Swiss design in Italy for Milan Design Week 2022 at Casa degli Artisti in Milan
For more than a month, Milan’s Casa degli Artisti hosted the House of Switzerland, the home of Swiss design in Milan. From April 26 to June 12, 2022, the pop-up event welcomed emerging designers, design schools, and established design brands, which testified to the vitality of the Swiss creative scene.
The event saw the participation of institutions such as ECAL – University of Art and Design Lausanne, ETH Zürich, HEAD – Genève, University of Art and Design, HSLU Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, and Istituto Svizzero. Moreover, the House of Switzerland presented a new generation of Swiss designers in collaboration with the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. Lastly, the event was also attended by companies including De Sede, Embru, Lichtprojekte, Röthlisberger, Seleform and Schindlersalmeron.
Emerging designers: recycled materials and urban mobility
Design Switzerland is the title of the exhibition presented by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. The exhibition, set up on the ground floor of the Casa degli Artisti with a project by Lausanne-based studio iiode, presented several innovative ideas. Furniture materials made from beer production waste joined a hand-woven carbon-fiber screen; young designers designed new products such as an extendable chair that turns into a bench in a few moves. Other projects include a smart coffee roaster that roasts a small amount of coffee at a time.
With the Daily Mobility installation, ECAL and Swiss bicycle brand BMC presented the work of the students of the Bachelor program in Industrial Design to create a new urban mobility brand and to improve the experience of urban cyclists.
The focus of the interactive exhibition Material Shapes the Ages, curated by ETH Zürich, the Swiss Federal Institute for Science and Technology, was on the materials of the future. Metals that float on water, self-healing silicon, 3D printed salt plates, scratch-resistant screens, flexible wood, a gel that generates energy with water and sunlight are just some of the innovative materials developed by researchers at the university.
The virtual showroom
HEAD – Genève University of Art and Design presented The Impossible Showroom, virtual environments specially designed by MA students of Interior Architecture in Geneva to display design objects. Some pieces by well-known Swiss designers such as Peter Zumthor, Atelier Oï and Pierre Jeanneret were placed in virtual showrooms designed by the students inspired by the materiality of the objects themselves and the visual identity associated with the selected brands, including Vitra, USM, Molteni & C., Lucas Schnaidt.
Design and climate change at the House of Switzerland in Milan
Rafael Kouto, fashion & textile designer, presented Don’t Steal our Sunlight, a video installation on climate change. Visual elements create new narratives by employing climate change data.
HSLU Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts invited visitors to the exhibition No thing new. No thing new is a title that invites us to reflect on the fact that the call for a mindful approach to resources is “nothing new.” HSLU’s three study areas – Object design, Spatial Design, and Textile Design – illustrated what the term “degrowth” means for the design discipline and why design should deal with it.
The House of Switzerland also hosted Swiss Business Hub Italy, with a selection of design objects from Swiss brands; these included sculptures by de Sede and indoor and outdoor furniture by Embru, Seleform, Lichtprojekte, Schindlersalmerón, Röthlisberger and Cosmos. [Txt Arianna Callocchia, photo courtesy of House of Switzerland]