When Material meets Design is Design Italy's exhibition for Fuorisalone 2021

REPORTAGE: "When Material meets Design" by Cristina Morozzi

For Design Week 2021’s Fuorisalone in Milan, Design Italy lit up Via Vincenzo Monti 12 with its “When Material meets Design” exhibition. Sustainable materials like aluminium, cardboard, cork, rice husks, and corn become pieces of design.



On 2 September at its presentation to the press, Design Italy inaugurated its exhibition “When Material meets Design” for Design Week 2021 (5–10 September), illuminating Via Vincenzo Monti, 12 with featured pieces from some of the brands for sale on the company’s website. 


The exhibition – which extended from Design Italy’s offices (Via Vincenzo Monti 12) to L’Alter Bar (Via Vincenzo Monti 15) and to Japanese restaurant Zakuro (Via Vincenzo Monti 16) – was a Fuorisalone first for the Milan district. Out of the 130 brands and designers featured on the company’s website, Design Italy selected the six that best represented the core concept behind the exhibition: that of transforming and recycling materials including rice husk, aluminium, cardboard, corn, and cork to create unique, sustainable objects. 


Featured at Design Italy’s offices were Cyrcus Design, with its most recent project by Denis Santachiara of the chair EURA and 218 objects laser cut from a single piece of aluminium; DygoDesign, a group of young designers with their large, sculpture vases featuring soft and almost textile silhouettes and created from material derived from corn; Lessmore, designer Giorgio Caporaso’s brand with a new line of furniture in cardboard and wood; and OTQ with Bisu, the first bed made entirely from cork. 


Throughout Design Week, designers and artists took turns going live on Instagram to talk about their projects. 


Just a few metres away at L’Alter Bar, recycled cork stools in the shape of giant wine corks by Suber furnished the outdoor patio area, while the outdoor area of Zakuro restaurant was fitted out with Gio Ponti chairs by BBB Italia in Resysta, a material created from rice husks. 


The exhibition was a fun, engaging and effective demonstration of how ethics and aesthetics can join forces in furniture and design, proving that reusing and recycling materials can lead to infinite possibilities. 



Cristina Morozzi


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