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  • Design

Inside a Milanese studio, where small changes create a big impact.
Words by George Upton. Photography by Giorgio Possenti.

Changing things up at home does not always mean that you need to start anew. For this year’s Salone del Mobile, designers Josephine Akvama Hoffmeyer and Elisa Ossino are presenting Butterfly Effect, an exhibition that demonstrates how small and considered changes to a space can have a big impact on your well-being.

As in previous years, the longtime collaborators are avoiding the bustle of the Salones main exhibition spaces in favor of the apartment-gallery they run together as design studio H+O. With the help of artists and award-winning design brands, the duo has reimagined the intimate 18th-century Milanese apartment as an immersive experience that encourages visitors to reflect on the many ways the environments we create can improve our lives.

George Upton: How did you arrive at the concept for this years exhibition?

Elisa Ossino: We felt that we really needed something fun and uplifting after the difficult past few years [with the pandemic]. As designers, we know that changing small things, such as fixtures or the color of the walls, can have a big impact on how a space makes us feel. This is why we decided to work with a very bold and playful color palette this year, for example.

GU: How did you select design pieces for Butterfly Effect?

EO: We collaborated very closely with Danish furniture brand Muuto, which enabled us to create these very harmonious, almost monochromatic, spaces, as they use a lot of color in their designs. We also worked with V-Zug, a Swiss company that produces these beautiful kitchen appliances that help you to eat healthily.

Josephine Akvama Hoffmeyer: V-Zug is a great example of a brand that can take an everyday object like an oven and transform it into a beautiful machine. It is the same with another brand we are working with, Tubes, who are reimagining radiators as these very innovative design objects.

EO: We also invited video artists Stefano Roveda and Alessandro Gagliardo to explore the concept of the Butterfly Effect in a series of films that we’re projecting throughout the apartment.

GU: This is H+Os fourth exhibition at the apartment-gallery in Milan. What are the advantages of working in this space over a conventional gallery?

JAH: The apartment is very much a home. Were curating these everyday objects in a domestic setting, but we also have the freedom to create small narratives or be more poetic with the way we approach the space. Its really a playground for me and Elisa.

In a way, you could say that the “butterfly effect” also applies to this apartment. The space has really evolved from that first project to this point, where now you have people coming back each year to see what we have done with the space.

GU: You have been collaborating now for 20 years. What do you enjoy about working together?

EO: We have very different perspectives, and of course, I am from Italy and Josephine is from Denmark—two places with very strong design traditions. The meeting of these two points of view is always very productive and we’re able to come together to create something quite forward-thinking. It almost feels like a new language.

Via Solferino 11, 3rd Floor
Brera District, Milan

Opening Hours

April 18
10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

April 19–20
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

April 21–23
10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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