by Jerry ElengicalJun 11, 2021
The Lost Graduation Show, curated by Anniina Koivu, showcases 170 projects by students who graduated between 2020 and 2021 as part of the 2021 iteration of Milan Design Week. Located in Pavilion 4 at this year’s Supersalone in Milan, the exhibition highlights student projects that address sustainability, social awareness, and design ethics. With representation from 48 design schools in 22 different countries, the show highlights the concerns and concepts currently being discussed in educational institutions across the globe. The proposals presented were selected from over 300 submissions from 59 countries, who responded to the open call-in early June this year. In an official statement Koivu said, “Our annual visit to Salone del Mobile. Milano is a wellspring of energy and new ideas. After an 18-month hiatus, we're now itching to pick up the pace and start producing again, meeting people face-to-face and enjoying ourselves. I am sure that Supersalone will put an end to the stand-by mode we've all lapsed into. The Lost Graduation Show provides an unrivalled opportunity to pick up where we left off and home in on the most urgent issues design needs to tackle, as well as decide on the right direction to move in.”
Keeping in line with some of the proposal’s buzzwords, the exhibition’s design uses a sustainable reusable material. Driven by the desire to create a temporary exhibition with minimal materials and waste, the display was envisioned to grow as a standardised landscape. Using a single material, which is modular and locally-sourced, the idea was to create a stage that allows individual projects to be displayed in a manner that best highlights the students' design. This came in the form of Ytong autoclaved aerated concrete blocks supplied by Xella Italia. Once disassembled, all the components can be sent back into the construction production cycle.
Koivu explained the importance of creating this platform to stage the students' work saying, “How better to kick off than by listening to the issues young designers are raising, and the solutions they are coming up with? Best of all will be finding out that the things young creatives care most about are surprisingly similar the world over. Bringing them all together on a global stage offers a chance to start over again.” This also gave rise to the idea of The Best of Class 2020/21 Award, which was designed to encourage the development of emerging young talents, as well as the internationalisation and innovation that set the exhibition apart. The award was also conceived as a recognition of the quality and excellence of the submitted prototype. A jury composed of Marva Griffin, curator and founder of SaloneSatellite, Giulio Iacchetti, designer, Alberto Meda, architect, Francesca Picchi, architect and lecturer in Industrial Design History and Theory at the Polytechnic University of Milan, have selected the best projects at The Lost Graduation Show. The awarded projects will have the opportunity to take part in the next edition of SaloneSatellite.
The Winners of Best of Class 2020/21 Award
The jury selected projects that stood out for the message they embodied. Projects were celebrated not just the formal incisiveness of the designs but also their sustainable, technological and communicative element. Robust Nest: An incubator for newborns by Fabien Roy (Ecal), was recognised for the design's intention to save lives. The key element in this project is to translate the use of sophisticated tools globally and not just the industrialised world. Incorporating portability, and energy autonomy, The Robust Nest was cited for its value as a tool for saving the lives of new-borns. Regrowth: A research project that explores the connection between computational design and waste material in the forestry industry by Simon Gehring (Stuttgart Academy), addressed the complex relationship between the raw material of product design through a table. Cited for its ability to represent the new paradigm that synthesizes craftsmanship, natural elements, environmental sustainability and computational design in order to generate unique design objects.
Fil Rouge: Extruded Clay Objects by Pierre Murot (Ensci Les Ateliers), focuses on the extrusion process of clay. The project was cited for the results showcased at the fair, which demonstrate the possibility of a new aesthetic and exploring the potential of terracotta as a material. Helix: A single material syringe by Ithzel Ceròn and Daniel Lopez (Tecnologico Di Monterey, Mexico), is an innovative project that uses a material collapsible syringe/needle. The design aids in making the equipment more compact and to simplify the disposal process. Yolkkh: The Story of My People by Amna Yandarbin (Vcu Arts Qatar), was highlighted for its poetic quality. Yandarbin illustrated eleven scarves that encapsulates the personal history of her family. The project confronts the great dramas that the press dramatically showcases every day and tackles the notions of war, trauma, migration, and the difficulties around the sense of belonging, female emancipation, independence and hope.
The jury also awarded two Honourable Mentions. One was awarded to Imprime’: A Medicinal Research Project by Mathilde Lafaille (Ecal). The research explores the possibility of 3D printing medicinal tablets. Reddo: A Material Obtained from Recycled Oyster Shells. From Nature to Nature by Francesco Maria Lucini (IED, Barcelona), was given a special mention as well. Lucini’s research proposal explores the possibility of creating new products for regenerating coral reefs. The proposal also looked at recycling organic waste material such as the shells of oysters from Spain’ mussel farms.
Click here to read all about STIR at Supersalone, a STIR series on the best of exhibits, moods, studios, events and folks to look out for at Milan Design Week 2021.