A few steps from the Duomo, the Museo del Novecento hosted an astonishing retrospective of the work of pioneering architect and designer Aldo Rossi. With over 300 objects, designs, models and more, Aldo Rossi: Design 1960-1997 confirms the extraordinary talent of the late Italian maestro, with pieces ranging from lush textiles (patterns for his famous Modena cemetery plan) to scale models for his famous kitchen and housewares (including an oversized model of his famous espresso machine for Alessi). Subtle curation by Chiara Spangaro, combined with an ultra-sleek installation scheme by New York-based Morris Adjmi, imbues the entire show with a distinctly melancholic and nostalgic air, exactly the kind of vibe Rossi gave him. -even was so adept at conjuring.
A different, more mind-bending vibe was in evidence across the city at the Floating Forest, a striking example of pop-up urbanism from the office of Stefano Boeri Interiors. Jutting out into the Darsena del Naviglio, one of the last remaining traces of Milan’s once teeming network of canals, Boeri’s team created a gang plank platform topped by a miniature park teeming with more than six hundred trees, shrubs and hanging vines. The piece, sponsored by footwear brand Timberland, is meant to be a statement about the potential integration between natural and man-made landscapes. In practice, it bears a striking resemblance to the new Little Island Park in Manhattan, albeit on a less obtrusive scale and with reflective sides that make the structure disappear, producing the uncanny illusion that the forest is truly floating.