Milan Design Week 2024: Sustainability and Creativity in the Materia Natura Theme

We are excited to introduce the context and perspectives offered by our participation at Milan Design Week 2024 here at Metropolis. With a strong tradition in contemporary and sustainable design, our aim is to explore and contextualize the latest trends and innovations in the field, bringing to the forefront the subtle interaction between aesthetics, functionality, and ecological responsibility.

The experience of Milan Design Week this year provided an opportunity for us to delve into the latest trends and innovations in interior design and architecture, centered around the theme of "nature as matter". We observed how this year's theme underscored the importance of the relationship between design and the surrounding environment, emphasizing the necessity of a sustainable approach and responsible practices in the design and architecture industry.

Milan Design Week 2024 represented a significant event in the evolution of the intersection between virtual reality, architecture, and sensory experiences. We were invited to explore projects that enriched our senses through technology and architectural creativity. Notably, the "Making Sense of Color" Pavilion stood out as an extraordinary example, implementing the innovative concept of making light audible and sound visible within the Google installation in Milan.

Throughout the curated journey in the pavilion, we were invited to experience a wide range of sensations, all based on sensory stimulation. Here, we clearly observed the essential role that architecture plays in creating an environment that positively amplifies our sensory experiences. The careful integration of natural elements such as stone textures, water, and vegetation, alongside technological innovations, led to the creation of interactive and captivating spaces.

One fascinating aspect of these experiences was the use of simple elements to create complex sensations. The ability to bring the complexity and richness of nature into controlled and technically elaborate spaces is evidence that design often relies on creating specific states or emotions among users, which can be achieved through a variety of sensory elements and stimuli. While technology and innovation are important, sometimes the most powerful and memorable experiences are those based on simplicity and our instinctive reactions to stimuli in the surrounding environment.

As we explored the other pavilions, we admired the strong influence of fluid forms inspired by nature on design and the materials used. This approach to nature, both in aesthetic appearance and material selection, emphasizes the importance of respect for the environment and the aspiration towards a more conscious and sustainable architecture. In the fast-paced context in which we live, where time becomes increasingly precious, spaces need to be designed to facilitate daily activities. We noticed a simplistic and fluid approach that encourages a more efficient and enjoyable user experience. These design concepts focus on intuitive organization, removing or organizing cluttered objects or information that create a sense of congestion, and creating an environment that provides seamless support for our daily activities. By intelligently integrating technology and using materials and forms that encourage flow, we have seen how contemporary design adapts and responds to the needs of modern life in a simple and efficient way.

Tactile sensation and the use of natural materials played a central role in the design presented at Milan Design Week 2024. We noticed that the focus was on stone, highlighted for its remarkable tactile and aesthetic qualities. The Henge brand excelled in this regard, showcasing stone in the most impressive way.

Through their meticulous attention to detail, Henge managed to create innovative furniture pieces based on the principles of fluidity and simplicity. The use of stone in these furniture pieces not only added an element of refinement and elegance but also offered a unique tactile experience for users. The texture and weight of the stone bring a sense of solidity and authenticity, while the fluid shapes and clean lines contribute to a modern and minimalist aesthetic.

Thus, by combining natural materials with contemporary design, Henge and other brands present at the event demonstrated how tactile sensation can be accentuated and valued in creating furniture pieces and interior spaces that offer not only functionality but also a pleasant experience when used.

The winning pavilion, "Re/Creation" created by Lasvit, certainly attracted attention and impressed with its ingenious use of melted glass to create a stunning experience. The idea of ​​using glass in a sensitive way to build a portal to new dimensions is truly fascinating.

The concept of relaxation promoted by this pavilion proved to be completely conveyed once we entered this innovative space. The texture of the glass, the smoke, and the reflections created outlined a truly fantastic and unreal atmosphere. The tactile sensation of melted glass, combined with the play of light and shadow and the surprising element of smoke, offered us a unique and memorable experience.

It is remarkable how Lasvit managed to create a space that is both relaxing and astonishing, using only one material and a few simple elements. This winning pavilion demonstrates the power and beauty of design when used innovatively and sensitively to create unique experiences for those who experience them.

One of the most notable aspects of the event was the focus on recycling materials in a creative and innovative way. We were impressed by how designers managed to transform recycled materials into works of art and functional solutions, highlighting the importance of sustainability and ecological responsibility in contemporary architecture.

In addition, we observed a trend towards the principles of sensory architecture based on experimentation. The interactive installations that invited visitors to explore and interact with the space were truly remarkable. This approach brought design closer to the individual, emphasizing the personal experience of each in the built environment and highlighting the importance of emotions and the psychological impact of architecture.

Color also played a significant role in the event, with many pavilions presenting strong and vibrant colors. This bold use of colors brought energy and expressiveness to the event, underlining the importance of aesthetics and visual impact in contemporary architecture.

Furthermore, the theme of integrating natural elements was present in many of the exhibitions at Milan Design Week. We were delighted to see how designers managed to combine beauty and functionality with respect for the environment, creating spaces that promote balance and harmony between humans and nature.

Overall, Milan Design Week 2024 was a fascinating and inspiring experience, demonstrating the creative potential of architecture and design to shape and transform our world in a positive and meaningful way.