Milan Design Week is simply the biggest design event of the year. The whole city becomes an exhibition and is alive with innovation. Designers and people who work in creative business from all over the world gather in Milan, including ‘design celebrities’, to showcase visual wonders. We ventured to many creative installations, linked up with our friends at Lunar and discovered some trends on the horizon for 2017 and beyond.
Maximalism over minimalism. Decorative, bold colors and vibrant patterns were present everywhere. Many brands pursued stimuli and more customized aesthetics to attract the luxury market.
Moooi showcased ornate patterns on countless pieces of furniture each more ornate than the last, accompanied by gigantic, highly detailed pictures of rare insects. The intention was to create maximum noise to the audience by mixing multi-cultural assets and showing minimal products in a maximal environment.
STAY WITH ME
Come in and stay awhile. Creating an immersive environment was the key to making people stay longer and in an exhibition. For example, a rotating exhibition or an exhibition in a theater gives one time to walk through the design process, letting you experience the whole product or installation, which imprints the intended message.
We began asking ourselves, “What is the core message, and how is it best delivered?” Effectively choosing and using the space, combining old/antique and clean/modern to create contrast were some ways of achieving it.
Technology is an integral and meaningful part of our lives. AI, VR, AR and sensory technology connects people and facilitates everyday life experiences. Milan Design Week is no longer a place to only spot interior trends. In the blurred world of physical and digital technology, companies can no longer only focus on technical innovation. The more ubiquitous tech becomes, the more important it is for brands to connect emotionally and intuitively to people. Technology accompanied big brands’ visions for storytelling.
Walls were covered in lights, paper became mountains, and furniture was dissected and on display. As we saw, designing for multisensory experiences is an excellent way to go.
Our world is in in a state of flux. As a result, we see racism, hate and fear grow in societies. In response, people come together to manifest equality and spread freedom, acceptance, and gratitude. Designers and brands respond to this with playful, bold and approachable messages through products and installations. Designers played with proportions, bold colors and multi-cultural patterns. We saw the possibility of a bright and playful future where together we overcome the inequities of the world.
Endless examples of experimental and process oriented concepts were part of Milan Design Week. These included studies and investigations, rethinking object typologies, and brands having the courage to go further and push their point of view.
BANDWAGON FOR A BETTER TOMORROW
Designers are addressing the issue of overconsumption and excessive waste by giving discarded material new life though upcycling and invention of new raw materials. The result is often completely unique, with an interesting uncontrolled and provocative aesthetic appeal. Bringing in natural elements into concepts and exhibitions was also a prevalent feature spotted in Milan, as most brands incorporated life into their exhibits in one form or another, be it in the form of potted plants, a micro-farm, or moss sound-dampening panels.
It is obvious that the design community is aware of climate change and the impact of man on our world. It was incredible to see the vast majority of brands moving away from plastics and towards renewable, natural materials. At Veryday & Lunar we want to take responsibility for a better future by designing meaningful, sustainable products for a better tomorrow.
Ultimately, we learned how to better communicate a product’s message, and saw creatives pushing for a more experimental mindset. We were incredibly inspired by all the exhibitions at Salone Del Mobile 2017, and hope to connect with you next year in Milan!