SuperDesign Show, a concept by Gisella Borioli, has reached its second edition, and just as for last year, it will concentrate on the latest research themes in design, on the crossover between classical and contemporary, between tradition and future. This year the theme is White Pages, with the intention of writing the keywords of tomorrow’s world, both with objects that are ready for use, and with futuristic ideas. SuperDesign Show is a key event in Milan’s Fuorisalone events, from 12 to 17 April 2016. To find out more, we talked to Carolina Nisivoccia, Art Director of SuperDesign Show.
LUXOS: Could you tell us something about what we will see at SuperDesign Show?
Carolina Nisivoccia: There will be a lot of interesting exhibitors. Citizen will be back with an installation that describes their brand in a very theatrical way, with myriads of components that provide a magical introduction to the theme of fragmentation. Red Star Macalline is a Chinese brand, with a series of designers who are creating innovative products that nonetheless reflect their country’s vast traditions. From Japan, Asahi Glass is a large company that will present their products by means of an exciting multi-sensorial display. Then there is Material Village, created by Material ConneXion. Visitors will be able to take a tour in the world of materials, and they will see Stefano Boeri’s event staged for 3M. On this, I don’t want to say anything else: I don’t want to spoil the surprise!
Then there are the selected products. How do you make the choice?
The entire team chooses the products. This section simplifies the exhibition concept, leaving space for the products to speak for themselves, without any frills. We receive many requests, and we try to make a selection considering how the manufacturer interprets current trends and how it wants to present the product. The result is elemental, a labyrinth of objects, a sort of treasure hunt from one object to another.
Related: A guide to Milan's Fuorisalone 2016
Today, sustainable design is becoming an increasingly important theme. Will we see it at SuperDesign?
Yes, definitely. Mario Cuccinella will be present with SOS, the School of Sustainability, which trains designers, working on resources such as solar and geothermal energy. It will be a hands-on exhibition, with workshops on prototyping and lessons on Creative Empathy. It will develop real themes, such as solidarity design and the sharing economy.
Superstudio at Milan Design Week
Could you give us some practical hints on visiting SuperDesign?
It’s important to arrive with a fair amount of time, because it’s an extensive exhibition, 10,000 square metres, it’s the sort of show for which a map will be useful. It’s a good idea to pre-register online so that when you arrive, you can enter fast-track.
Where do you think design is going today?
In recent years, as Andrea Branzi has said, the profession of designer is not simply about making products, but increasingly it is about providing answers, finding solutions for a society that is going through a very complex phase. A designer may work on materials, or on new designs generated by materials. Sometimes, designs are more concerned with sharing, social and ethical themes. Therefore, while design is still in part very much concerned with materials, on the other hand it is becoming abstract, more a process than a product.
Superstudio at Milan Design Week
What is Milan’s position in the world of contemporary design?
I’m not saying this because I was born in Milan, but I am increasingly convinced that Milan is right at the top of the design world. The Furniture Show remains the leading design event. Of course, today you can see products online, but to discover what’s in the air, those things that you can’t touch and that you can only perceive through real experience, all this sort of thing can be found in Milan and in Milan alone. And then there is Italy’s artisanal expertise, a resource that we in Italy have fully understood only in recent years. Our expertise is unequalled the world over. We are capable of working all materials to perfection. For this reason, Italian design companies have the best reputation worldwide. In recent years, they are working with a lot of designers arriving from other countries. We Italians have a special love for everyone and everything arriving from abroad. But Milan remains a fundamental point of reference.
SuperDesign Show is at Superstudio Più in Via Tortona 27 and SuperStudio 13 in Via Forcella 13. It runs from 12 to 15 April 2016 with admission reserved for professionals, and on 16 and 17 April for all visitors. Open from 10am to 9pm, closing at 6pm on 17 April. Pre-registration at www.superstudiogroup.com/events