BASE AT DESIGN WEEK 2022
We Will Design 2022: through micro-utopias and fantasy institutions
Design Week 2022, running from 6 to 12 June, will see designers from all over the world, schools, universities, international institutions and young students gathering at BASE for the second edition of "We Will Design": an experimental workshop for imagination and inclusion where design practices and experiences offer insight - and sometimes solutions - when it comes to the many contradictions of our present reality, conjuring visions of the near future, ideals of daily life, and micro-utopias.
A "today" which lets us re-examine the splits and divisions that generate conflict, helping us understand how a space of friction can become fertile ground for creativity. Asking, once again: what role does design play in this contentious modern landscape?
At a historic moment characterised by huge uncertainty, face-to-face with the collapse of larger utopias, even the smallest visionary, radical, and at times crazy ideas can end up being tomorrow's sensible solutions. Micro-utopias can serve as a "device" to shift the ideal from the abstract to the concrete realm in politics, as well as in our social lives and daily existence.
From the circular economy to biodiversity as a creative resource, co-design processes, the house of the future, new approaches to learning, and the creation of original, individually driven safety devices: a range of topics will be explored in the second edition of "We Will Design" which will revolve around three macro-projects - Temporary Home, Exhibit, and They will design - curated by BASE across the ground level and first floor.
This year will also see the return of Temporary Home, the transformation of casaBASE - BASE's guesthouse - into a unique residence for five young designers hailing from France, Germany, England, the Netherlands and Italy, invited to reflect specifically on the subject of the circular economy. These 5 rooms will offer up a vision of 5 cutting-edge scenarios, serving as both home and place of experimentation for the designers over the course of the week, a place from which to develop, display and chronicle their own projects in a public forum. German researcher and designer Rebecca Schleder, in collaboration with Goethe-Institut Mailand, will present "Symbiopunk", a bioreactor and composting system that converts human faeces into fertile mulch, showing how human waste can be a precious resource, not only for agriculture, but also to support natural cycles in a broader sense. In “Proposals for a Prevailing World – Vol.I” Dutch designer Joppe Broers has created a map of all known extinct species from 1800 onwards, offering a meditation on the rapid urbanisation of our planet. In “The Big Assembly” French designer and scenographer Goliath Dyèvre, in collaboration with Institut Français Milano - Institut Français Paris, ponders the very nature of innovation through the transformation of materials that feature in our daily lives. Together, these materials - which range from the most innocuous to the more complex - become singular objects that may be functional or sculptural and will go on display as part of Exhibit. "The Growing Sneakers" from Italian eco-social designer Nicholas Rapagnani reflects on the life cycle of a pair of sneakers, using "growing materials" in the search for more sustainable solutions. The project focuses on experimentation with organic materials made from laboratory grown mycelium as a response to current mass production practices. Designer Kaajal Modi, selected by an international judging panel in collaboration with the British Council as part of the Circular Cultures programme, invites the public to explore their own relationship with the food supply chain and the numerous interdependencies that arise as a result, offering up a multisensory experience that engages hearing, smell, touch and taste.
The studio-rooms at casaBASE will be open to the public throughout the week, offering visitors the chance to observe the creative process and engage with the resident community.
For this year's "We Will Design", BASE's first floor will once again house Exhibit, a large exhibition bringing together work from emerging designers, design studios, academies, and universities, thus becoming a place of research and experimentation focused on new design perspectives. There will be projects curated by major international organisations, including Tech Monterrey Mexico City, The Swedish school of textiles - University of Borås with an exhibition centred on textile innovation which presents a series of artefacts created by a new generation of designers, challenging existing norms by offering new product visions arising from progress made in textile production, the IED network, who will publicly present "Absolute Beginners", an original collective work from its designers, dedicated to ten female icons of past and present with the aim of amplifying the interpretation and language of younger generations, alongside an independent group of graduates from the Royal College of Art in London who chronicle their latest projects in the exhibition "Support Systems". In addition, there will be work put forward by some of Italy's most prestigious learning centres such as RUFA - Rome University of Fine Arts, NID - Nuovo Istituto di Design in Perugia with their project "Deruta Revolution" - curated by students from the Product Design course led by Sara Ricciardi - whose roots are firmly planted in the Umbrian soil, offering a revisitation of the "Alberello", a container formerly used by chemists to preserve spices and medicine, and Analogique, who, in collaboration with Accademia di Design e Arti Visive Abadir in Catania, are presenting the W.E.L.(L)! project (Work, Enjoy, Live, Love), a collection of possible topics, events and actions to rethink the different spheres of our life according to four principles that cover the whole course of our existence. BASE will also house a wealth of projects and installations from Italian and international designers: Anna Baldocchi presents "Malerba", a "human atlas" in the form of a documentary that traces Italy's linguistic boundaries and cultural divisions; social designer Francesca Tambussi presents "Hyperburgers", an innovative supermarket run entirely by consumers; in Pantha Rei" the independent artist and designer Eun Hi Kyoung explores a number of concepts from traditional Korean culture and the macramé technique, giving a new lease of life to waste materials like crockery from second-hand shops; IPER-collettivo presents two installations - "Plastic Landscape", a nifty device that brings up the issue of recycling and invites us to reflect on new uses of space, and "Micromegàsuoni", a site-specific installation that establishes a dialogue between the urban and natural landscapes, produced by NAM-Not A Museum, the contemporary art programme from Manifattura Tabacchi as part of the first edition of the SUPERBLAST artistic residency; Henry Matthieu presents the "Human Mould" project, which uses the chair as a vehicle to reflect on the relationship between object, creator and user; Valentine Maurice analyses the modern phenomenon of insomnia from the perspective of Gen Z with "The Paradoxical Screen"; "Games we'll never play" from Italian designers Giulio Bordonaro and Nicoletta Gomboli is a game room for the smart machine age; media artist and interaction designer Adarsh Nellore presents two projects dedicated to the intersection between digital media, technology and sculpture in a meditation on the relationship between human evolution and that of non-human intelligence; "Kaia", curated by Dutch designer Kim Van den Belt, offers new sustainable CO2 filters made from algae; Johanna Reymann's project, "Left Behind", reflects on the amount of waste generated in the production process of simple objects such as traditional Dutch clogs; in "Playfulness" the young German designer Sophia Schullan brings together a series of playful installations that manage to turn dull daily routines and ordinary household objects into fresh sources of inspiration and creativity; “Mitosis” from French designer Thibault Dupille gives a new lease of life to damaged objects with the help of a 3D printer, taking inspiration from those species in nature with the ability to regenerate parts of their own bodies. “The future is in the making” is a collective exhibition curated by Romanian Design Week – featuring projects from Co Laboratory, Megan Dominescu, Radu Abraham, Simina Filat, and UAU Ceramics - centred on sustainable processes and the concept of design, starting with current social and environmental issues. Bolaero presents “Bolaero 0.1”, its first collection designed by Tommaso Mirabella Roberti which proposes a range of light, flexible, sustainable furniture made up of individual inflatable parts which can be assembled in different configurations according to the needs of the user and the constantly shifting environment. Studio Formosa offers up “Supernatural Collection”, a series of candlesticks that inhabit a form halfway between the physical and the digital. An algorithm simulating the growth pattern of natural elements like coral and roots determines the shape of the artefacts, which are then produced using a 3D printing technique. Each physical piece is paired with a blockchain-registered digital certificate, or NFT, which guarantees its credentials as a unique and authentic piece. “Sound of touch” is a project curated by artist and designer Edern Janneau: a collection of small instruments which are amplified together with synthesizers, bringing to life an orchestra that combines the potential of natural and digital sounds in accordance with the surrounding environmentstudio.traccia is back for another year, this time with "Atti fondamentali", another look at the link between design and food waste through a special event that will fashion a sculpture from objects made of new materials produced using food scraps, a project promoted by ActionAid Italia as part of the Food Wave project, financed by the European Commission and led by Milan City Council; FestivalDivercity will be returning this year with their mission to present a design for spaces, both physical and care-based, that offer a safe haven for vulnerable individuals who have been subjected to racial abuse, a project realised in collaboration with PLUSRL.COM studio to emphasise the importance of allying social activism with design practice in the effort to establish spaces that provide medical care, ensure psychological support and give a boost to the social and cultural potential of individuals.
As in the last edition, NOI Libreria will be setting up a bookshop on the first floor at BASE, offering a special selection of books on design, illustration, and graphic art.
Within the broader framework of "We Will Design 2022", BASE is also presenting a special project dedicated to the younger generations, created with support from the Embassy and General Consulate of the Netherlands in Italy: They Will Design shifts the attention from WE to THEY in a reference to the younger generations who are set to inherit the responsibility for designing the future. It will be assigned to them the challenge to conjure up FANTASY INSTITUTIONS which adapt, subvert or replace those currently in place. What would happen if the younger generations got to "design" the world? They Will Design involves students aged 18 to 26 from universities, academies, and places of learning in Italy and abroad, to deconstruct and rethink the concept of institutions from a place of imagination. The young participants are invited to reflect on a range of issues - integration and inclusion, digitalisation, diversity, female empowerment, environmental sustainability, circular economy, and generational differences - through the drafting of an institutional manifesto to define a framework for action and a relevant base community. Throughout the project's development, the working groups will be supported by PARASITE 2.0 - architecture collective founded in 2010 by Stefano Colombo, Eugenio Cosentino and Luca Marullo to investigate the status of the urban habitat - which will help the participants translate their ideas into a space that can be used by the public. The process will be further enhanced by the involvement of various "heretics", inspirational figures from a range of places and backgrounds, who will accompany the participants through the different phases of the project, helping to generate questions and spark new ideas: philosopher Leonardo Caffo, Dutch doctor and women's rights activist Rebecca Gomperts, Marcello Cualbu, teacher and freelancer in technology applied to art, design and architecture; queer antiracist activist Naomie Pieter; Janice Deul, writer and activist in the promotion of cultural diversity in the creative sectors; Florian Malzacher, performance art curator, playwright and writer; and Jonas Staal, visual artist who deals with the relationship between art, democracy and propaganda.
Capping it all off is an exciting, week-long music line-up - brought to you in collaboration with Le Cannibale - set to bring the courtyard and BASE's spaces to life each night with DJ sets and live music, all kicking off at aperitivo time and coming to a close in the early hours.
Over the course of Fuorisalone week, BASE will also be hosting IKEA with the IKEA Festival which takes visitors through an exploration of IKEA's vision: to make daily life better for the majority of people. The Festival will offer a series of indoor and outdoor events and installations from morning to night with different set-ups and themes each day. There will be talks involving discussions between leading figures from the design world, as well as opportunities for dialogue with the public during which IKEA will present exclusive new collections. The space will also host a series of evening events with guests from the Italian and international music scene.