Milan Design Week: Fuorisalone 2023 is a Future Lab

From April 17-23, 2023 appointment with Fuorisalone, as usual in conjunction with the Salone del Mobile. This year's theme is "Laboratorio Futuro": all-round reflection on building the future, from sustainable design to circular economy, from innovation in materials to urban regeneration and artificial intelligence.

Milan stars on the international scene of the design world: from April 17 to 23, Milano Design Week returns and offers a full-bodied calendar of events, exhibitions, and installations. Designers, architects, schools, universities and institutions come together to share ideas that can interpret the present and imagine tomorrow. Design practices become a valuable tool to provide coordinates for reading the present and contemporaneity, returning visions and suggestions for the future. With focus on the themes of circular economy, reuse, sustainability of processes and materials, Fuorisalone will be held as usual in conjunction with the Salone del Mobile.Milano, which this year reaches its 61st edition.

Laboratorio Futuro is the theme of the 2023 edition of Fuorisalone

The April edition of Fuorisalone, entitled Laboratorio Futuro, proposes a reflection on how we imagine our future, in relation to the uniqueness of the times in which we live. Laboratorio because this edition represents an opportunity for debate to imagine and build alternative ideas through moments of collective dialogue, to focus on opportunities and critical issues, but also contradictions. Laboratory as a place of confrontation, a concrete place where error is considered a useful element to evolve. Laboratory as a shared working method, as a way to build in the present solutions to allow us a future that might otherwise become a mirage. We live in a historical moment where the major issues that characterize it are closely linked by a red thread: from the climate crisis to the energy crisis, via war and political instability. This year’s theme invokes the experimental dimension of design and is meant to be an invitation, an exhortation to question ourselves on how we want to design change by responding to the many challenges that lie ahead. And to do so, design becomes a tool for reflection and at the same time for collective action. The 2023 edition will therefore shed light on the themes of sustainable design, circular economy, innovation in materials, urban regeneration and artificial intelligence. The latter to be understood not as a rejecting technology, but as a tool that could be part of the future. All with an eye on the new generations, which will see the involvement of male and female students from leading schools in the field. “Future Lab” will set the stage for exhibitions and installations, opportunities to bring out the complexity of the issues on the table. Projects capable of intercepting the ongoing transformations in society, proposing visions of an ambitious and credible future, made of experimentation and concreteness. A future where design is an agent of change, as well as a lens for interpreting society.

The Fuorisalone oracle, a tool at the service of tomorrow’s designers

The oracle of the Fuorisalone is a project conceived by Studiolabo, which consists of a deck with 28 cards illustrated by Serena Mazzi, produced in a limited edition by Tiburtini, a Roman printing house that has been present on the market for more than 60 years, combining artisanal passion and industrial know-how that allows it to transform the most ambitious ideas into typographic products that are unique in quality and finesse. The oracle in ancient peoples was a response given by the deity to a question concerning unknown aspects or relating to the right way to act in certain circumstances. Thanks to design thinking and other similar approaches aimed at design in recent years, various tools, consisting of decks of cards, digital interfaces and analytical approaches, have recently been introduced; along these lines, the oracle, given into the hands of creative minds, can regain its inherent power as a trigger for action and idea.

TRAME: an interactive installation at the Civic Aquarium, curated by STARK, interprets the theme “Future Laboratory”

For the second year in a row, STARK, a leading multimedia installation and interactive experience company, returns to enliven the spaces of the Civic Aquarium in Milan with an interactive project. There are changes that are complex to understand only with reason and become clearer if you give free space to intuition. Plots is Stark’s interactive-perceptual exercise dedicated to the theme of Fuorisalone 2023: Future Laboratory. The human being rediscovers himself as an integral part of the biological community whose intertwined and shared motion enables the inhabitation of living beings themselves. Stark proposes a multi-voice interaction experience. Hands guide the effects in space, transformed, however, also by the actions of other “actors” who intervene to alter what surrounds us. The work, by means of an interactive sound and visual installation, invites us to rely on a holistic and perceptive understanding, reflecting on how our actions, however conscious, are necessarily intertwined with those from other lives, weaving the creative narrative that happens with each encounter. In the evocative aura of Milan’s Acquario Civico, the collaboration with architects Alice Buroni and Gloria Lisi together with Alex Buroni led Stark to experience this in a shared workshop.

The second edition of Fuorisalone Award, the award that celebrates the best in design The Fuorisalone Award is back, an award that recognizes the most memorable content and installations presented at Milan Design Week. A dynamic and innovative project that rewards the creativity and ideas of Italian and international companies and designers. The projects competing to win the public’s votes will be visible on a dedicated section of the website, and will be deepened through a system of event cards with content and photos of the installations. In parallel, a joint work by a technical committee and the editorial staff of will instead focus attention on contents of relevance to the world of project and design, qualitatively innovative and rich in meaning. The selected projects will compete to win the 4 special mentions for the categories: interaction, sustainability, technology, communication. The jury that will decide the winners of the special mentions will be composed of: Paolo Ferrarini, curator, lecturer and journalist; Valentina Ventrelli, expert in contemporary aesthetics; Luca Caizzi, photographer and creative director of C41 Magazine; Alessandro Colombo, General Manager AD Education Italy; Nicola Ricciardi, artistic director of Miart; Francesco Zurlo, dean of the School of Design at the Milan Polytechnic; Angela Rui, design curator; Federica Sala, curator; Cristiano Seganfreddo, innovator and entrepreneur; and Vera Sacchetti - design critic and curator. On the occasion of the 2023 edition, the Fuorisalone award changes shape and image: it is entirely revised in design and made as a stylization of the traditional pin that has characterized’s activities for 20 years. A tribute to what has always represented the official map through which to orient oneself among installations, exhibitions and discussion panels during the most important week for the design industry. Conceived by the Studiolabo team and realized by Pollodesign Factory, a Milanese reality active in the field of design and production.

One of the novelties of this edition of Fuorisalone Award is the special mention by Salone del Mobile.Milano, created to distinguish the lighting project with best public impact. A mention in continuity with Euroluce, the biennial dedicated to the world of lighting now in its 31st year. The “Mention Salone del Salone del Mobile.Milano: light for the city” aims to broaden the gaze to the city also during the year: the project or installation with virtuous impact on the city public (public lighting, lighting art but also installations or other interventions related to light) will be awarded. Projects submitted during the Salone from June 2022 to the present may be included in the shortlist. Voting will open from Tuesday, April 18.

e.Reporter: documenting Milan Design Week.

Also back is the usual appointment with the e.Reporters, a project born in 2003 dedicated to design, architecture and visual arts students with a particular passion for photography and audio-visual content. The intent has always been to tell the Fuorisalone through the eyes of a young and fresh community. Through partnerships with the most important design schools in Milan, more than 180 thousand shots have been produced to date, which have become the historical and collective archive of the event. This year the collaboration between Politecnico di Milano and Studiolabo is confirmed to offer students from the School of Design, the Faculty of Architecture and POLI.Design the opportunity to contribute to the collective story of the event. The project is part of "Passion in Action," an activity the Politecnico di Milano offers its students that will allow them to obtain 3 CFUs as a free-participation teaching element. A new feature of the 2023 edition is the opportunity to see one’s work recognized thanks to the collaboration with the magazine C41, which will launch a photographic call to action in early April: e.Reporters will in fact also be able to narrate Design Week by following the specific brief set by the C41 editorial staff, and the best images may be published on the magazine’s channels.

Inspire: all design at the click of a button Tap and get Inspire.

All the news, content, inspirations and trends from Design Week in one digital space. Also for this edition, Inspire is the digital tool for those who want to be inspired to surprise. Minimalist design and intuitive layout take users on a journey of design discovery: with a simple click to get involved and explore moodboards that are different each time, and then delve deeper into the content via linked tabs, download images or save them in the personal archive.

Previews from the April edition: Design Districts 2023

Brera Design District, the beating heart of the kermesse, offers a calendar including exhibitions, installations, collectives and product novelties. Promoting the theme proposed by Fuorisalone, “Future Laboratory,” Brera Design Week 2023 activates a reflection on the challenges of contemporaneity, giving space to projects and practices capable of triggering actions of change. The future is not something abstract and immaterial, but is built with the quality of our present. To respond to the challenges of tomorrow, design is a valuable tool: the most important week for the design world is the stage for creative and innovative ideas and solutions with a strong impact. "Future Lab" is a time for analysis and experimentation to translate today’s challenges into opportunities for tomorrow.

gloTM will be among the protagonists of Brera Design District with its art project gloTM for art together with Agostino Iacurci, an artist of subtle and brilliant irony, recognized for his works characterized by synthetic shapes and shining colors.

Distretto Tortona returns with a brand new look and a communication proposal aimed at bringing together and narrating the diverse realities that animate it: Tortona Rocks, BASE, Superstudio and Tortona Design Week. The district becomes a spokesperson for current issues seen through the lens of design, with the aim of responding to the challenges of tomorrow.

Milano Durini Design officially strengthens the Milano Design District brand, a concept district Design extended to all the valuable companies present in the city center. Strengthened by more than 40 design companies, for the 2023 edition the district proposes the fil rouge “Metamorphosis Urban,” among installations with a strong evocative character.

5VIE returns with a proposal dedicated to signature design and the contaminations of design with art and high craftsmanship. This year’s theme, "Design for Good," is meant to be an invitation to look at design as a tool for creating and cultivating deep human connections, with a view to sustainability rooted in mutual care. International curators, artists and designers have been called upon to engage with this theme through a series of exhibitions signed 5VIE, which are joined in the area’s exhibition itinerary by exhibitions by independent studios, companies and designers.

Isola Design District announces the seventh edition of Isola Design Festival: more than 25 locations host group exhibitions and events involving hundreds of international designers, design studios and artisans. The program includes six group exhibitions focusing on themes such as circular and regenerative furniture, collectible design and new craftsmanship, design tech and wellness.

Projects and pathways on the ground 2023

Alcova, the platform founded by Joseph Grima (Space Caviar) and Valentina Ciuffi (Studio Vedèt) now in its fifth edition, unveils the unseen monumental spaces of the Ex-Macello di Porta Vittoria from April 17-23. Alcova 2023 hosts more than 70 projects that explore different and complementary directions of contemporary design: from research on innovative and sustainable materials, to contemporary craft, to sensory design, flanking established institutions, brands and studios and emerging talents.

Design Variations, the event curated by MoscaPartners, presents “Breath,” the site-specific work on the facade of the Circolo Filologico Milanese, designed by studio Zaven. Palazzo Visconti offers inside it a path aimed at discovering the use of natural and sustainable materials in the world of design. This year’s edition also presents “REFORMING FUTURE,” an anthological exhibition of projects from Michele De Lucchi’s master’s course with Andrea Branzi of the Milan Polytechnic, set up inside the Istituto Marchiondi Spagliardi, a Brutalist masterpiece by architect Vittoriano Viganò that for the first time opens to the public of international design and architecture. The latter project is the brainchild of Valerio Castelli, who strongly wanted it.

Dropcity Convention 2023, the winning project of the second edition of Festival Architettura, promoted by the General Directorate for Contemporary Creativity of the Ministry of Culture, opens to the city from April 15 to 23. Inside the Magazzini Raccordati of the Central Station, Dropcity Centro di Architettura e Design, conceived by architect Andrea Caputo, produces and hosts a busy schedule of exhibitions, installations, lectures and talks with the participation of international architects and designers.

MorelDesign Week: Morel Milano, once the site of a cotton shoe fabric factory, presents its original 1930s industrial architecture through a new interpretation, combining its history with the new functions of the 7,000-square-meter village in the Certosa area. This is not an abandoned industrial site, but an authentic, curated and flexible place where Morel Milano joins forces with Tipografia Alimentare by presenting “A FUOCO LENTO,” a culinary project designed by four hands.

Materially explores and returns a point of view on materials starting from the concept of wonder observed in various fields: education, creativity and industry. It is a narrative structured in several stages, in different and significant places for design and the city, hosting exhibitions, talks and workshops. Wonder Matter(s) at Superstudio Più; Vivarium, with Total Tool, at the Brera Academy; Materially and MCX at La Triennale.

Swiss Design Map is a digital platform that facilitates access to Swiss initiatives presented at the world’s most important design event. The Swiss Design Map is curated by the Swiss Design Association. Promoted by the Swiss Cultural Foundation Pro Helvetia and Presence Switzerland at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and supported by Switzerland Global Enterprise/Swiss Business Hub Italy.

Tortona Rocks starts with a question to shape the eighth edition: “How do you take care of tomorrow? Design instructions” ponders how taking care of tomorrow is a collective act, while design encourages alternative lifestyles in response to contemporary urgencies. Among the protagonists will be IKEA, which celebrates 80 years of innovations with an exhibition dedicated to the iconic products of the past together with the innovations that will represent the future. Paola Navone will amaze the public with “Take it or Leave it,” an eclectic range of objects, curated by Daniel Rozensztroch, collected by the designer and now prizes in a raffle in which it will be possible to participate. Space for experimentation with “one&twenty2023,” the exhibition with which German Design Council awards young talents in contemporary design, while MR Digital, in collaboration with Stefano Boeri Interiors, presents the “Learning Spaces 4.0” project for innovative, inclusive and integrated teaching. Many other novelties enrich the exhibition circuit in the Tortona area. New to the edition, however, is the ALTROVE project, an off-route territorial digression from the usual Fuorisalone district tracks, which puts design, by the signatures of emerging talents, in dialogue with everyday places in the Giambellino district.

Tortona Design Week presents "Future to Share“: an ambitious project, to become together pioneers of a future to be written in the perspective of sharing and inclusiveness. Innovation, circularity and technology are the cornerstones to reprogram our everyday life, enhancing self-production and sustainable urban manufacturing. Installations, exhibitions, events, workshops and training: ”Future to Share" is learning and building change.

Base Milano presents the third edition of “We Will Design,” where it hosts designers-in-residence and introduces germs of innovation - thus initiating the exploration of a new idea of democratic design. BASE aims to promote not only affordable design but plural design, which intersectionally develops four main dimensions, including people of all ages, abilities, genders and cultures.

Superdesign Show at Superstudio Piu’ presents INSPIRATION INNOVATION IMAGINATION. From roots to design to its representation the design “at large” that affects lives. Unexpected objects, innovative materials, trendy furniture, sustainability in and out, interactions with art, talks to deepen, visions of the great international design schools, Far East horizons.

Triennale Milano presents programming that brings together permanent installations. Among them is the new permanent installation of the Museum of Italian Design, directed by Marco Sammicheli. Also on stage is the Droog30 exhibition, co-produced with Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam and curated by Maria Cristina Didero and Richard Hutten, dedicated to the work of the innovative Dutch design group 30 years after its first Milanese exhibition for the 1993 Fuorisalone. The exhibition Lisa Ponti. Drawings and Voices, curated by Salvatore Licitra and Damiano Gullì, presents instead a selection of works by the artist, editor, critic and writer who has made drawing on A4 sheets her expressive medium of choice. Triennale also welcomes the research of important international institutions and companies, proposing the exhibitions and projects of: Duson Gallery (South Korea), Japan Creative (Japan), Moravian Gallery (Czech Republic), Timberland Worldwide, and Uzbekistan Art and Culture Development Foundation (Uzbekistan).

ID-exe 2023: a diffuse exhibition that engages the entire urban area in a design-driven way. By facilitating the coming together of design, other disciplines and new technologies, it is possible to extend the boundaries of the physical world through augmented user experiences, promoting emerging brands and designers. This year’s theme is "Design After. Time does not exist and things can be anywhere: a reality based on systems of relationships, before the materiality of objects.

Rossana Orlandi returns again this year with Ro Plastic Prize, recognition part of the RO Guiltless Plastic project. Over the years the event has seen more than 1,800 participants, with an average age of 35, from 60 different countries touching all 5 continents. The award has three categories: collectible art and design, emerging high technologies, and inspiring learning projects.

Event Highlights gloTM, mainsponsor of Fuorisalone, together with Agostino Iacurci presents "Dry Days, Tropical Nights.“ A large installation in largo Treves that invites the viewer to look at how our Planet could become and build a better tomorrow all together. ”Dry Days, Tropical Nights" marks one of the stages of the traveling art project gloTM for art, which was created to support art and spread culture, encouraging the democratization of the artistic experience.

Casa Mutina hosts a special installation that gives space to new products signed by Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola and Cypriot designer Michael Anastassiades.

Spazio Maiocchi hosts in its outdoor space a site-specific project inspired by the utopian design of the 1970s and 1980s created by Swiss designers Panter & Tourron and made entirely of XL, an ultralight material by definition thanks to a revolutionary patented Finproject technology.

Marsèll presents a double event in the brand’s two Milanese spaces: the Marsèll Paradise basement hosts a work by German artist Carsten Nicolai, already the protagonist of the brand’s latest art project that later also became the new FW 22/23 collection campaign. The showroom on Via Paullo hosts an exhibition by the American collective CFGNY, curated by Felix Burrichter of Pin UP Magazine.

APalazzo, a contemporary art gallery in Brescia, presents a solo exhibition by Nathalie Provosty that opened in conjunction with Miart, at ICA Milan. This is the Brooklyn-based American visual artist’s first institutional exhibition in Europe.

AssabOne presents "Design for Communities," an exhibition dedicated to the project carried out by the NGO Live in Slums in collaboration with designer Giacomo Moor, who designed beds, tables and benches destined for the refectory and dormitory of Mathare Primary School, one of the largest Slums in Nairobi. The exhibition tells the public about the project through Moor’s furniture and photographs by Francesco Giusti, Filippo Romano, Mattia Zoppellaro and Alessandro Treves of Perimetro.

Park Associati presents "Underwater Aesthetics - Unveiling hidden beauty," a set of two experimental works by the multidisciplinary design studio CARA DAVIDE designed and created by invitation and with production supervision by Park Associati, thanks to the collaboration of Fantini Mosaici. In the Park Hub exhibition space, the flooring and the collection of tables and chairs indicate the designers’ interest in details that arise from technical necessity and are observed without aesthetic bias.

Fornasetti expands its universe of furniture and accessories with three new collections. The furniture presents a renewed design in size and shape, characterized by multiple facets that form a prism. The accessories and porcelain complete the furnishing proposal to enrich rooms with precious details. Corresponding to the three collections are as many decors that are a contemporary interpretation of the images collected in the archives.The secret that makes Fornasetti’s dreams tangible is contained in the tradition of high craftsmanship. All the creations require the completion of a long process that is carried out strictly by hand at every step in the Atelier in Milan.

Artemest presents L’Appartamento: an elegant 1930s mansion located in a historic Milanese building in the heart of the 5Vie district. Curated by six prestigious international interior design studios, the apartment will tell different creative visions that dialogue with each other. The different rooms of the house will each be furnished by a different interior designer using exclusively furniture, complements, lighting and art made by a selection of Italian artisans, brands and artists who collaborate with Artemest. Artemest invites you to discover the world of Italian high craftsmanship through the creative gaze of Anne-Sophie Pailleret, Kingston Lafferty Design, MONMIIO Design, Nina Magon, Styled Habitat and T.ZED Architects.

TCL presents the project "ELEMENTS - TCL Green Horizon." In line with its mission, “Inspire Greatness,” the brand showcases its vision for creating technologies that can improve lives and unite people. The exhibition takes visitors on a journey through the elements of nature, highlighting how it is a source of inspiration, creativity and innovation. With sustainable artwork, immersive experiences and innovative products, TCL invites visitors to imagine a horizon where nature and technology coexist in harmony and inspires them to take the path to a greener future.

IKEA presents Assembling the Future Together. Building the future and celebrating 80 years of innovation. This is what IKEA, in its 80th anniversary year, will be telling at Fuorisalone 2023. It will be Padiglione Visconti, on Via Tortona, that will host the brand’s exhibition with a space designed to amaze and inspire visitors, who will be welcomed by the iconic products that have characterized each decade of the brand’s life, along with those that will represent it in the future. Indeed, there will be no shortage of novelties, with the exclusive unveiling of new products and a space entirely dedicated to the study with which IKEA has been investigating life in the home for nine years now: the Life at Home Report, captured through the lens of an exclusive photography project.

"Ecosophìa" Eco from Ecosustainability, Sophìa from Knowledge. A reflection on how Valcucine imagines the present and future of kitchen architecture and design, in relation to the values of sustainability and innovation that have always been an integral part of the company’s identity. The company thus presents new kitchen layouts and new “magic openings,” associated with the use of new materials and wood finishes. At the same time, Valcucine also presents the fruit of external workshops with important entities related to the world of design such as Domus Academy and ISIA.

IED L’Istituto Europeo di Design presents "Ecocentrico," a multidisciplinary project developed in partnership with Giacimenti Urbani, an association that deals with the reduction of resource waste and the activation of circular economy paths from below, and presented inside Alcova in the area of the Ex Macello di Porta Vittoria. An international project born with the involvement of teachers and students from different courses and belonging to all IED Group branches, now present in Italy in Milan, Cagliari, Florence, Rome, Turin and in Como with the Aldo Galli Academy of Fine Arts; in Spain in Barcelona, Madrid and Bilbao; and in Brazil in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

Bra-very bar - have the bravery to change "ethics in aesthetics." After its launch in 2022 IAAD. again presents a project of aggregation and communion among individuals who cultivate a shared time of discussion, dialogue and intense exchange: the BRA-VERY BAR. Bra Very Bar is a collective project of 21 design schools that, with over 32,000 studentsÉ?, bring to the Salone del Mobile a choral movement that focuses on education and ethics. 4 workshops in 4 days for 4 areas where Ethics and Aesthetics dialogue and confront each other through themes of the contemporary and with attention to the planet and mankind.

CAMPO BASE is an initiative promoted by 6 architectural firms that come together to support the cultural and social value of Italian interior architecture. The realities involved are: Massimo Adario, Giuliano Andrea Dell’Uva, Eligo Studio, Marcante -Testa, Hannes Peer Architecture Studiopepe with the collaboration of Federica Sala for the curatorial part. Open April 17-23 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Collaborations and project partners

Lampoon x Fuorisalone new horizons of design, fashion and other stories. The 2023 edition features a new collaboration with Lampoon, the magazine founded and directed by Carlo Mazzoni that deals across the board with fashion, design and current affairs. A partnership to celebrate Fuorisalone’s connection with leading cultural publications that make quality their hallmark. With the contribution of Lampoon’s signatures, this project tries to shine a spotlight on the societal consequences of mutations and trends, and whether these are themselves symptoms of phenomena still in the bud. Between reportage and long form published online, via newsletter and on Fuorisalone’s social channels, this synergy was born to explore together the theme of today’s changes: the goal is to analyze and tell what is changing in design, how it changes Milan and Italy.

Tiburtini is the Official Print Partner of Fuorisalone. With more than 60 years of experience in the printing industry, Tiburtini is a reference typography for Italian and international brands. It combines artisanal passion and industrial know-how in a completely in-house production process that allows it to transform the most ambitious ideas into typographic products unique in quality and finesse.

Cairo Milano Design, a digital/physical platform created to create synergies between Milan and Cairo and beyond, is back with its second edition. The project was created by El-Biet Magazine and, from an idea by Sawsan Mourad, Cristian Confalonieri and Luca Fois with the aim of creating, connecting and communicating new possibilities for both cities. For Milan Design Week 2023 Cairo Milano Design is launching Cleopatra & Antonio: a program of physical and digital thematic events, a 360-degree platform to encourage collaboration between businesses and professionals, a project where to imagine, connect and share new possibilities for the two cities, as well as open doors, create new connections, launch initiatives and find new business prospects. In addition to Cairo Milano Design, there are several active partnerships with international entities. has projects under development in China, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Dubai.

Milan Design Week: Fuorisalone 2023 is a Future Lab
Milan Design Week: Fuorisalone 2023 is a Future Lab

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