The Value of Design: Milan Design Week Recommendations for Conscious Fans

Nogah Senecky
April 17, 2023

The 2023 Milan Design Week is here, and with so many incredible exhibitions and events, it’s hard to know where to start. Design Week celebrates interior design in every way, turning the already-stunning city of Milan into one massive artistic experience. 

This year’s theme is Laboratorio Futuro (Future Lab), focused on the future of design, including innovative methods, groundbreaking materials, and sustainable approaches. Sustainability is at the center of things with the understanding that there is no future, within and outside the design field, without a healthy environment. 

The impact of design on the environment and our global community takes the lead, and Kornit’s project for the event also highlights sustainability. If you agree that socially-conscious design by top brands and artists should inspire us all, here are six installations you don’t want to skip. 

Carwan Gallery & Robert Stadler: OMG-GMO

This whimsical-yet-critical project was commissioned by the studio of Robert Stadler and is focused on genetically manipulated fruits and vegetables. The leading design gallery will feature a series of objects that highlight the often disturbing modification produce go through to fit today’s market standards. 

Procedures like selective breeding and bioengineering are central to this collaboration, evident in perfect, unnatural symmetry. The project includes functional objects like a stool that resembles a seedless watermelon, aubergine wheels that support a glass coffee table, and more. 

LiveinSlums & Giacomo Moor: Design for Communities

For this project, LiveinSlums, an NGO focused on urban regeneration and development programs, collaborates with designer Giacomo Moor to create furniture inspired by the designer’s visit to the Mathare slum in Nairobi and the local Why Not Academy. 

Pieces created in this project serve the school’s dining hall and dormitory. Benches, tables, and beds were made with the help of local children who acquired new valuable skills and were paid for their work. The goal is to ensure that every step in the design process considers the community’s current and future needs. 

BASE Milano: We Will Design. We have an I.D.E.A

Designers from pretty much everywhere were invited to participate in this exhibition, forming an experimental laboratory. The acronym I.D.E.A. stands for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility. The space embodies these values and offers everyone an open, pluralistic area through a combination of objects, workshops, research platforms, talks, and more. 

There are several sub-projects to explore: 

  • Temporary home: CasaBASE creates a unique residency for designers from France, the Netherlands, England, Germany, and Greece.
  • We Will Design – Kids: Invites kids to participate in the design process through guides and workshops fit for their point of view. 
  • We Will Design – Music:  A week-long music festival in collaboration with Volvo Car Italia and Le Cannibale.

Forma Rosa Studio: Natura Oscura

This collection of sculptural formations simulates natural shapes to discuss the relationship between technology and natural phenomena. This thought-provoking art installation is the studio’s debut solo show. It encourages visitors to reconsider their interactions with nature and explore new ways to coexist with the natural forces surrounding us. 

More practically, the studio presents creative lighting, seating, and mirror design through these objects. It highlights the intersection of nature, technology, and humanity. 

Byborre: The Elephant in the Room

The textile supply chain has been making headlines since the pandemic started, and this exhibition by the textile design platform celebrates its many sides. A long list of brands and designers participated in this project, including The Woolmark Company, Arco and Lensvelt, Santoni, Groz-Beckert, Montis, Mayer & Cie and Südwolle Group, and others. Together, they showcase the process of textile creation over the years. Visitors can dive deeper into the various stages and learn about the creative process and production procedures involved in making each textile element. 

Kornit, D-house & Markus Benesch: Inspirational Living

The D-house urban laboratory is a hub for responsible innovation, making it the perfect partner for Kornit’s Design Week project. Artist and designer Markus Benesch created immersive design experiences in two interactive rooms that redefine home décor textile. 

The first room is a surreal world based on famous paintings by De Chirico, Carlo Carrá, and Matisse. The second room is wild and colorful, creating a nostalgic experience where visitors become the space’s architects, builders, and designers. Each element and texture symbolize specific concepts, like bricks representing durability and eternity or water-related features that remind us of the importance of water conservation. 

We could go on and on, as there are many impressive exhibitions to see and dozens of ways to enjoy the city of Milan during this special week. We’re excited to see many creative forces harness their talent to support a good cause. If you plan on attending Design Week, we would love to see you at Kornit’s event. Ciao!