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Published by Sugar & Cream, Tuesday 07 June 2022

Images courtesy of Superdesign & each respected brand

Milan Design Week 2022 – Superstudio Più – via Tortona 27, Milano (6-11 June 2022)

Looking Ahead: this was the general theme conceived, months back, to indicate the direction of the next edition of Superstudio’s Superdesign Show during Design Week 2022. As if to distance us from the convictions of many: “Everything will return as before” and predicting that the future will actually be reformulated in all of its expressions, we’ve invited interesting designers and companies to attend our event and align with our glimpsing “beyond”. To be able to explore unknown territory, to anticipate needs and trends, translate the word “sustainability” – the common term connecting everything – into concrete proposals, and redesign our lives which have become unexpectedly more complicated. The occasion of Design Week 2022, assigned by the pandemic to this year’s anomalous date, rendered even more uncertain by the war in Ukraine, makes the date with design a moment of optimism which aims to repair the social, commercial and productive fabric in a positive manner.

The latest edition of Superdesign confirms the creative direction of Gisella Borioli and the art direction of Giulio Cappellini, who have made the Superdesign Show prestigious and unmissable ever since the first edition in 2000, and all of its iterations in the years following. The set up aims ever more towards the internationality of companies and designers, with special attention to the countries of the East and Far East, and on the evermore interesting feminine creativity still perhaps not fully valorised. For this reason we’d like to open by underlining how attentive and favourable Superstudio is to supporting creative women, architects, artists, designers and art directors, increasingly protagonists of the world of projects in which, up until recently, were considered black swans despite their effective talent. You’ll find various people or representations of their creations in this edition of the Superdesign Show. Two particular artists, Maria Cristina Carlini and Carla Tolomeo, welcome you with their works at the entrance to, and the exit from the manifestation, a healthy twelve designers in the ‘Women&Design’ section dedicated to them, besides other architects and creatives at various points of the general exposition.

At this point we are proud to host the collection of the Ukrainian studio NOOM, designed by Kateryna Sokolova, who arrives directly from Kiev.

The 2022 Superdesign Show presents itself from the viewpoint of the construction of the space as a spontaneous “village”, developed across areas of interest with site specific “buildings” and installations arranged in the grand halls of Superstudio Più, amongst which you can move freely. The subjects proposed by the exhibitor tackle today’s major discussion topics looking into the future. We anticipate a few, developed across individual or collective shows.

As is now tradition for some years, we gaze afar keeping an eye on what is happening in the countries of the East and Far East, a world in continuous evolution, and ever more protagonist and competitive even in design.

Presented by MOIRE Rugs

A great choral exhibition in which Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore interpret a globalised world with offerings respecting their tradition, but also technology and a contemporary aesthetic. From automotive to furnishings, from evocative and avant-garde 3D simulations the Orient is ever present in all its versatility. Among the many previews we cite Toyo Aluminium “Resonance: Vortex to Diversity” sculpture in aluminium designed by pigments, a concept of Toshiya Hayashi and Hokuto Ando from Tokyo’s we+ studio.

A cultural crossing for the “Look into Nature” furniture which uses igusa (a type of rush grown in rice fields) designed for the Japan’s ADAL by the German designer Michael Geldmaker.

The curator Eggarat Wongcharit displays the best of Thailand – recognized with the DEmark design excellence award – in the “Slow Hand Design Exhibition 2022” project organized by the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), “reflecting on the probability of unpredictability relating to the pandemic with the topic “uncertainty = certainty”. The product on show investigates solutions for a New Normality on the theme of “BCG” – Bio-circular-Green Economy.

From Hong Kong we have the “HK-UK Project: Design, Artistry and Craftsmanship” a project by HKFA&DA (Honk Kong Furniture and Decoration Trade Association), curated by Amy Chow to valorise new design talents, and to promote industrial and multicultural collaborations.18 unique and imaginative pieces of furniture, born out of the collaboration between 6 Honk Kong designers and 6 British designers, whilst 40 young designers from Honk Kong have worked together with their tutors on the same themes.

Not forgetting proposals which arrive from other brands from the land of the rising sun: Lexus, The Mot Company, Forum8, OGJKT Studio, mui lab present in other areas and described later.

In the large art-garden at the entrance to Superstudio, among the sculptures of Flavio Lucchini, an installation diffused in the greenery give us novelty in open-air furnishing with additions for the garden by Paolelli Garden, the furniture of Piero Lissoni and Patricia Urquiola for Janus et Cie and stone paving by Nero Sicilia. For novel internal/external functions and architecture in a nature friendly vision is the large multifunctional and modular biophilic veranda by Massimiliano Mandarini with Gaviota Bioclimatic Pergole born out of path of research and a project oriented towards the 2030 Agenda for ambients and Human&Green spaces.

Surprising is the “A-House” by Tiny Company, a minimal home of optimal design, adapted to different uses, all in glass, of just about 25mq, resulting from a collaboration between the founder Lukáš Otevřel and the architect Martin Stára from the studio Perspecktiv. Inside, the designer Jiři Krejčiřik and the artist Taja Spassková incorporate a monumental lamp by Jiři, a design pyrographic design by Taja is an element of their Nouveau furniture collectibles. SuperGreen carries on a conversation begun years ago by Superstudio when proposing Italian style with an international calling, mixing up in various ambients, some great made in Italy brands with personal choices such as Superloft (2018), Superhotel(2019), SuperCampus (2021) and now SuperGreen, a project as always curated by Giulio Cappellini and for the occasion of this year in collaboration with Massimiliano Mandarini.

On the subject of green design, there‘s also the Art Point room, the first a visitor encounters, where an exhibition by the Biohabitat Foundation presents rare and multiple species of plant as if they were grand sculptures, informing us on biodiversity. At the same time it allows us to rediscover the re-edition of wonderful vases in recycles and sustainable plastic by Serralunga, designed by famous authors such as Zaha Hadid, Rodolfo Dordoni, Jean Marie Massaud and Philippe Stark.

By now we all know: the robots are here even if we can’t see them. The latest technology makes them listen, decide, speak and interact with us. A brand leader like Haier Europe with a new immersive and experiential journey presents “Home Switch Home“ through the installations of its three international brands, Haier “Connect to extraordinary”, Candy “Simplify your day” and Hoover with “Quality for life”. More than 1000mq are dedicated to the Smart Home, to the Internet of Things and to Artificial Intelligence declined ad hoc for each of the brands and their own particularities. Each with evermore innovative solutions where appliances and services converge in. an ecosystem which improves and facilitates the daily experience. The fil rouge for the journey is the hOn app, the digital platform of the Group.

As much as gaze goes towards a digital future image factory where we’ll find our dream homes in the metaverse, in every corner of the world there’s a strong new desire for comfort, simplicity, essentials, of that home-cocoon which, even if miniscule, has to be reassuring and personal. “Rooms” with diverse styles come to us from various countries.

A stimulating confrontation without limits which creates, with soft minimal shapes and human technology, ambients with a high level of living well-being introducing also “sentimental design” which touches on familiar developing innovation. As is the case among others, of the young Hungarian designer Gaspar Bonta, who is inspired by memories of childhood and grandparents, both of whom were artists. From Poland the reassuring living rooms of Sits with its comfortable divans which invite relaxation, to Japan and the essential and technological living space of mui Lab, from Singapore the passepartout accessories of OBJKT Studio. From Croatia a furniture collection with rounded forms by Metoda, in natural wood and toned colours where the designers DC Orešić, Grupa, Neisako, Numen7For Use, Regular Company, Simon Morasi Piperčić, Think Objects, respecting tradition interpret the needs of today and future sustainability.

Think too of the pleasing world of hospitality by Dutch Satelliet Originals with an entire collection of bold, original, colorful and unmistakable pieces intended to create more welcoming hospitality spaces. Perhaps the most emotional last-minute inclusion is that of NOOM, a Ukrainian company who despite the war has been able to carve out a safe corner to complete the production of a symbolic living room designed by Kateryna Sokolova, and to bring it to Milan on the occasion of Design Week.

Interesting ideas arrive from Italy: the “living space“ of Flaminia devised by Giulio Cappellini, which treats the bathroom as a room reserved for pleasure and diverse functions recounting them via the window onto Via Tortona of Superstudio; the contemporary pieces of Elli Design, in 100% recycled plastic, created through additive manufacturing, with an eye on the dialogue between nature – with all its imperfection – artisanal and innovative.

Not forgetting the air cleaning sphere for the living room by My Pure Air with the Space project by Giorgio d’Alessandro and the elegant and functional home solutions by Black Nova.

The importance of lighting when it comes to creating an ambient with strong visual impact is underlined by Icone Luce with its most recent lamps, projected by Marco Pagnoncelli, simple in their form, but precious in terms of workmanship and materials, besides other recognised design icons.

Soft couture-cushions made with cast-off fabric from furniture companies inform us on upcycling, a proposal from Atelier des Refusés from an idea of the architect Carolina Nisivoccia.

Surprising is the installation by the communications agency LFM which uses lettering for the capsule collection of the designer Alessio Salvo, where the divan expresses comfort in word form.

Design in an interpretation which pushes beyond the object itself and manifests through art based on innovative and advanced technologies. There is an important presence of women who this year leave a more notable mark. At the entrance the work by the aforementioned great sculptress, Maria Cristina Carlini, an imposing wood reduced to the essential reminds us that nature exists in a state of imminent danger.

In the Asian area we continue to reflect on the impact of the great current issues (war, pandemic, ambient…) of this decade with 10 dolls revisited in carbon with the new printing technology of Japan’s The Mot Company inspired by the works of Flavio Lucchini.
In the central hall Habits Design Studio proposes “Sincronia” an interaction design installation in which physical and digital interaction between the human body and light is spectacularized by the dance company Kataklò Athletic Dance Theatre created by Giulia Staccioli.

The original material wall surfaces of Affreschi&Affreschi also speak the language of art, in a path of discovery of great designers like Milo Manara and the stylistic evolutions of eclectic designers like Fabio Novembre together with Studio Milo, Maria Dalli and Simone Florell.

The entire area of Global Design and it’s international brands is dominated by a lighting installation made up of twelve luminous branches, six metres long, born out of the artistic interaction between the Slim lamps of KLAKdesign by Giò Colonna Romano with the art direction of Adriana Lohmann. Somewhere between art and design Sara Ricciardi for gloTM presents her “HyperNova” lounge in the independent hall, an installation with different paths and an invitation to an experience in which nature, technology, uniqueness and multiplicity coexist without compromise.

On the Roof, TOILETPAPER magazine, the collective founded by Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari, connects the urban garden with the artworks of the Radical Pop collection gloTM and awaits guests for a panoramic respite. It is framed by the installation of Michelangelo Pistoletto for Superstudio, a raised garden regenerated by Latifolia.

To round off the Superdesign Show in style, the FlavioLucchiniArt Atelier awaits you, with another artist, Carla Tolomeo, famous for her sensual soft sculptures recalling nature, on which it’s possible to snuggle up. The site-specific installation with new works created especially for the event is presented by Formitalia.

Worth noting the large stylized trees which indicate access to the various sections, designed by Giulio Cappellini, rendered highly original by the pictorial and material intervention of the artist Sonja Quarone using hard resin by Gobbetto.

Much awaited is the exhibition of the “Urban Matter(s)-Material Reduction for a Lighter City” collective curated by Materially which proposes solutions and orientation for the problems and major themes associated with urban living, starting from reduction of the impact of emissions, energy or the materials we use. A “What if…?” which teaches us how everything can return to new life in a continuous virtuous cycle.

From Alcantara comes the “Someone is Lying” project, a provocative idea to ask ourselves about all the misleading communications which obstruct a true effort on the sustainability front. Against the background of a maxi-installation symbolic of the theme which sees Alcantara committed to divulge the importance of a serious and certified approach, the main Piazza of the Events, there will be discussions with top level experts who will try to separate the true from the false in this fundamental argument for the safeguarding of the planet.

A topic very dear to us returns, that being feminine creativity, by way of the presentation of twelve designers and the creations which best describe them. Promising and affirmed names each will offer a “self-portrait” via one single recent creation. Starting from the archistar Paola Navone for ABK to the multi-award-winning designer Ilaria Marelli for Steeles and the artist and artisan collective Food Design Stories. And with them, in a sort of projectual mirror which pitches each author with one of her most recent design works, Malin Iovino, Camilla and Valentina Gallo for Jamis Sans Toi, Adriana Lohmann, Tina Rugelj, Sabine Baz for Sabba Designs, Laura Santi, Diana Zabrella, Laura Zeni.

Designer and artisans who bear witness to just how diffused the famed Italian creativity is across the national territory are present and participate as singles and as small collectives.

All to discover the vision of design and the most interesting chosen masters of know-how of our country. With the “Fingerprint Südtirol” project, ten companies from the Alto Adige present high craftsmanship, artistic craft and contemporary design, organized by Ivh.apa Confartigianato Imprese, IDM Alto Adige and Studio Oberhauser.

Meanwhile the “Fuoriserie – Unicità per il domani” collective organized by CNA (National Confederation of Artisans and of Small and Medium Companies) brings together seven interesting and selected artisanal realities from across Italy with their idea of uniqueness with pieces somewhere between art and design.

Renewable energy and the fossil fuel crisis lead us to imagine a future which is always more blue and more green.

Sea Cat 40 a new concept catamaran inspired by the marine ambient in a green vision which looks to develop sustainable technology and novelty in the sector. Completely electric thanks to zero emission photovoltaic panels for 90% of the time. Proposed by Rossinavi, important naval workshops in Viareggio. The project presented at Superstudio “Blu-E, The Underwater Experience” invites you to enter into a large experiential “box” which simulates underwater life and allows you to discover the importance of phytoplankton for our existence and the world of renewable energy and sustainability.

For the automotive Lexus presents “Lexus-Sparks of Tomorrow”, underlining the philosophy of the brand for an all-electric tomorrow and its commitment on the matter of sustainability. An immersive installation by designer Germane Barnes recounts RZ, a battery powered electric vehicle which represents the carbon-neutral future of Lexus. In collaboration with Aqua Creations who have also created with the new ToTeM lighting collection, a rest lounge for relaxation and reflection. They also reveal prototypes studied for better living, and finalists in the Lexus Design Awards 2022 and also show how the students of the Royal College of Art in London have developed radical new luxury transport concepts in a post-graduation creative programme commissioned by Lexus.

The third dimension is that which has allowed technology to transform from flat to volumetric creating rapidly and without the help of humans three dimensional objects and effects of ever greater dimension and complexity. A productive practice already widely diffused, and which continues to find new applications. Israel’s Stratasys, world leader in 3D printing, with the “Reflections” SSYS 2022 collection and the new Polyjet 3DFashion Printing System presents new solutions for projecting fabrics, shoes, accessories, packaging and much more, which acquire relief and stunning effects. Japanese Forum8 with the theme “Beyond reality and design” show us how the latest technology for 3D visualization allows us to enter an architectural virtual reality where you can place and live every tiny detail of an object with extreme precision. It adds other experiences in virtual reality which take us into an intangible world, but one with which we can interact without physical limitations.

In this chapter our attention is on young lights and the talent of tomorrow. The time again in the “village” of the Superdesign Show we discover young dreamers who dare to think differently, experiment and self-produce. Among these is the extremely interesting University of Malta SACES experiment, with Alka, the fabric recouped from algae, which is the fruit of research by the students.

Returning after the extraordinary success of the 1000 VASES seen at Superstudio during the previous season, small individual stories if free creativity: 150 MINI VASES presented again by Francesco Pirello and made by over one hundred manufacturers from around the world, with a maximum height of 20cm. To that we add the Istituto Marangoni school of design – where young dreamers become the professionals of the beautiful – which introduces a digital installation on the theme of tarot cards as proposed by the students to signify modern tendencies.

A reflection on the world of architecture is proposed via video link and a talk in dedicated ambient, the 4Rooms on the main Piazza: Magnetti Building (Grigolin Group) presents “Opera Building” in a 3D video installation which recalls the recent restauration of the Donizetti in Bergamo obtained with avant-garde prefabs and techniques.

With a dedicated daily schedule Matrix4Design invites you join with journalist Laura Ragazzola to follow “An Italian architect in…”, in viewing her video reportage in the most famous architect’s studios in the world, presided over by Italians. Special guest of the series in presence and on screen is architect Monica Tricario, founding partner of Milan’s Piuarch Studio, expert in social sustainability in architecture.

At the same time Superstudio presents and anticipates in a conference, the content of DNA.DesignNaturaArchitettura, its new and original project programmed for design week 2022 at the new Superstudio Maxi (the first entirely sustainable Italian location with Leed Gold certification) which could not be realized this year due to the change of dates. Postponed therefore to Milano Design Week 2023 this ever-innovative manifestation which will tackle design and architecture from an original and innovative perspective: the focus shifts from inside to outdoors and to everything which is in the city. With particular attention to the protagonists of Milan’s transformation. The call for participants is already open.

The 4Rooms are available for encounters, talks and projections in the Vision Room on the ground floor and for B2B get-togethers and meetings in the lounge on the first floor, following a pre-arranged schedule and otherwise booked on request.

Superdesign Show 2022 at Superstudio Più
is a project by Gisella Borioli with the artistic direction of Giulio Cappellini.

Project Manager Laura Vella, Exhibit Designer Stefania Ambrosini.
Production by Superstudio Events.
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