This year Milan will play host to the international design scene with a prolific calendar of events, exhibitions, and installations. 2023’s Milan Design Week will take place from April 17th to 23rd with events spread across the city.
Designers, architects, artists, and institutions will come together to share ideas and showcase new designs that will shape the present and future of the design world. The 61st edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano will be held in conjunction with Fuorisalone, as it is every year, which involves a set of events distributed throughout Milan.
One of the most prestigious events in the design world around the world, Fuorisalone has influenced the development of Design Weeks in other major cities including London, Paris, Dubai, and New York. However, Milan’s version of the event continues to be the most sought-after and attracts over 400,000 visitors each year.
In this article, we offer a preview of some of the most exciting events you can expect to see at this year’s Fuorisalone.
Fuorisalone 2023 themes
This year’s Fuorisalone focuses on themes of sustainability, including circular economy, reusable materials, and processes. The overarching theme is “Laboratorio Futuro”, which reflects how we imagine and think about the future about the unique conditions of the times we live in. It offers an opportunity for designers and attendees to debate and build alternative ideas through dialogue and to focus on critical issues and contradictions faced by modern society.
Today’s major issues are closely intertwined, from climate change and the ongoing energy crisis to the political instability we face, this theme is all about thinking about these issues and developing innovative design solutions to face them. It is a theme focused on experimentation and the invitation to question ourselves and utilise design as a tool for taking collective action.
Major themes threading their way through this year’s Fuorisalone include sustainable design, circular economy, innovative materials, urban regeneration, and artificial intelligence. With a focus on new generations, students from major schools in the sector will be involved in showcasing designs and sharing their projects that are capable of transforming society and creating a more sustainable future while shedding light on the complexity of the issues we’re faced with.
Fuorisalone’s events will be held all over Milan, but take place in three main areas of the city: Brera, Tortona, and Ventura Lambrate. These events will be concentrated in four strategic zones: San Babila, Sarpi, Porta Venezia and Sant’Ambrogio.
Fuorisalone design districts 2023
This year, Fuorisalone will be spread across three major design districts.
The first is Brera Design District, which will feature a calendar of exhibits, installations, group shows, and product demonstrations. One of the protagonists of this district will be gloTM, which will showcase its art project together with Agostino Iacurci, whose works are characterised by vivid colours and shapes.
Tortona District is the second to look forward to, which returns with a new look and theme of bringing together different aspects that characterise the district including Tortona Rocks, BASE, Superstudio, and Tortona Design Week. Tortona will focus on current issues represented through the lens of design to address the challenges of today and tomorrow.
Thirdly, Isola Design District will host the Isola Design Festival, with over 25 group exhibitions and events hosted by a range of international designers, studios, and craftsmen. The Isola Design District program will feature six group exhibits focusing on the creation of regenerative furniture, collectable design, technology, and wellness.
Fuorisalone project previews for 2023
Here’s a look at the major projects expected at this year’s Fuorisalone.
The platform, founded by Joseph Grima (Space Caviar) and Valentina Ciuffi (Studio Vedèt), is currently in its 5th edition. This year, Alcova will unveil monumental spaces of the Ex-Macello di Porta Vittoria and will play host to over 70 projects that will explore new directions in contemporary design, including innovative and sustainable materials, contemporary craft, and sensorial design.
Design Variations 2023
Curated by MoscaPartners, this year’s Design Variations will present site-specific work “Breath” on the edifice of the Circolo Filologico Milanese. Additionally, it will also present “Reforming Future”, an anthological exhibition set inside the brutalist masterpiece the Istituto Marchiondi Spagliardi, open to the public for the first time.
Festival Architettura’s winning project, Dropcity Convention, opens to the public during Milan Design Week. Located in the Magazzini Raccordati in the central station, Dropcity Centro di Architettura e Design will host a jam-packed range of exhibitions, conferences, talks and more with influential architects and designers from around the world.
Morel Design Week
Historically the site of a cotton shoe fabric factory, Morel Milano will present its original industrial architecture in the Certosa area. The authentic space will feature a 7,000-square-metre village and will present a culinary project in collaboration with Tipografia Alimentare.
Swiss Design Map
This digital platform will offer access to Swiss initiatives that will be present at the design event. Promoted by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and Presence Switzerland, this is guaranteed to be a highlight of Fuorisalone 2023.
Posing the question: “How do you take care of tomorrow?”, Tortona Rocks will feature countless exhibitors that will reflect on the importance of working collectively to look after the world of tomorrow in response to contemporary issues. Among the many protagonists of the event is IKEA, which will dedicate an exhibition of its iconic products from the past, present, and future. Other projects to look forward to include “Take it or Leave it”, a collection of eclectic objects, by Paola Navone, and “one&twenty2023”, an exhibition through which the German Design Council will award contemporary design talents.
Future to Share
Tortona Design Week will present “Future to Share”, a project aimed at pioneering the future with a view to inclusivity. The focus will be on increasing self-production and sustainable manufacturing to build change through a collection of installations, exhibitions, workshops, and more.
Base Milano will host “We Will Design”, which will showcase designers in residence and initiate the exploration of a new era of democratic design. It will promote affordable and plural design to be inclusive of people of all ages, genders, abilities, and cultures.
This year, Triennale Milano will present a full programme of permanent exhibitions including the new installation of the Italian Design Museum, which is directed by Marco Sammicheli. Additionally, you can expect to see Droog30, an exhibit dedicated to the innovative Dutch design group 30 years after its first show in Milan in 1993. Additionally, Triennale will share a range of research from international institutions and companies through projects and exhibitions from Duson Gallery (South Korea), Japan Creative (Japan), Moravian Gallery (Czech Republic), Timberland Worldwide and Uzbekistan Art and Culture Development Foundation (Uzbekistan).
These are just some of the highlights you can expect to see at Fuorisalone 2023. You can view the full events guide here.
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