Unveiling the Future: Key Themes at Milan Design Week 2023
The highly anticipated Milan Design Week never fails to captivate and inspire with its cutting-edge concepts, innovative installations and awe-inspiring displays. This year promises to be no different, as designers, architects and creatives from around the globe gather to showcase their latest creations and share their vision for the future of design. In this blog post, we’ll explore the key themes that are taking centre stage at Milan Design Week 2023.
As designers increasingly incorporate sustainable materials, ethical manufacturing processes, and circular design principles into their creations, we can expect to see a wide range of innovative and environmentally friendly designs that reflect the growing awareness of the need for sustainable design practices.
During Milan Design Week, Audi unveils its House of Progress exhibition, which explores the principles of circular design and the brand’s approach to contributing to a more environmentally conscious future. At the heart of the space, Audi presents its ‘skysphere’ concept, showcasing a fully electric roadster for the first time to the Italian
public. Surrounding this centrepiece, the exhibition also features the Domino Act installation by Gabriele Chiave, comprising of 22 reflective monoliths arranged in a circular formation, providing an artistic interpretation of circular design.
The Senza Invito exhibition, hosted at the Carcere di San Vittore prison, features design creations crafted by inmates which make use of recycled materials from within the premises. Through the prison’s circular economy workshop, discarded items such as bottles, batteries and wooden sticks are reimagined into the objects on display.
The Iuav University of Venice, renowned for its design and architecture programs, showcases the results of its academic semester with a focus on circularity and repurposing waste materials. Held at the school’s spin-off studio, Design Differente, the exhibition features an array of models, prototypes, videos and posters that demonstrate the insightful approaches taken by the University towards sustainable design.
DESIGN FOR GOOD
The Design for Communities exhibition, curated by Davide Fabio Colaci in collaboration with Federica Sala, has arisen from a meaningful partnership between LiveinSlums, an NGO dedicated to urban regeneration in highly critical areas, and designer Giacomo Moor. The organisation has been making a significant impact in Mathare, one of Nairobi’s largest slums, by providing children and youth with valuable resources to regenerate into school and work. Moor visited the area to create prototypes of furniture for the dining room and dormitory of Why Not Academy, a local school which serves approximately 300 children. The resulting exhibition presents this vibrant community and provides a compelling showcase of the positive impact of design on communities.
The 10th edition of 5VIE Design Week brings together independent designers, curators, companies and institutions. With the theme of ‘Design for Good,’ the event serves as an invitation to explore the power of design as a means for fostering meaningful human connections. Emphasising sustainability and mutual care, the event encourages a fresh perspective on design.
Renowned interior architect and designer Richard Yasmine makes a captivating return to Milan Design Week with an exploration of AI-generated furniture design. In collaboration with 5vie Milano, Yasmine presents ‘Silent Holllows’, a mesmerising 3D-printed installation paying homage to the innate qualities and dispositions of Mother Nature, as well as its profound connection with our internal tumultuousness.
blond, a consultancy known for its strategic focus and sustainable approach, invites guests to experience casa blond during Milan Design Week 2023. This unique pop-up residency aims to break away from the trend of AI-generated content and instead encourages emotional engagement, creativity, and collaboration in a home-like environment. Cabinet displays showcase intriguing and unconventional objects, including a plywood chair inspired by Marcel Breuer, as well as cutting-edge innovations in household appliances and accessories.
TRADITION & CULTURAL HERITAGE
Although many designers are focused on looking towards the future, there are also those who are embracing and reinterpreting past traditions and reframing these within a contemporary context.
An exhibition featuring handcrafted objects that explore the volcanic stone culture in Jeju Island, South Korea, is being presented by Ae Office, a design studio based in Berlin. The exhibition showcases two collections created in collaboration with Jeju iiin, a Jeju-based content magazine. These collections are inspired by the stories of how the people of the island have lived in harmony with volcanic materials. The designs are crafted using a traditional earthenware technique called ‘Jeju Onggi’.
Irthi, an organisation located in Sharjah, is holding an exhibition titled ‘Echoes of Alchemy’, which is co-curated by creative studio Mr Lawrence. The exhibition highlights Irthi’s collaborations with Studiopepe, Casalinghe di Tokyo, and American University of Sharjah, exploring the notion of the ‘recipe as a design concept’. Through this theme, the exhibition aims to prompt the ongoing cultural dialogue between the East and the West, as well as between traditional craftsmanship and contemporary aesthetics. The organisation is committed to preserving and promoting cultural heritage and local craftsmanship in the United Arab Emirates.
In celebration of its seventh edition, Masterly – The Dutch in Milano – moves to its new location at Palazzo Giureconsulti, which offers a breath-taking view of the Duomo. Curator Nicole Uniquole has carefully chosen an array of innovative concepts, partnerships, designers, businesses, colleges and galleries that showcase Dutch design and craftsmanship. Through a harmonious blend of multisensory presentations, Masterly honours the historical architecture of its new venue while also bridging the past and future.