Taking over Via Barnaba Oriani 27 in the Certosa District, this new kid on the block sets itself apart from the abundance of Milan Design Week events with its extended opening hours. Visitors are welcome to explore the exhibition from noon daily, but the evenings too are packed with aperitivos, dinners that offer food for thought besides delicious experimentations, performances and special nighttime spectacles. Time for another round of introductions of our exhibitors.
“The reflection and introspection, some room for experimentation, were perhaps unexpected but welcome side effects of imposed lockdowns and social isolation. This year, Milan Design Week will reap the benefits of the creative explosion that comes after.” says Remi Versteeg, co-founder of Amsterdam architects Beyond Space and the Certosa Initiative. Margriet Vollenberg, co-founder and art director of the Certosa Initiative adds: “If I were to identify a single theme (and there are so many!), it’s the forging of fresh future perspectives. For lots of our exhibitors, the last few years have sparked a redefinition of how they design for a future that is sustainable.”
A prime example. The Certosa Initiative sees the premiere of the Futuretarian Supermarket. Creatives and designers are invited to take their seat at the table within the art installation to dine and design the future of food together. The all-white supermarket presents a blank canvas — a clean slate! — ready to receive fresh ideas. In this initiative by Creative Chef, fronted and cheffed by Jasper Udink ten Cate, guests are prompted by moderator Dr. Sonia Massari to probe and advance ideas for future foods. Says Udink ten Cate: “The future of food is important to me. I believe co-creation leads the way to the best possible solution, so I want to go beyond my own vision: we start a global search for the perfect future food dish together!”
For Huqrugs, the last few years brought quiet and concentration to focus on the development of new designs, birthing a very personal collection. Says Huqrugs founder Frans Verschuren: “Trying out new techniques without the pressure of having to present direct results has been positive for me.” Huqrugs brings a collection of flatweaves and hand-knotted rugs, designed in Amsterdam, made fairly and sustainably in Europe, to the Certosa Initiative.
Studio Stefan Leuchter
Studio Stefan Leuchter, brings light-objects ‘Versatile’ and ‘Human Nature’, that playfully experiment with levels of transparency and translucence together with LED and daylight, to Certosa Initiative. Leuchter relished the “loophole in time” created by various lockdowns and social isolation, creating the space for new experiments. “It brought an awareness of how we interact with each other and the world around us, from the whole earth to our individual spaces.” Leuchter adds, “Creating sustainable art with recycled materials is a focus of our light-art. We are enthusiastic and curious to take our designs from our studio in Rotterdam to an international stage at the Certosa Initiative, to be inspired by other designers around us.”
Atelier Ruben van Megen
Atelier Ruben van Megen will create a room full of material experiments, captured memories and shapes. In a desert-atmosphere, presenting sand as the connecting material between designs, Van Megen invites the visitor to step into an oasis of design. Keen to re-emerge in a public and social context, Van Megen notes: “My design is about the interaction between object and user/spectator, that’s what brings it to life. It’s indispensable. Every design contains a piece of myself and I blossom when I see what a design does to people. I’m really looking forward to the Certosa Initiative!”
Alissa + Nienke
Design duo Alissa + Nienke note the increased emphasis on wellbeing in today’s society and focus on designing interior products that speak to the senses and enhance individual health and happiness. At Certosa Initiative, they show Spaces for Wellbeing, their collaboration with Senses&Spaces psychologist Renske Bongers. Say the duo: ” We believe in the power of the senses, and through our materials we can bring a much-needed softness into our daily spaces. We can’t wait — after years of developing our studio and research practice — to present our vision for Spaces for Wellbeing at Certosa Initiative and to let an international crowd experience our materials and installations.”
Marieke van Heck
Orange or red designer Marieke van Heck combines traditional techniques with contemporary design. She brings two of them with her to Certosa Initiative: ‘Rattan & PET’, that couples interior staple yet here innovatively designed and manufactured rattan with recycled PET, and ‘Dashes’, a tapestry cum room divider cum carpet cum design object. Says Van Heck: “The recent period has given me the opportunity and the time to step out of existing vicious circles and focus on long-cherished (material) research and collaborations with others. I look forward in Milan to showing the results of two projects I’ve worked on over the past few years and hope to start a conversation about them with other professionals.”
And many more. See the site.
Image © Creative Chef Studio