The week of madness is done and dusted: between events, light installations, queuing at Ventura Centrale, getting confused with who’s where from, Milan Design Week is when the Milanese blend in with the hordes of Dutch and Japanese keen students to discover a world that is new, new to everyone. Because that’s what design and experience design are all about, and that’s the kind to be found in the 100+ exhibitions and collateral happenings at Fuorisalone.
We wanted to be marvelled, once again, buy our own city and by the things it can create. A mixed of ‘feeling a stranger in our hometown’ plus the FOMO that characterises all certified Milanese: we all say we will keep off from those events everyone talks about, but deep inside, we all know we will find a way to check them out.
And this is what Fuorisalone left us with. From the criticism of Gaetano Pesce’s sculpture in Piazza Duomo, to the study of Les Arcanistes by Studio Pepe on how the so called holder of the ‘arcane’ (the arcanistes) were actually the first chemists and they stored their most secrete formulas in porcelains they created themselves, or the darkest and most hidden spaces in Ventura Centrale where to venture in mesmerizing light installations such as the one by DNP, Pattern as Time.
Or the best views of the city from the terrace set up by Masquespacio and curator Valentina Guidi Ottobri for the 100th anniversary of the most important kilns in Italy. And the huge theme of ‘how to stop plastic going into our oceans’: from recycled plastic tiles to seating pieces, Fuorisalone was to us a beacon if light. There’s a real hope for all of those who want to change the reality of how little we can do just by dividing our domestic waste into different coloured bins.
And what about the contradictions 2019 design came with?
Take ‘’UNFLUENCER – De-sinning the Designer” by Daniel Freitag. An original attempt to connect with visitors and fellow designers on the reflection of how bad design and the overuse of plastic is actually ruining our world. Too bad the many who queued for hours did it more for the sake of coming out of it with a branded tote.
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Selfies. Instagram posts. We challenge you in finding one post of any of the installations at Fuorisalone that isn’t photo bombed by other keen social media star wannabes. That’s also what Fuorisalone in 2019 means: the rise of social media shaping what these types of events is all about: a light installation has to be conceived taking into account how users and their phones will experience it. And that’s an oxymoron – there’s no experiencing if you are still looking at your phone screen instead of what surrounds you.
We hope design and other beautiful things will soon make the changes that matter possible.