A Day in Milan with Jean-Pierre Biasol

Words by Rose Onans
Photography by Dave Kulesza

Jean-Pierre Biasol, founder and Principal of award-winning Australian interior design studio Biasol, lived in Italy for 8 years, so he knows the city like a local.

We caught up during Salone de Mobile to discover Jean-Pierre’s Milan. From the furniture exhibit at Salone, to the Fisher & Paykel stand at EuroCucina, to the Prada Museum, out about in Milan with Jean-Pierre was a design-lover’s dream.

Since founding Biasol in 2012, Jean-Pierre has developed the studio into one of Melbourne’s most sought-after designers. Biasol take a unique approach to their work – vertically integrating their skills and disciplines across interior design, building design, product design and branding has led them to be able to achieve greater outcomes for their clients, and last year Biasol won IDEA’s Emerging Designer award. Salone del Mobile, therefore, was the main destination for our day, as we wandered the stands with Jean-Pierre, taking in the best design from around the world.

Training for the London Marathon though means that his day starts with a quick check in with the team at home before a run. Being not quite up to marathon running ourselves, we skipped the run and met up afterwards with Jean-Pierre before heading to Bar Luce for a coffee (we are all big fans of Wes Anderson’s aesthetic, and the bar was designed by the director).

When in Milan, Jean-Pierre usually enjoys a visit to a gallery or museum, or simply wandering the streets taking in the energy and excitement of Milan during Design Week. Blessed with great weather this time at the Salone, it was a beautiful day to stroll past the Prada Museum before the main event – Salone del Mobile.

First stop was EuroCucina and FTK (Technology for the Kitchen). Jean-Pierre has worked with Fisher & Paykel on numerous projects, and 2018 is their first time exhibiting at Salone del Mobile, so we made a beeline for the Fisher & Paykel stand. Jean-Pierre had the chance to meet Mark Elmore, Head of Design at Fisher & Paykel, who is based in New Zealand and has come to EuroCucina along with the senior design team to meet architects and designers in person. Mark and Jean-Pierre had a long chat, discussing upcoming projects and the finer details of the new appliances on display. While they were engrossed in conversation, we had just enough time to experience The Social Kitchen, a display that includes marshmallows stuffed with Manuka honey and toasted over a hot stone, and a beautiful Millenial pink Nobel Riesling Sherbet.

After our sugar hit, we returned to Jean-Pierre who was thrilled to see designers from our side of the world exhibiting on an international platform ‘with so much impact and class’. ‘It’s a very exciting time for Australian and NZ design right now’, he says, ‘the world is watching us! It was great to meet Mark, and to see all the products and the flexibility they offer in the one platform. The stand itself was also fantastic – the level of finish and the materials is really impressive’.

Tearing ourselves away from the winning combination of exciting new design, good conversation and sweet treats, we made our way through the crowds to the furniture exhibit. As Jean-Pierre has been Salone on many occasions, he noticed that the current year’s exhibition has become even grander, and even more design driven. ‘It’s great to see many brands we love have launched new products, and generally it feels like there’s a lot more colour’, he says.

After the hectic atmosphere of Salone, we headed back into Central Milan with just time to enjoy an aperitif at Camparino in Galleria. A standing style espresso bar, with beautiful traditional detailing and mosaic floors, both the bar and the Galleria were iconic destinations on the day’s list. Having lived and studied in Italy, Jean-Pierre also likes to go off the beaten track. ‘I’ve always loved a good authentic spot’, he says ‘and now it’s what truly brings me back to my time in Italy’. Following this advice, and we ended the day in true Italian style with a Caprese pizza and Aperol Spritz.

From discussing the future of kitchen design with Mark Elmore at Fisher & Paykel, to absorbing colours, materials, textures and forms as we wandered through the furniture exhibits, our day in Milan with Jean-Pierre was a unique chance to experience the excitement and inspiration of the city during design week.

Thank you for spending a day with us Jean-Pierre, we’ll be cheering you on in the London Marathon! Next week – we spend a day in Milan with interior design Carole Whiting and discover her favourite places for food, fashion and design.