A multitude of designers, industry people, and sightseers from all over the world flock to Italy’s capital every year to witness the Milan Design Week.
Hailed as the biggest design affair in the globe, this year’s event showcased the latest trends in the design industry through its Salone International del Mobile furniture fair and Euroluce lighting exhibition where a grand collection of avant-garde design concepts were unveiled by independent designers and big brands.
Among the most notable trends that emerged from the MDW include an edifice made of bioplastic bricks and Google’s neuroaesthetics exploration.
Dezeen listed a number of trends that arose from the MDW:
Humans Over Robots
Robots are becoming more and more associated with our daily lives, and designers are working to identify us from these machines by creating pieces that will bank on our human qualities.
A performance installation called Studiolo Robotico RUR presented by the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague set traditional crafting against robotic manufacturing.
Humanscale, an office furniture brand, teamed up with design and research practice studios to create Bodies in Motion, an installation that makes use of light beams in analyzing the human body movements.
The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts also presented a show called Different Bodies that educated viewers of the different body types and the problem of designing for the average body size.
The Circular Economy
A number of creations also promoted sustainability and the circular economy, like those by Norway-based designers. There was also an exhibition called Waste No More, which revealed the story of the Eileen Fisher brand’s initiative towards zero-waste production.
French Architect Arthur Mamou-Mani created Conifera, an installation using bio bricks, for the fashion brand COS. Similarly, a group of Dutch designers also shared their vision for a “liveable” planet through the Ventura Future exhibition.
Promoting Physical Interaction
As an answer to the issues surrounding the rapid expansion of digital communication, Rapt Studio created a space named Tell Me More, which allowed for intimate conversations between people. Sound and Vision, an installation by Swiss design school, also explored how cyber reality can become more social.
Open Bars and Restaurants By Designers
Instead of installations, some designers went as far as launching their own bars and restaurants in Milan, like British designer Tom Dixon.
Health and Well-Being
Furniture designed to improve health is still very much on-trend. Google teamed up with brain scientists to develop an installation called A Space for Being, where visitors’ reactions to varying environments are recorded.
Some creations also focused on improving sleep and designing home gym equipment.
Plants take over
People are realizing more and more that plants are beneficial for the health aside from simply serving interior decors. Banking on this concept, landscape artists created exhibitions that feature a takeover of plants in the home and the city.
Designers have also recognized the increasing popularity of off-grid living, a low-impact solution to the increasing global waste problem. Beatrice Bonzanigo, an Italian architect, created a prototype of a portable, self-sufficient home that can be assembled anywhere.