Ventura Projects made its debut in the Milan design scene in 2010. That year, the Dutch collective Organisation in Design took over a disused industrial complex in the city’s Lambrate district for the duration of Design Week and transformed it into a temporary incubator for up-and-coming and experimental designers. Their exhibitions quickly became some of the most hotly anticipated in the jam-packed calendar that is Fuorisalone, which saw visitors flocking to an otherwise forgotten area of the city to find out what the industrious Dutch had in store. But this year, in addition to reprising their exhibitions in the old warehouses beneath the city’s Central Station, they say goodbye to Lambrate, having found a new home near Milan’s Politecnico University. We had a chat with them to find out what they have in store for 2018.
How would you describe Ventura Future to someone who has never visited it?
Ventura Future is a curated environment in Milan where designers can present their latest projects to a professional, design-orientated audience. Along with Ventura Centrale, it will be the place to present and discover contemporary and experimental design during the Salone del Mobile.
Now that you’re no longer in Lambrate, where will Ventura Future be showing this year?We have opted for a number of locations in Milan. There is the FuturDome: a Liberty-style house that was once the meeting place of the Futurist Movement. The FuturDome will house special projects involving such topics as health care, recycling and future concepts. We will also create a special hub for academies to present in a 4000 m2 building formerly used by the University of Milan. It used to be a chemistry faculty, which gives the spaces an amazing industrial look and feel. Of course, there’s also Ventura Centrale, which is set to take place in the old Central Station. Where there used to be warehouses, there are now these blank canvases waiting to be transformed into mind-blowing installations. And that is what makes the exhibition work: we allow the designs to interact with their surroundings, creating a setting with a museum-like quality and a natural charm provided by the place itself.
Which designers are you working with this year?We’ve had an incredible number of high-quality submissions for our Ventura Projects this year around. We’ll be bringing quite a few Dutch designers to Milan, most notably Nick Boers, as well as other previous exhibitors. I’m particularly fond of Editions – a collective with works by Patricia Urquiola, Federica Biasi, Studio Pepe, Bethan Gray, Cristina Celestino, Pietro Russo and Federico Peri, – because of its distinct embodiment of the Northern Italian aesthetic. We are also glad to welcome a lot of academies again this year, including Central Saint Martins, Design School Kolding, Royal Academy of Art The Hague (KABK), and the Kyoto Institute of Technology.
What would you tell someone visiting the Salone del Mobile for the first time?
I would have to say: come prepared. Read up on the exhibitors and the locations, and ask yourself what you want to take away from the Salone before you attend. This will help you remember the things you liked and extract the essence more easily. But you should also leave room to make new discoveries – for example, pay a visit to Bar Basso, where you will have the chance to meet and talk the participating designers, and keep an eye on social media during the week to discover hot spots and must-see locations... And don’t forget to bring your comfortable shoes!
What have your favourite moments of the past few years been?
Last year was an incredibly productive year for Ventura Projects, but it’s the span of a decade that really takes the cake. After so many successful exhibitions in Milan, it is highly rewarding to look back on the various projects and see how far everyone’s come. I was excited to learn that one of our Ventura Lambrate 2015 exhibitors, Federico Peri, put together a great show at the Italian gallery Nilufar in 2017 and was nominated for the German Design Award in the same year. And Rick Tegelaar, who participated in Ventura Lambrate in 2014 with his prototypes for the Meshmatics chandeliers, now sees his work in the process of being developed by the international furniture label Moooi. It’s wonderful to have played a part in success stories such as these.
Discover more on Ventura projects here.
Salone del Mobile runs from 17 to 22 April 2018 and Rho Fieramilano showground. Trade Visitors Only: 17-20 April, General Public: 21-22 April.
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