A few days ago, we had the pleasure to interview Chiara Ferella Falda, Director of Communication and Special Projects Manager of Superstudio Group. Since many years, it has been presenting itself to the city of Milan as a great centre whose aim is to meet the needs of the city by representing an alternative to the Milan Fair and hosting art and fair exhibitions. We asked her some questions about her point of view on the Sustainability themein the Design field and below you can find the complete interview we had with her.
SOYC: “At Superstudio you organize Superdesign Show, the great international event dedicated to furnishing and the latest design trends. Then, we wanted to know what you think about the link between Design and Japan. Do you think design is an element of inspiration in the Japanese market?”
Dr. Ferella Falda: “I think that in Japan everything is Design in the true sense of the word. There is a maniacal attention to detail, form, functionality, aesthetics. Nature and tradition wisely blend with technology, rigor with a playful aspect, and poetry with irony…
The Japanese designers are expected and acclaimed during the Milan Design Week, the most important in the world. At the Superstudio, visitors also made three hours of queue to enter Nendo. And then Kengo Kuma: spectacular is his giant origami installation that absorbs pollution. And then the retrospective dedicated to the great Shiro Kuramata, or the transparent piano that played by itself by Kawai. They were the real attractions of our Superdesign Show 2018. But, next to the Japanese superstar, there were also less famous but very talented young people: Yoy (keep an eye on them, we’ll hear a lot about them…), Budbrand, Yokohama Makers Village, Japan Design Week…
On the one hand, I believe that Japan has acquired a new awareness of its importance and influence on the international market, on the other it has become increasingly able to exploit “Design” as means of communication and not only as a result of a process. The success of the mega installations of technology companies such as Panasonic, Citizen, Toshiba, Sony, Lexus and Fuorisalone demonstrate how design has increasingly become a powerful communication tool, even for consumers, beyond the commercial product to be sold.”
SOYC: “What is your opinion about “Design and Planet – Sustainability Projections”, theme of our contest TheYouth Design Day in Japan, which aim is to combine design and attention to the sustainability needs of the planet?”
Dr. Ferella Falda: “I think it’s a great opportunity of exchange between Asia and Europe, and a special showcase for young Italian talents. I really appreciate how the theme of sustainability has been approached by the contest. The word “green” became almost an empty concept a few years ago: everything was eco, everything was sustainable, everything was cruelty free, but often this attention reflected only a new trend… It is a little like it happens today with the “vegan” phenomenon. The time to tackle the topic urgently and rigorously has come: there is no more time for us and the planet.
Your callgoes in this direction. It mentions in detail low energy and water use, saving of harmful emissions, eco-sustainable housing and architectural solutions, innovative urban furniture, recycling and use of waste, bio-based materials, clean and renewable energy, biodegradable packaging, etc. A very serious and articulated approach.”
SOYC: “According to you, what is the direction design will take in relation to the Sustainability element?”
Dr. Ferella Falda: “We are already witnessing the banning of certain materials such as plastic. Before we recycled it, now in many areas it will be forbidden to produce it and use it. I believe that the gravity of the situation involves forced radical choices. It is a world emergency. Design will have to accept the challenge and propose more and more radical solutions that are also aesthetically pleasing and functional, at acceptable costs. Nanotechnologies are certainly one of the most interesting solutions to obtain new materials capable of purifying the air and I was also very impressed by the study of bacteria able to “digest” the polluting substances… The time for half-measures is over, now we have to really act.”
SOYC: “Is it possible that in the future there will be meeting points and synergies between Superstudio and Switch On Your Creativity?”
Dr. Ferella Falda: “Superstudio has always followed new paths not beaten by others. It has been the pioneer of the Fuorisalone phenomenon since 2000. Even earlier, in the 80s, his engine has transformed a peripheral industrial area in today’s famous Tortona area. Asia (Japan in particular, but also Korea, China, Taiwan and Thailand) has always loved Superstudio. Every year we have many requests from companies or designers who want to present their projects here at Superdesign, because they know they can find an iconic place that enhances them and communicates them with professionalism worldwide.
Every new challenge, every creative project that is also innovative, research based, and that values new talents, stimulates us a lot. Therefore, it definitely exists a point of encounter and mutual interest with “Switch on Your Creativity.“
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Italian designer Sara Vignoli, who really care about improving people’s quality of live, was searching for a way to bring nature home. She has found it and called it MO.NAT!
We asked her to explain us how it is possible and this is what she told us:
SOYC: “Sara, can you explain us how you made it possible to make our lives greener and more eco-friendly?
Sara: “Living and working with plants improve air quality, make people more creative, more productive, and reduce stress. Pots and green walls are the most usual solution to bring nature in our lives, MO.NAT was born to create an innovative way to solve this problem.
Its system is based on two complementary elements, designed for plants and flowers in order to furnish your own “place” in a green and healthy way. MO.NAT: “Your Place, Your Nature”.
MO.NAT’s strengths are:
Modularity and simplicity: It allows free combinations of modules;
Flexibility and customizability: It allows connecting modules, potentially creating infinite combinations;
Sustainability: It makes everyday life ‘greener’ as it is made by recycled and recyclable materials.
“Smart” component: It is also possible to equip the elements with a lighting and irrigation system.
“Modular Nature” allows creating different combinations that can be adapted to the particular needs of each customer because they are flexible and easy to use.
The vision of MO.NAT focuses on sustainable design, for the choice of materials for each modular recycled and recyclable element and the whole supply chain.”
SOYC: “What is the importance of MO.NAT?”
Sara: “MO.NAT ‘s vision is to bring well-being to people’s lives through a combination of the beauty of Made in Italy design and the nature of plants as a decorative element.
“Modular Nature” wants to give to everyone the possibility to enjoy of green, even when limited time and spaces avoid taking care of it. MO.NAT makes nature modular with the aim to be easy, adaptable, flexible and customizable, according to the needs and availability of everyone’s space.”
You can see this and lot of other projects at The Youth Design Day in Osaka, Japan. To find out what the other projects are about and be up to date to the latest news, visit our website and our Facebook Page!
Let’s go on presenting the design projects which were selected to participate to The Youth Design Day in Japan 2018 and talk about the project by Vincenzo Sorrentino, an Italian designer who deals with concept concerning food. This kind of concept is called Food Design. What is it?
Food design is a recent term that encompasses the process of design studies and research leading to the emergence of new products related to food. This discipline is due to industrial design and deals with the design of food, parts of food products and products related to them in some way.
The Food Design project meets and mixes various disciplines such as biology, genetics, anthropology, psychoanalysis, food sociology, social research and social mediation, not least the history of kitchen systems and of forms of conviviality.
Below a short interview we had with Vincenzo, who we asked to speak about his design.
SOYC: “Hi Vincenzo! Can you explain us what your design project is about and how it is sustainable?”
Vincenzo: “Hi! So… I called my project ‘Next Pot’ and it is a set of experiential tableware made of clay, the production is based in an artisanal craft workshop and we developed the production of the collection by mixing different techniques that allowed us to recycle the clay during the production. Moreover, we based our model on demand production in order to be more efficient. Every product that we realized introduce new eating rituals.”
SOYC: “And why did you decide to create your ‘Next Pot’?”
Vincenzo: “I decided to work with the food of my native place (Naples) and I re-create the eating experience of some iconic recipes such as ‘Caprese salad’ using new tools and plates that are made in collaboration with an artisanal ceramic workshop. My first goal was to promote the culinary heritage and local products with Food Design and another goal was to collaborate and empower traditional artisans with a new design and sustainable production.”
SOYC: “Where did you find the inspiration to create that design?”
Vincenzo: “I got inspired by observing the eating gesture of every day and after several reflections and tests on people around I developed new rituals and object. For example, the eating jewels were inspired by the facts that in Naples years ago people were used to eat with hands and so I recreated that gesture and designed something that was making that possible but without any contamination of food with hands.”
SOYC: “Vincenzo, we thank you a lot for explaining us your concept and we are sure the people who will visit the exhibition in Osaka will really enjoy your ‘Next Pot’!”
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Some time ago we talked about a young Belgian designer whose name was Florian Van De Voorde. We told you that he was participating to The Youth Design Day in Japan within our Switch On Your Creativity contest. But we did not tell you anything about his project so we are going to do it now.
We asked Florian to answer some questions concerning his design, which is deeply sustainability driven. Here the interview!
Switch On Your Creativity: “Florian, can you talk about your project and its sustainability?”
Florian: “In Belgium and other countries around the world a lot of parishes and churches feel compelled to get rid of the church interiors and chairs because they are out of date. With the Church Chairs concept, I tried to approach this in the same way: I took old church chair parts and make something new and more contemporary out of them. The outcome of this are two pieces of furniture: TheChurch Stool and theChurch Bench.”
SOYC: “It really sounds a good opportunity for a lot of communities around the world to make their old churches and parishes pieces having a new life! Where does your concept take its origin and why you think your idea could play a significant role in our society?”
Florian: “Last year I did my internship with ONBETAALBAAR. This is a community of craftsmen (and women) who like to invite people to think about a more sustainable way about throwing away things and redefine what is thrash and what could be re- or upcycled.
This experience formed the base on which I made these pieces. I started to realize that sometimes I don’t need to design or create things from scratch. Sometimes forms or shapes of classic and iconic pieces of discarded furniture can start a process of redesigning or reimagining new ones. By doing this I try to shine a light on our current consumer-driven society. Taking these chairs and turning them in some new and more contemporary pieces, I play with my countries own cultural heritage thus making something which is typical from Belgium.”
SOYC: “Florian, can we ask you one last question? What is, in your opinion, the connection between Design and Sustainability?”
Florian: “Of Course you can. I think it is important to rethink the way we design objects, furniture, buildings and our surroundings. Reusing and recycling materials are very important topics when we are thinking of sustainable design nowadays.
If we start designing and thinking about a purpose after the lifecycle of these things and objects won’t be harming nature and her resources as we do now. Asian Studies Group and Switch On Your Creativity chose a very important theme that will become a standard in Design practices all over the world.”
SWOYC: “Florian, we thank you very much for your inspiring words and we wish you will, one day, make all your beautiful ideas become reality!”
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