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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The guidelines for sustainable development that come from the European Union, based in Brussels, are countless. Probably one day we will be able to say we live on a completely sustainable and green planet, and the circular economy will be present in more and more aspects of our everyday life. The road to reach such an objective is still long, but we are confident. In the meantime, here are the 4 fields in which sustainability is not only a virtuous goal, but also a trend element:
Sustainable architecture designs and creates buildings to limit environmental impact, placing itself as design purposes energy efficiency, improvement of health, comfort and quality of use of the inhabitants, reachable through integration in the building of structures and appropriate technologies. Sustainability in architecture is not just synonymous with energy savings or reduced consumption. The winning card of an architectural or urban project is not only in the choices that make it ecological, but also in what defines the behaviors that the inhabitants of the building or the neighborhood must follow in order to live reducing waste and energy consumption to a minimum, not only within the district, but throughout the city.
To respond to the nutritional needs of an increasingly rich and urbanized planet, with a growing population, and to preserve natural and productive resources, food systems must undergo radical transformations towards greater efficiency in the use of resources. Sustainable diets must include the consumption of water-based foods, low carbon and nitrogen footprints, promoting food biodiversity, including traditional and local foods. Those diets have a low environmental impact and contribute to food security and a healthy lifestyle for current and future generations.
A sustainable diet respects biodiversity and ecosystems, is nutritionally adequate and efficiently uses natural and human resources. Its many benefits are linked to the composition of its foods characteristics, mainly of plant origin (fruit, vegetables, legumes and cereals), and to their diversified and balanced consumption. A sustainable diet does not generate long-term negative effects on health, the environment, society and the economy. The Mediterranean diet is a model of sustainable diet, indeed it is one of the most sustainable dietary models for the environment and health, as confirmed by numerous scientific evidence.
According to Nielsen, a prestigious research institute worldwide, consumers around the world are increasingly favoring purchases from those brands that are committed to positive social and environmental change. In marketing, the packagingsector is evolving precisely to respond to this scenario. With the evolution of product packaging, the variety of parcels and packages that find their way into the flow of waste collection has increased. This gradual convergence is also contributing to the growth and diffusion of renewable materials from sustainable sources, a market trend that is confirmed by the growing use of biological and biodegradable plastics and of cardboard coming from certified forests.
App and digital technologies have already drastically reduced paper consumption before and during events. Hybrid events will increase in the next few years, and remote participation will not only allow to broaden the audience of events but also to reduce their environmental impact. Collaborative consumption and sharing economy will cut out a growing role in organizing events, allowing to optimize costs and resources. In the next few years progress will be made in reducing waste generated by events, as well as in the separate collection of waste. The organizers will be more inclined to integrate the principles of sustainability into the initial concept of the event, and more careful to use stand materials that can be reused or recycled. Old materials will be archived and new ecological materials will be established on the market. Food waste will not be reduced, but action will be taken on the donation of excess food to charitable organizations or food banks.
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