Brera Design District is a project conceived and curated by Studiolabo. It was founded in 2009 as a territorial marketing project and becomes an internationally recognized brand.
It operates in the area by developing networking, creating formats and events, offering consultancy to companies and professionals. Over the years it has been able to consolidate its role thanks to a strategy aimed at promoting the district and providing direct support to companies, creating dedicated services and generating relationships, thus defining a widespread and organized network of contacts. The Brera Design District gives voice to the story of the people who live in the district at the same time proposing a unique image of the neighborhood by offering an immersive experience addressing tourists and a widespread public. Today the Brera Design District universe includes two events: Brera Design Week and Brera Design Days, a consulting platform: Brera Location and the Brera Design Apartment showroom.

Brera: the heart of Milan

Where art, fashion and design define a unique atmosphere.

Historically developed around the Academy of Fine Arts, Brera represents the most suggestive and fascinating soul of the Milanese historic center, an enchanting maze of pedestrian streets that is the backdrop for art galleries, showrooms and restaurants. Brera is a district crossed by creative ferment and desire to experiment, that over the years has established itself as a district of food and shopping, as well as an essential destination during the Fuorisalone.

foto di Ugo Mulas

From neighbourhood to district

How the project of Brera Design District was conceived.

In 2009 the Lombardy Region, the Municipality of Milan and the Chamber of Commerce established the D.u.c., or Urban Districts of Commerce, territorial entities that "... define areas and initiatives in which freely aggregated citizens, companies and social organisations are able to turn trade into the key factor for the innovation, integration and enhancement of all the resources available to the territory, to increase their appeal, regenerate the urban fabric and support the competitiveness of its business poles" (art. 5 of Regional Law - Lombardy no. 6/2010).

The DUC are defined as areas with homogeneous characteristics for which public and private entities propose integrated management interventions in the common interest of the social, cultural and economic development and environmental enhancement of the urban and territorial context of reference.

This is the starting point for Studiolabo – following the request of the Solferino/San Marco Traders' Association – to develop the Brera Design District project, starting from the mapping of almost 70 permanent showrooms in the district and the promotion of the events taking part in the Fuorisalone in the April 2010 edition.

The Brera Experience 2020 Project, which includes mapping several Brera commercial activities and promote them on this website, was carried out thanks to the contribution of the Milan municipality, as part of the promotion of D.u.c. Distretto Urbano del Commercio di Brera.

Mappa Brera Design district

How to create a Design District?

The Design District is a globally widespread and consolidated format in which territory and design are the levers of development that, also extending to related sectors, define new identities of the city.

From the experience gained with the Brera Design District project, Studiolabo has drawn up 10 essential points in the definition and design of a District, fundamental rules to follow in order to develop a representative project, in line with the place and meaningful for the public.

Decalogue for the establishment of a Design District:

  •  1Find a place
  •  2Define the value and strengths of the district
  •  3Define the target audience and strengthen the relationship with the public
  •  4Building the brand and a visual brand identity
  •  5Structuring storytelling and identifying a narrative method
  •  6Define the communication tools
  •  7Apply commercial formats
  •  8Establish partnerships and start collaborations to feed the network
  •  9Develop support services and complete the offer of services for the public
  • 10Take care of special projects

The Manifesto:

Brera, the history of Design to tell the story of a city.

Among the project objectives of the Brera Design District we want to highlight the promotion of the culture of the project that is the basis of the Design Days event and all the reflections that define the theme and choice of the prizewinner for the Design Week.

In a historical moment in which references have been lost, the concept of identity is languishing and the history of know-how (both in the production and in the design context) is not sufficiently remembered, we believe that reflection is essential.

In order to design the present it is key to look at what has been done well in the past, reaffirming the role of districts, handicraft knowledge and entrepreneurial ability, bringing it back on innovative paths.

Producing culture, doing continuous research, creating connections between companies and players in the context, in a path aimed at promoting a new way of communicating design, the Brera Design District produces and shares a manifesto: in search of a new consciousness.

Designing and communicating the territory

The role of Studiolabo.

Studiolabo is a Milan-based agency that has been dealing with communication and concept design since 2003. It provides strategic consultancy, branding and graphic design services, promotes and produces cultural events related to the world of design and territorial marketing and is the author and creator of and Brera Design District.

Studiolabo has the aptitude to create and develop professional networks to share skills and resources: the Milano Design Network project, of which it is the author, aims to connect companies, professionals and agencies in order to identify solutions dedicated to the organizations based in the Milan area.

Brera Design District is one of the projects curated by Studiolabo and certainly the most representative of its expertise in the field of communication design, development of digital platforms to support events and territorial marketing.

Numbers of the District

Permanent Showrooms
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Art galleries
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Temporary locations
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