I've been to Milan last weekend for the design week. It was my first time visiting the Salone del Mobile and I find it quite inspirational. Also it was nice to know the other side of Milan that is not very turistic but that is far more interesting than the Duomo area.
I decided to share here what I liked the most from the fair but instead of posting every kind of product, I thought it would be nice to look for tendencies on design based on the most forward thinking projects that I saw in Milan.
Here they are:
Reimagining the home
We are in a transition period. Important technologies that will have great influence on the way we live are currently in a development phase. Ikea partnered with Ideo, Eindhoven university of technology and Lund university to find out how these tecnologies will influence the design of the kitchen of 2025. They built a prototype of the kitchen inside their temporary store in the Zona Tortona.
One of their conclusions is that by 2025 we won't need to go to supermarkets to buy food anymore since we will have drones capable of making deliveries in just a few minutes. Supermarkets will become just huge deposits of food and we will be able to order ingredients everyday instead of having to buy for the entire month. Therefore it won't be necessary to store so much food and fridges and freezers, that take so much space in our kitchens, will be useless.
This storing furniture is made in a way that each ingredient is stored in individual containers with different temperatures based in their necessity. While some ingredients (like fish or meat) are cooled by an induction cooling technology, others can be cooled in terracota boxes that are naturally cool and are perfect for ingredients like garlic, carrots and potatoes.
Since the storage containers are all transparent we can be aware of the quantity of food that we have preventing us of overbuying and wasting food.
I'm not sure if this term makes any sense, but it sounds good and I'm proud of myself for coming up with it. It refers to projects that rethink how our society relate to products, mass production processes and consumption, inviting us to slow down and reflect with them.
I found these two concepts in one of the galleries around Ventura Lambrate Zone.
The first one is a mechanical 3d printer designed by Daniel de Bruin as an answer to conventional 3d printers that are made in a way to built products as precise as posible in a completely automated process. In de Bruin's 3d printer, the 3d model is replaced by an wire and each 3d printed object is directly influenced by the designer's hands.
The other concept is a mechanical rotation moulding machine designed by Gert-Jan Soepenberg and used to create concrete vases. Rotation moulding is a process normally used in the plastic industry but when mechanically controlled by a human being it becames a handmade process.
In another gallery at the Ventura Lambrate Zone I found this project by Maurizio Montalti where a research with mycelium was conducted to find novel materials and production processes. Mycelium is the fast-growing, vegetative part of fungi. The project called “the growing lab” wants to find ecofriendly alternatives for materials like plastics that are harming our ecosystem. The outcome is a new, fully compostable, material that growns to form objects and structures that could have endless applications in design and architecture.
Now Maurizio wants other designers to explore the potential of the material to come up with practical applications by making it open source.
There are many initiatives meant to popularize bio production processes, but one that is particularly interesting is the BioHack Academy by the Waag Society in Amsterdam. Based on the Fablab concept they conceived the model for a laboratory where designers can find new applications for biotechnology using specialized open source hardware that you can build yourself. With this hardware you can grow your own fuel, food, filaments, farmaceuticals, fragances, fungi and more.
It is known that we live in a planet with limited resources and that if we keep with the lifestyle we have now these resources will be over soon. With this in mind, the tomorrow collective was created within the Lund University from Sweden.
The collective arguments that consumers don't know where their products come from anymore and that they consume a lot of things that can be harmfull for the planet and for themselves because of mass production processes without being aware of it.
Local production is a way of bringing people closer to the products they consume and to guarantee that these products are healthy both to them and to the environment.
I selected two projects that called my attention.
The first one is Micu by Andrea Muller that is a tool that helps people to make their own yoghurt with natural ingredients in a sustainable way.
The second one is Something Sweet by Tessa Geuze that is a little candy factory that provides tools, molds and storage to inspire people to make their own seasonal sweets.
The food industry is particularly harmful to our planet. In Brazil, for instance, the pecuary is responsible for the Amazon rainforest deforestation, for tons of CO2 on the atmosphere and for a lot of animal abuse and suffering.
The food we will eat in the future will be influenced not only by new technologies like 3d printing but also by new paradigms. There are many specialists sugesting that we should start introducing insects in our diet since they exist in abundance in nature, don't consume as much food and space as cows and can be very healthy. Since many people have problems to look at insects as food, designers are designing experiences to make people feel more confortable with it.
Bugs Bunny by Carolin Schulze is a project where the designer 3d printed a bunny shaped meal using mealworm as ingredient. The designer wanted to break the disgust that people have with worms with the friendly shape of a bunny.