered the floor, appearing golden in the warm light, to present pieces that included a table whose slender top contrasts its frustum base, a lounge chair with pillar-like legs supporting a squared seat and backrest upholstered in white, and a lacquered dining chair comprising strict perpendicular elements.

Studio Daniel Kolodziejczak

At Alcova’s Villa Bagatti Valsecchi presentation, Polish designer Daniel Kolodziejczak of Milan-based StudioDanielK displayed his inaugural series of collectible furniture, Antechamber. Having studied in Denmark and London, Kolodziejczak worked in jewelry design for eight years before founding his firm. The use of stone continues in his furniture, which blends references from Brazilian and Italian Modernism with the Brutalism of Poland and opulence of Paris. “The collection itself questions the beauty found in rigid and sober materials, where marbles sourced from the earth are transformed into geometric and structural shapes,” says Kolodziejczak, who has combined thin flat slabs of Rouge du Roi and Saint Laurent marble with dark brown wood to form coffee tables and armchairs. Adorning the dark slender frame of a standing mirror, and the stems of a floor lamp and a wall-mounted sconce, are tiny balls of honey onyx that appear like gemstones in jewelry pieces. Also among the 10-piece collection is a stool with a smoked eucalyptus seat balanced on blocks of transparent onyx that “seems to levitate on light,” Kolodziejczak describes. “Antechamber creates tension between the weight of materials and the lightness of their lines.”

Don Cameron

A Central St Martins grad, Australian designer and visual artist Don Cameron began his career as a director creating music videos for British bands like Pet Shop Boys, Garbage, and Blur. He shifted mediums in 2010 to focus on the built environment. Architecture and memory are key themes in his work, and they appear heavily in his most recent collection, titled Translations, also presented at Villa Bagatti Valsecchi. From his own Communion series of photographs depicting monuments and structures from Europe’s recent history, Cameron has adapted the forms of these concrete monoliths into a series of furniture pieces that carry the same weight and gravitas, down to a domestic scale. His Nevers stool echoes the curved, sloping surfaces of Claude Parent’s Sainte Bernadette Du Banlay church in both walnut and ebonized walnut. Similarly, the Alderney desk interprets the stacked layers of The Odeon, a German fortification tower in the Channel Islands, as a slender drawer that pulls out from below the top. Vienna’s famous Brutalist church becomes a series of stainless steel sofa modules and limited-edition lamps, and Maison Bordeaux Le Pecq’s swooping roof planes find form as walnut and blackened bronze coffee tables, which also come in ceramic versions.