Throughout Milan Design Week we were thrilled to find a wide array of environmentally-conscious projects created by both well-established and up-and-coming designers. In addition to the official event at the Milan fairgrounds in Rho, different zones throughout city offer a variety of events that make this the world's biggest design week. In areas like Zona Tortona, Brera, and the new Via Lambarte, large-profile commercial projects and experimental concepts alike showcased great green designs ideas that go beyond aesthetics.
In Zona Tortona’s Superstudio Piu, the Brazil-based Campana brothers came together with the Cosentino group to showcase their Ecosentino material. An ideal substitute for natural or fake stone, this highly-durable surface is made of 75% recycled content (from industrial and consumer waste) combined with a green resin that comes in part from corn oil. The Brazilian duo created a kitchen landscape with a fluid surface composed of layers of the eco material.
New Zealand-based designer David Trubridge, a regular at Milan Design Week, showcased a series of lamps that went beyond using green materials. For his Icarus installation, Trubridge sought to express the harmful effects of CO2 emissions involved in exhibiting at Milan — he bought carbon credits for his flight, purchased low-energy LED bulbs, and designed his lamps to be flat-packed so that they could be carried in his luggage and assembled on-site.
Next door to Superstudio Piu, “Sparkling: ecologically correct” showcased an interesting collection of green products and furnishings that approach sustainability in different ways. Ballarini offers a green line of pots, pans, and kitchen tools made from 100% recycled aluminum featuring 100% recycled paper packaging, and 100% biodegradable plastic handles.
These colorful Ecomat bricks offer a new way to build permanent and temporary structures. They’re completely composed of recycled materials and their lightness significantly reduces CO2 shipping emissions.
Designers Jean-Maire Massaud and Marc Berthier worked with the brand Environment to create the e’pack collection that premiered this week in Milan. The collection features eco-friendly materials ranging from sustainably-harvested wood to discarded materials like salvaged maritime shipping beams and vintage military shelter components.
The new Via Lambrate zone hosted schools like the Royal College of Art, Design Academy of Eindhoven, and the University of San Marino. The later showcased a series of student projects that challenged designers to go beyond the established limits of materials.
Furniture made from unusual combinations of materials show that sometimes, form follows sustainability. Students from the University of San Marino created projects from flour, salt, malt, yeast and granular gelatin, banana fiber, liquorice root, and brown rice (shown above).
This mobile gardening platform at Zona Lambrate comes complete with its own form of peddle-powered propulsion!
Every year, Milan Design Week shines the spotlight on an incredible range of cutting-edge designers. We’re thrilled to see an increasing number of them building environmental responsibility into the design DNA of their products.