After the annus horribilis that was 2020, in which Design Week was skipped completely, and after last year’s interesting but in a minor (and full of precautions) edition, this year’s Design Week has returned to dress Milan for the future, with a disruptive force of ideas and technology.
A large participation, in numerical terms, rewarded the choice of an edition without excessive restrictions from a health point of view: visitors were incredibly pleased with their freedom to walk around the locations without a mask. It was well regulated and moderately contingent.
What, then, is the leitmotif (if there is one) of this 2022 edition? In our opinion, the Design Week was characterised by an intertwining of themes, which became inseparable, evident in some installations, perhaps a little less in others, but always equally hovering over the event: openness to the concept of “metaverse” on the one hand, seen as the ad libitum extension of the IoT and intelligent interconnection between technological equipment, and environmental sustainability on the other, with the continuous reminder of the need to recover a more symbiotic dimension with nature, with the planet.
Certainly a weight, in the choice of these dominant themes, must also be attributed to the terrible war between Russia and Ukraine which, while on the one hand is shaking the world due to the agitation of unspeakable spectres (extension of the conflict, use of nuclear weapons), on the other hand it also seems to be representing, due to the sanctions imposed on Russia, a sort of “opportunity” (mandatory quotation marks) to rethink the world on a more ecological basis, and independent from the energy sources most used and exploited up to now.
This is certainly not a new issue, and it definitely did not require a war to bring it to the fore: but there is no doubt that the (possible) cuts in the supply of fossil fuels that are being aired for next autumn / winter have represented, and still represent, a sort of incentive to think of alternative solutions, solutions that exist and are only waiting for the decisive push for their development. Here, the Fuorisalone 2022 seems to have reflected above all on this, staging, from via Tortona to Brera, from the Darsena to Lambrate. A double instance: on the one hand, a desire to “escape from reality”, or to create another real (metaverse, explosion of AI and its entry into everyday life); on the other hand, a desire – apparently antithetical but actually complementary – to recover naturalness, also and above all in urban contexts, with a strong investment in sustainable mobility, ecological architecture and technology no longer only at the service of the individual, but also of collectivity – understood as global population, understood as… the planet!
Will we be able, in a short time, to find refuge in a “sustainable metaverse”? In addition to giving birth to dreams, can technology and design also make them come true? We’ll see! Meanwhile, those who were able to participate in this Fuorisalone had a taste of the future world in which the “step back” necessary to guarantee the well-being of all was not presented as a “happy degrowth”, but as a lively, brilliant and sparkling investment in technologies. that do not set any limits. And to find out more, with in-depth information on the installations we have visited and on some of the most stimulating technological innovations, in particular for home automation and IoT … you just have to follow us and not miss the extensive report we are preparing and which will be released on the next Connessioni magazine!