STEP FuturAbility District, Milan
STEP FuturAbility District, Milan

On 31 May 2022, in one of the most interesting zones of Milan, the former rail yard of Porta Romana (also the site of Fondazione Prada and the future Olympic Village for Milano-Cortina 2026), the STEP FuturAbility District was opened to the public, a totally new space in terms of architecture and – more importantly – in terms of concept.

STEP has been created as a space for reflection on the future in which we are already living; thanks to its high-tech outfitting, it is also a location for events. The project boasts outstanding signatures: the building is a project by ACPV Architects Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, while the interiors – 1200 sqm, to welcome up to 400 people – have been designed by the studio Giò Forma.

A totally new context of education, discussion and experience, with the aim of connecting the community with the near future while providing all the opportunities to take a voyage into greater awareness of the digital transformation in progress, and its repercussions in all spheres of everyday life, both personal and professional.

But STEP is also a place conceived for exploration of themes connected with the new technologies, helping people to get their bearings in a rapidly changing world. The idea is to make a contribution to the construction of an inclusive digital society where everyone can discover the tools and forms of expertise required to build their own future with confidence.

Precisely due to these characteristics, it is the ideal location for events connected with the contemporary dimension: in about seven months since its opening, STEP has hosted over 60 events with extremely varied formats, from press conferences to the launch of new products and services, fashion shows to photo shoots, corporate conventions to team building sessions. These initiatives meet the needs of very different sectors: ICT, automotive, fashion, transport, real estatecommunication, finance, media, pharmaceuticals.

Besides offering an initial engaging itinerary through dynamic installations, immersive spaces and multimedia walls in ten stages for an experience of about 45 minutes, guided by Forward, a virtual creature and vocal guide for use with the visitor’s own smartphone, STEP also foresees an entire series of free encounters, weekday workshops for schools and Sunday programs for families, not to mention the fine program of workshops and lectures of a scientific-cultural character.

Some examples: on 5 March there are two experiential workshops, Program a Robot and Code and Creativity; still in the area of workshops, on 14 March the focus is on Financial services of the future, distributed banking and invisible payments, while on 19 March the topics will be Design and print in 3D and Personalized stickers or stencils; from 29 March Gianluigi Ballarani, one of the most influential personalities in Italy in the cryptocurrency sector, will focus on Metaverse: how technology changes reality; and on 4 April Umberto Galimberti will conduct the workshop The technical age and the market.