The first edition of the convention presented the 3 macro trends in design: biofacturing, positive discomfort and consumer transformation

Andrea Illy, Chairman of Altagamma

The first edition of Next Design Perspectives was held on 30 October 2018 at Triennale di Milano. The convention dedicated to new design paths was conceived by Altagamma and organized in partnership with Fiera Milano and Agenzia ICE. A day of reflection and debates on the trends that will shape the design and creativity of the future, from sustainable technological innovation to the research into materials and the new professional fields that will dialogue with designers.

Some game changers in Italian and international creativity alternated on stage: Philippe Starck, Marco Bizzarri of Gucci, Paola Antonelli from MoMA New York, design critic and author Alice Rawsthorn, fashion designer Suzanne Lee, researcher and designer Maurizio Montalti, designer Natsai Audrey Chieza.

Biofacturing: Natsai Audrey Chieza, Suzanne Lee, Koert van Mensvoort, Maurizio Montalti and moderator Paola Antonelli

The three macro topics:

  • biofacturing, a research field that is revolutionizing the production of materials relying on biological organisms such as algae, bacteria and mycelium;
  • transformation of companies’ reference targets with the appearance of a new kind of consumer able to naturally move from one culture to another;
  • positive discomfort, the ability to own a characteristic of our times, uncertainty, to go beyond the comfort zone and gain new insights
  • The program of Next Design Perspectives was opened by the report by WSGN, world reference in trend forecasting, which dictated the ten trends that will influence the design and fashion market. Among these, the ‘luxury of less’, which will lead consumers to prefer quality products and to move away from fast fashion, Bio-Facturing, which will pave the way to a new concept of ‘ethical luxury’, the ‘Allclusive Design’, in which professionals from different fields (technological, engineering, creative, medical, artistic) will work together to create new categories of inclusive products, also suitable for people with disabilities, and the ‘Positive Discomfort’, an approach that will lead companies to keep innovating themselves (on the model of Google and Facebook).
    Positive Discomfort: da sinistra il moderatore Tony Chambers con Andrea Trimarchi, Simone Farresin, Sissel Tolaas

    The latest researches in Bio-facturing were presented by three pioneers: Suzanne Lee, fashion designer (famous for her TED talk “Grow your own clothes!”) and Chief Creative Officer at Modern Meadow, a company that produces biomanufactured materials; Maurizio Montalti, designer and Creative Director of Officina Corpuscoli, R&D Director at Mogu, Amsterdam-based company that researches into the use of mycelium to create biomaterials; Natsai Audrey Chieza, founder and director of Faber Futures, London-based biodesign lab.

    They share the need for an alternative to plastic: virtuous collaborations such as that between Adidas and Parley to make shoes from plastic waste are just the beginning.

    Positive Discomfort: da sinistra il moderatore Tony Chambers con Andrea Trimarchi, Simone Farresin, Sissel Tolaas

    With the “fourth industrial revolution”, as explained by Suzanne Lee, oil derivatives will not be used anymore and the protagonists will be yeasts, bacteria, algae and microorganisms. Through their farming and auto-reproduction, fabrics and materials with better performances than plastic will be obtained. High-level conversations alternated with the experts, engaging Tony Chambers, former director of Wallpaper and founder of Studio TC&Friends, Philippe Starck, Marco Bizzarri (CEO Gucci), Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin of Studio Formafantasma, artist and “smell researcher” Sissel Tolaas.

    New Consumers: moderator Anja Aronowsky Cronberg with Nipa Doshi and John C. Jay

    The reflections on new consumers by Nipa Doshi, Indian designer and co-founder of design studio Doshi Levien, and John C. Jay, President of Global Creative for Fast Retailing (UNIQLO’s parent company) followed. During the next years, Muslim consumers will skyrocket, while Caucasian people will become a minority by 2040. Companies from all over the world will have to consider this transformation. Next Design Perspectives closed with the talk between Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMa New York, and Alice Rawsthorn, author of the recently published essay ‘Design as an attitude‘. [Text Valentina Lonati]