Sustainability at Milano Design week 2021.

As our planet becomes more endangered every day, the greatest minds of the world are designing and implementing new solutions for all our necessities.
Our homes are changing and becoming more sustainable too, meaning that in the future they will have way less of a negative impact on the environment. In this respect, Milan’s Design Week was the perfect stage to showcase all the new interior design concepts that will fill and furnish our houses in the future in a greener and more sustainable manner.

Ikea has collaborated with 5 Italian and foreign designers to show their vision of the “home of the future”.
One of the projects was made by the studio Officina Miocugino, together with retail designer Alberto Costa. The motto for the project was: Future Living, enough is more.

What the designers wanted to stress is that we should make the best of what we have. The project included reusable plastic cups, lamps that regulate their light intensity according to sunlight, a vertical garden with a container that filters and uses rainwater to water the plants, and a food pantry without low temperatures storage that only contains dried or long-life foods.

An exhibition that is part of the guiltless plastic project took place in the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci, the largest science and technology museum in Italy.
The project was created by Rossana Orlandi with the aim to raise awareness around the reusing and recycling of plastic, her idea is that plastic shouldn’t be blamed but plastic waste should be considered a resource, with the potential to be reinvented. 

Some of the creative and innovative ideas included the Houseboat, a blue micro-living unit on two levels designed by Lucio Micheletti. Another was the Circular Lab, a recyclable arena made through the assembly of tanks usually used for the collection of industrial waste designed by Mario Cucinella. Lastly, a representation of a School was made with recycled and recyclable chairs by Danish architecture studio Lendager Group.

The Mazzarato group, which is an Italian leader in reclamations activities and environmental solutions, presented the first building materials for street furniture and flooring obtained with geopolymers from dredging and sawing muds.

Rossana Orlandi also launched the third edition of its Ro Plastic Prize, this year there were three winners: Maria Koijck, that made a video showing herself laying in the middle of waste resulting from an operation she underwent for breast cancer; The company Gomi, which made zero-waste portable Bluetooth speakers out of battery cells from e-bikes; and Álvaro Catalán de Ocón, that made a rug woven with recycled plastic debris and displayed a map of the Ganges river region, one of the most polluted in the world.

Heineken even created their own sustainable bar in Palazzo Serbelloni, called the Greener Bar. It’s the first completely sustainable bar based on the idea of a circular economy. The innovative design will help reduce electricity consumption, water usage, and waste, without compromising the experience of going to a bar.

Art also had a big role in showcasing sustainability during design week, Bvlgari called four designers to make four reusable artworks with sustainably sourced materials focusing on the idea of Metamorphosis.
The “Garden of Eden” by Makoto is a geometric tree made of brass, with fruit, flowers, and plants that represent their mutation during the day.

“Lotus Oculus” by Roosegaarde is inspired by the architecture of the Pantheon in Rome, it is a large surface with ‘smart’ flowers that are sensitive to light and heat, resulting in them moving.

Janssens created a site-specific installation that uses natural light which relies on the optical effect of reflection to produce impressions constantly changing in the room.

Finally, Van Duysen created a silent contemplative space. 

Sustainability is not just a trend and seeing it as the inspiration and focus of all these projects is encouraging.
Milano design week has been created to showcase art but also to inspire others. This year, a lot of architects and designers have chosen to inspire everybody to do their part to help the planet, and they have proved that it can be done without sacrificing creativity and style.

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