Innovation Design District Porta Nuova – Porta Volta

The new urban area IDD - Innovation Design District has been created to promote and programme of events and activities that will make the Porta Nuova/Porta Volta area a protagonist in the city’s offer of culture and entertainment

IDD – Innovation Design District is a new district of in the city that looks at the contemporary Milan: an innovative place in the heart of the city, where ideas are turned into projects. Its boundaries take in the area between Porta Nuova and Porta Volta which, in recent years, has undergone large-scale urban redevelopment to become an authentic symbol of a changing Milan.

IDD, conceived and developed by the Mondadori Group and Mediamond, aims to create connections, by promoting the area and supporting all of the cultural and commercial activities related to the values of experimentation and creativity. It does this by talking about this part of town: mapping what’s new, the architecture and design, trends in culinary and gastronomic excellence, technology and the digital world, fashion and cinema, exhibitions and the most stimulating cultural and entertainment events.

“The debut of the Innovation Design District is part of the City’s broader plan to bring the vibrancy and creativity of the Design Week in all areas of the city, convinced that they are not only an opportunity for exposure or for meetings between professionals and experts but, above all, an occasion to offer the city and its people the chance to discover new creative languages ​​and young talents in tune with the many craftsmen and businesses in the neighbourhood,” explained Cristina Tajani the City Councillor for Labour, Production, Fashion and Design who continued: “the Design Week continues to grow in the city and the entire metropolitan area of ​​Milan. The meetings and vitality in the design areas are increasingly attractive; an achievement that has been made possible thanks to the team work between the Milan City Council and the various operators united in a desire to promote Milan and its characteristic creativity and innovation.”

The inauguration of IDD – Innovation Design District coincides with the 2017 Design Week and at the same time as the launch of the first edition of Icon Design Talks, a new appointment with architecture and design created by the magazine Icon Design. Thanks to the support and cooperation of the City of Milan, the new district will continue its activities during the whole year involving – in view of the weeks dedicated to fashion, design, food and cultural festivals – the district’s key players and becoming the theatre for events of international significance and a magnet for the city.

“The Milan Design Week is one of the most significant moments of the year for the Mondadori Group for which architecture and design is one of its particular areas of excellence,” said Carlo Mandelli, General Manager, Magazines Italy of the Mondadori Group. “We have the most extensive and varied editorial offer in the Italian market – with successful brands that range form Interni to CasaFacile, Icon Design and Casabella – which enables us are able to talk to an already huge audience of enthusiasts and professionals and that today, thanks to the Icon Design Talks, will expand even further. Moreover, the development, with the support of the City of Milan – who along with Mediamond I want to thank – a city district dedicated to innovation and creativity, allows us to take a step further and to extend our reach. It is also a reflection of our approach to publishing, one that includes promoting new initiatives and projects able to make exclusive concepts and content. linked to the most innovative aspects of our city and the great names of design, appealing also for the general public”, Mandelli concluded.

“IDD means creating a network and to facilitate dialogue between some of the biggest brands in technology, finance, food and design in an initiative which sees Milan at the centre of the international stage”, said Davide Mondo, CEO of Mediamond. “In fact, the creation of the district has two meanings: to amplify all of the initiatives that companies want to develop and organise a programme of quality events of which, along with the Mondadori Group, we will be the creators and directors”.


The Porta Nuova project, one of the largest urban and architectural redevelopments in Europe, developed and managed by COIMA, has completely redesigned the Garibaldi, Isola and Varesine areas – a mix of skyscrapers and designer architecture, a business centre with restaurants, green spaces and pedestrian areas – transforming the area into one of the most dynamic and popular areas of Milan. So much so that  a number of international giants of finance and hi-tech have chosen to locate their headquarters right here.

The impetus for change has extended to Porta Volta, in the area between Viale Pasubio and Viale Crispi, along the route of the ancient Spanish Walls, where today stands the steel and glass architecture of the Feltrinelli Foundation. Here, cafes, art galleries, concept stores and artisan’s workshops live alongside start-ups, digital classes, video games and next-generation consoles.

On the occasion of the 2017 Fuorisalone, IDD is launching a partnership with the Porta Nuova Smart Community (PNSC) to promote initiatives related to architecture and design in the area. PNSC is a programme of civic projects, cultural and educational activities on the theme of environmental sustainability, green and public spaces, wellness, architecture, design and film promoted by the Riccardo Catella Foundation, active in the area for more than 10 years.

The area offers a wide range of content, from architecture and art, to food and wine technology: the added value that makes it unique and even more appealing for visitors, is that everyone can choose to pursue a path according to their own tastes and inclinations.


Architecture. An exclusive tour around the “New Milan” exploring the ambitious urban regeneration project in the Garibaldi, Isola and Varesine area. In collaboration with CASABELLA at the Casabella lab – a space for exhibitions, conferences and meetings located in Via Marco Polo 13 – IDD organises guided tours for professionals with the award of professional credits. Ad hoc architectural tours open to all interested parties are currently under development.

Art  & Culture. From Via Maroncelli and the block formed by Via Carlo Farini, Via Pasubio, Via Tito Speri and Via Quadrio, the nineteenth-century buildings and charming courtyards, fashion and jewellery workshops and art galleries – unmissable those of the collectors and talent scouts Paola and Rossella Colombari, the former dedicated to contemporary art design and the latter to modernism – are the backdrop for exhibitions and events. It is also the site of the Sino European Innovation Institute, an organisation that focuses on exchange projects between Asia and Europe and whose programme of cultural events is supported by UNESCO (ICCSD office – Creativity International Center for Sustainable Development). Just a few steps away is the Galleria Carla Sozzani, the original core of the 10 Corso Como project and a reference point for art photography in Milan, where Helmut Newton, Elliot Erwitt and Mario Giacomelli, as well as emerging photographers are regularly shown. In the same area, in Piazza Gae Aulenti, there is the new UniCredit Pavilion, designed by Michele De Lucchi. In the programme of events in the area, the cinema will have a major role with the Anteo Spaziocinema, which, for 38 years, has consistently gone beyond the traditional boundaries of cinema. From the Fuoricinema event to the Milan Design Film Festival in October, the Anteo is an historic piece of Milan as well as a cultural location that is turning into a “Palazzo del Cinema”, with 10 screens, new spaces and and a wide ranging offer, including thematic programmes and film classes.

Food & wine. Starred excellence. trend-setting, organic for light lunches and oriental flavours. Eataly, Ratanà, Berton, Alice, Le Vrai, Vin Han Long, la Griglia di Varrone, That’s Vapore. These are just some of the many names of Milan restaurants that will find ample space in the paths and communication to IDD – Innovation Design District consumers. The area will also show fans the secrets of the gourmet experience through show cooking events, tasting and baking courses, children’s workshops: ideas that have already been successfully promoted by Eataly.

Technology. Around the area you can find the offices of some of the most important international groups in the computing and digital sector. From Google, which is based in a 5,000m2 building in Via Confalonieri, to LinkedIn on the 19th floor of Tower B of the Porta Garibaldi complex and Samsung, that occupies the Diamantino, in Via Mike Bongiorno. Microsoft, too, recently unveiled the “Microsoft House” building in Viale Pasubio, designed by Herzog & De Meuron which, from tomorrow, will host the Icon Design Talks: meetings, open to the public, with international architects and designers organised by the Mondadori Group magazine  Icon Design magazine.

Under the arcades of Gae Aulenti you can find the latest proposals in electric mobility at the Tesla store and it has been confirmed that by the end of the year Amazon will transfer its operating offices in Via Monte Grappa. The restructuring by GBPA Architects consists of ten floors, plus five underground floors, covering an area of ​​17,500 square metres. Technology and innovation will therefore clearly be issues on which to focus part of the area’s activities. Bearing in mind that, along with the city’s skyline, the area has already also changed the Milanese geography of finance and business. In fact, some of the largest banks in the world have chosen the area for their Italian headquarters. From HSBC to the China Bank of Construction, Unicredit and BNP Paribas, as well as the scheduled arrival in 2018 of the Unipol elliptical tower, designed by the architect Mario Cucinella.

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The IDD corporate identity was developed by Studio FM Milano, a design studio founded in 1996 by Barbara Forni, Cristiano Bottino and Sergio Menichelli. The project for the district is based on visual codes and chromatic values form the digital world and interface languages.