by Zohra KhanJul 02, 2022
The design world stands at an important and unprecedented juncture today. The Salone Del Mobile is poised as a festival for the city of Milan and witnesses a coming together of international cultures and creative disciplines. In its return to this epicentre following a hiatus of over two years, the outlook of the Milan Design Week has transformed with more mindfulness in its themes and undertakings. The lessons from this gap, enforced by the pandemic — and its impacts, learnings, and solemn reflections — do not seem lost on this year’s version of the fair. As design talent from across the world converges in scale and on stage into one big creative pool in Milan, Salone’s vision and perspective are decidedly oriented toward the future, underlining how the collective design community may partake in the creation of what’s NEXT.
Presented by Salone del Mobile and STIR, and produced by Dog Ear, Design Voices - #thinkNEXT is a video and podcast series with an aim to collect and amplify these voices of creative thought leaders from around the world at the fair this year. With a daily dispatch from a cross-disciplinary curation of changemakers from the fields of product and interior design, art, architecture, lighting design, and digital creation, STIR engages these design contemporaries in stimulating conversations on the NEXT in the world of creativity. Hosted by Amit Gupta, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, STIR, and co-hosted by William Bagnoli and Charlotte Bräuer of Quei Studio, these outtakes dive into thought-provoking dialogues on emerging phygital paradigms and the creative economy, a mindful exchange of ideas, anecdotes, perspectives and buzz on latest ventures. The voices invite us to reflect on inclusive design and its development across the world. How will human creativity be able to create sustainable futures? How will we move within the context of digital technologies, NFTs, the virtual and real world? It is time to empower and exhort creative minds to break down inter-disciplinary, geographical, socio-cultural and temporal walls, challenge the perception of what seems possible today, and explore the multiple futures that lie beyond.
A certain romanticism for the past has paved the way for a bold and optimistic new future; opulent luxury has stepped aside to usher heightened utility; the physical has melted away into the digital realm and material richness begun to find substitution through renewability. At the cusp of a climate crisis and a long impending digital revolution, MDW 2022 seeks to be a beacon of innovation, diversity, sustainability, and mindful trade. With these paradigms in tow, the 60th anniversary edition of Salone del Mobile.Milano bears the potential to be a historic event for the global creative community. STIR seeks, and mines, a voice for its global audience to engage with: a voice that is the embodiment of the values of Salone and STIR. A voice that can herald and relay the NEXT in design.
In a time of immense cultural upheaval and environmental uncertainty, having an enlightened voice seems just as important as broadcasting it. Our select group of designers, curators and industry pioneers who are probing the NEXT thus include Yves Behar, Jakob Lange, Luca Nichetto, Aric Chen, Richard Hutten, Stefan Scholten, Beatrice Leanza, Daan Roosegarde, Marius Myking, Bryan Young, Inga Sempé, Naoto Fukasawa, Francesca Lanzavecchia, and the young winners of the Salone Satellite Award. Design Voices hopes to travel far and wide for the international creative community as we simulcast it across digital platforms as a series of videos and podcasts, and bring extended interviews with all the leading creatives who are participating this year.
Episode 1: Inga Sempé
I would just like the French industry to be more interested in cooperation with designers. I expect quality to be more important. – Inga Sempé
French designer Inga Sempé, with her spirited voice, effervescent humour, and pragmatic outlook, lights up the first session of Design Voices – STIR's broadcast of radical ideas from the fair.
Known for her lightness, tactile sensitivity, and subtle but idiosyncratic style, Inga has designed for major global brands and her work reflects sustainability, simplicity, and a strong sense for moulding form and materiality to fit everyday use. Inga voices her desire for the NEXT to prioritise cooperation, quality, and longevity over trendiness, while also expressing her ardent love for Italy as “the country of hope for designers”.
Episode 2: Yves Béhar x Jakob Lange
What I love is the notion of invention: the fact that so many of the projects we work upon are new to the world. – Yves Béhar
In this dispatch from Design Voices, STIR brings together designer Yves Béhar and architect Jakob Lange from BIG, contemplating the creative NEXT spanning disciplines and scales.
While Yves seeks to bring tech-driven innovation and sustainability to the realm of product design, Jakob drives the ideas division of BIG through passionate projects aimed at realising the impossible. Discover how the two disruptive changemakers #thinkNEXT and explore working with a ‘kit of parts’ to ensure better livability. Hear their views on emerging from the pandemic, and why we need to build and produce responsibly to replace the archaic.
Sometimes, you need to create stress in the system in order to create new solutions. – Jakob Lange
Episode 3: Naoto Fukasawa
Abstract becomes concrete through outline. – Naoto Fukasawa
Japanese designer, author, and educator Naoto Fukasawa weaves design into actions, consciousness, and a new normalcy for the NEXT in the latest episode from Design Voices.
Fukasawa believes that with small steps, design holds the power to direct big changes in a new world. Rooted in the notion of designing “without thought”, his philosophies point toward the origin of designs from unconscious behaviour, something he ardently observes. Watch Fukasawa as he bridges the past and present, highlighting how happy designers create “happy things”.
Episode 4: Francesca Lanzavecchia
I like to play with the tension that is in between beauty and something that is repulsive. – Francesca Lanzavecchia
With a fervent eye for the future and romanticism for the past, Italian designer Francesca Lanzavecchia unfolds her unique perception of the NEXT in this outtake.
One of the first designers to explore the realms of “design for all”, Francesca emphasises ‘touch’ as the most essential sense. From reminiscing the energy of her first visit to Salone to anecdotes of her unbound artistic spirit, hear a voice sensitive and rare.
Episode 5: Stefan Scholten x Richard Hutten
For me, thinking about design and what's next is about using less materials, but with a great focus on being expressive. – Stefan Scholten
Fellow Dutch designers and Design Academy Eindhoven alumni, Richard Hutten and Stefan Scholten, come together in this outtake of our series of conversations at Salone del Mobile.Milano with what they #thinkNEXT.
Hutten – the master of playfulness, and Scholten – a seeker of form and colour, agree on the urgent need for sustainability, biomaterial innovation, and creating joyful design. Discover the brands they love working with, what they are enjoying at the fair, and the designers they are excited to meet after a two-year hiatus.
The way we exploit the world has to change – and the industry plays an important role in that. – Richard Hutten
Episode 6: Salone Satellite Award Winners
More than ever, we need to be conscious of the whole lifecycle of design. – Lani Adeoye, First Prize, Salone Satellite Awards 2022
This edition of Design Voices unites six brilliant young minds that catalysed the fair with their contributions to the Salone Satellite Award.
With innovative solutions that reimagined everyday products in chairs, lamps, and even walkers, the winners of the exhibition’s flagship prize this year include Nigerian designer Lani Adeoye (First Prize), Belgium-based designer Gilles Werbrouck (Second Prize), Serbian product designer Djurdja Garčević (Third Prize), along with Finnish designer Rasmus Palmgren and Munich-based architect and designer Emanuele Ferraro (Special Mentions). Asked how they would define the NEXT, the young designers explored a multitude of perspectives and concerns ranging from sustainability and resource management to longevity, cultural diversity, and the importance of craft.
Episode 7: Aric Chen x Luca Nichetto
There is a lot of knowledge out there, and we need to be drawing on all of them. – Aric Chen
We bring you, Aric Chen, in conversation with Luca Nichetto – two Design Voices that are collusive and decisive; their synergy emerging from a variance in not just the form of their practice, but also the method. In this outtake from Milan, envision the NEXT through a deeply cultural lens.
While Aric, an educator and curator, focuses on archives and academia by engaging with global cultural institutions, Luca boasts rigorous handiwork growing up amidst the Murano glass industry and adapting the art to create beauty in function.
Catch them talking about sustainability as more than a trend, their multicultural roots and the importance of ecologically regenerative practices.
A very hot word that everybody is using, especially today, is ‘sustainability’. In Scandinavia, this was something that started many, many years ago. – Luca Nichetto
Episode 8: Daan Roosegaarde
I think in 10-15 years - and we will see this change of perspective - as we get to know nature more, and learn our more humble role in that nature, one will start to design weather. – Daan Roosegaarde
Dutch artist and designer Daan Roosegaarde shares his bold and brave vision for the NEXT in this daily broadcast from the mecca of design.
With a mantra of ‘Schoonheid’ (the Dutch word for ‘cleanliness’ as in clean air, clean water, clean energy, and ‘beauty’, as in sublime aesthetics and creativity), and a belief that the first step toward creating a better world is imagining one, Daan creates immersive works that impart environmental awareness through their alignment with beauty and technology.
Listen to his revolutionary ideas on embracing change, technologies for the world of tomorrow, design as an antidote, and behold — re-engineering weather!
Episode 9: Marius Myking x Bryan Young
The process is really what defines the outcome, not our personal taste, or aesthetics, or emotions. – Marius Myking
Amidst perceivable contrasts in their design intents, these designers’ multitude of experiments in drawing from abstraction proves correlative. We bring you Bryan Young and Marius Myking in an intriguing conversation heralding the NEXT of multidisciplinary practices.
While Bryan’s designs are environmentally and contextually responsive, Marius intends his designs to be self-explanatory, in the quest of uncovering parallels between materiality, innovation, and the future.
Catch them talking about design as an iterative process, our new shared reality, and the response of the design world to the climate crisis.
It's an interesting idea for a designer or an architect to not necessarily control the outcome, but to take a step back and allow for looseness within the design process. – Bryan Young
Episode 10: Beatrice Leanza
From different perspectives - the cultural and institutional world, or the educational system, and the politics of it - there is something to be transformed radically, everywhere. – Beatrice Leanza
Are you ready for pluriversal perspectives? Italian curator and critic Beatrice Leanza, one of the three powerful curators at Salone 2022, picks up the multiverse of academia, art and applied design in this conversation.
Beatrice defines good design as an interstice between discipline and creative generosity, armed with the ability to adapt to the unexpected.
Watch her share her vision for radical change - for a cultural, institutional, and educational revolution - with the passion of an angry optimist.
Episode 11: Roberto Palomba
You can find inspiration in everything... Inspiration is your desire to be inspired. It depends on how much you are willing to open your mind, your heart, and your feelings. – Roberto Palomba
For the concluding chapter of Design Voices, the Milanese architect and industrial designer elaborates on his belief in the NEXT, citing circular designs that aim to bring people together, in a democratic vision.
Defining his job as designing an onion of unpredictable layers, Palomba calls himself lucky, for being able to practice a vocation that keeps him inspired, creative, modest and busy.
Listen to him as he elucidates on his humble design ethos, and keeping oneself open to inspiration, to deliver spaces and objects that herald sustainability, durability and quality over style.
Listen to the full episodes on:
Experience Salone del Mobile and all the design districts - 5vie, Brera, Fuorisalone, Isola, Zona Tortona, and Durini - through STIR’s extensive coverage of Milan Design Week 2022, Meanwhile in Milan. We are also excited to announce our very own STIR press booth at Salone del Mobile - Hall 5/7 S.14, Fiera Milano RHO.