A couple of weeks ago Milan was home of the Design Week. It is a big event made of events where designers gather to exhibit their works to everybody. There is the Furniture Fair (business oriented, outside Milan) and the Fuorisalone (heaven for curious people, all throughout Milan). The latter sure is the most interesting event: a gigantic shake-hands between designers and the city of Milan.
Three main districts, each one with a peculiar soul, host designers from all over the world with their works to exhibit. There’s Tortona, the official land of the so-called creative, alternative people. There’s Brera, the artistic district in the very heart of Milan. And then there’s Ventura/Lambrate, the young one, not only because it is part of the Design Week since 2010, but because it hosts schools with their budding designers and, in general, innovative and provocative ideas and people.
I love the excitement and the sparks I can breathe during such days! I always have a great time being my curious self, having conversations with designers about the ideas behind their works, the materials they chose and the reason why, their inspiration and their creative process. As a reward, I am gifted with their stories, full of passion, dreams, visions and love about their own ideas. It’s fantastic, pure magic.
That said, I was left a little bit disappointed by the fact that the Design Week and the Fuorisalone most of all seemed to only revolve around parties. It was a shame that all the media I read (both social and not) were all about crowds in the streets enjoying the typical Milanese happy hour. It was almost impossible to read about contents, projects, works, ideas, names of designers. As an art lover (and curious) that left me with a bitter-sweet feeling, because from one hand we experience an incredible opportunity to talk to and to be surrounded by all such creative people, but from the other hand I wonder if it could be that the power of design is getting weakened by too many superficial passers-by.
Design is not a party, it must be a tough job instead. Being a designer must involve art and science. Designers should know about chemistry, about materials. And human nature and needs also, if you want your ideas to become part of people’s everyday life. Design must be the (not so) imaginary point where the knowledge of the human nature, science and art somehow and someway meet and collide. And how precious is that? That’s why I consider irritating to treat design like a sort of open bar where people quickly swallow it and share it on social media, only to forget about it after one minute. That’s frustrating and damages the value of design, in my very personal opinion.
Sneaking through the Fuorisalone I have met some brilliant people from so many countries, I have learnt to appreciate some of their ideas, many others I still don’t understand – and probably I never will – some others remain a pointless virtuosity to me. The minimalism and the simplicity of shapes and materials attracted me – so utterly chic. Their clean and cut display was so inspirational, so much white (I adore white) with elegant and warm accents of colors. I’ve noticed the overall idea of creating something that would live forever, like a molecule that will never get consumed, nor it gets old, but that’s able to speak louder than words. I’ve seen focus and curiosity towards details, a contemporary take and point of view on the everyday objects of life, and I find it so right because, honestly, inventing something completely new from the scratch should not be so that easy…
All pictures by me