Brera. The Future is now

Paolo Casati tells us about this year's edition of the Brera Design District, which, with over 190 showrooms and 240 events held, confirmed itself as the epicentre of Milan Design Week

Health Through Water ©GROHE SPA

Building Tomorrow is the theme of the Brera Design District. Under this title, the numerous installations presented in the historic artists’ district will address the challenges of contemporaneity, giving space to projects capable of triggering actions of change. «These are numbers that take us back and surpass 2019, the last edition of the Salone held in April, before the pandemic,» comments Paolo Casati, co-founder of the Brera Design District. «The future is now declared an emergency. This year we were more direct: we asked ourselves what we can expect from the future and how we can build it. What our contribution can be and how design can be a vector of change. From our point of view, this happens in a shared way, among a group of people coming from different disciplines to create something complex.»

Agostino Iacurci ©glo

«Many companies have grasped this theme by producing green-related installations, which take the breath of plants, indispensable to restore balance.» Among the district’s projects, perhaps the most iconic of this year’s edition is the collaboration between artist Agostino Iacurci and the GloTM brand. At Largo Treves 1, Iacurci will reinterpret the iconic office tower built by Arrigo Arrighetti in 1955 and now close to demolition. Through pictorial, sculptural and luminous interventions, the artist will temporarily transform the building’s exterior and interior spaces into a dreamlike landscape with an installation entitled Dry Days, Tropical Nights that focuses on the theme of global warming.

True to Food Lab, Signature Kitchen Suite

«Every year we have an increase in new showrooms,» Paolo Casati continues, «among them, Molteni&C, which inherits a space that was partly its own, but is completely redesigned by Vincent Van Duysen.» «The theme of the environment,» the founder of Brera Design District reminds us, «is also strongly present this year in the contents proposed by the showrooms. On the one hand, Cotto D’Este‘s The Secret Garden in Via Quintino Sella 5 presents a 100% carbon-free project, and on the other, Signature Kitchen Suite proposes the True to Food Lab installation, an experiential journey through the innovations of digital agriculture that are rewriting the future of the food supply chain.»

©Casa Mutina by Maaike Canne

The new ceramic collections designed by Patricia Urquiola and Michael Anastassiades for the Emilian brand will be presented at Casa Mutina, Via Cernaia 1 in a special immersive installation. Also on Via Cernaia, Solidnature returns, which, in the basement and garden of a private home, will set up The future belongs to dreamers, a dreamscape designed by OMA, completed by installations by Sabine Marcelis and Iranian artist Bita Fayyazi.

Apacheta, Cristián Mohaded for LoroPiana Interiors
©Grand Seiko

Among the highlights of this year’s edition, Paolo Casati again points out «the project of the high-tech brand Grand Seiko, which, in Via Palermo 16, will offer an immersive experience in the Japanese world through activities involving the public ranging from the tea ceremony to Japanese calligraphy and origami workshops.» «Also striking,» continues Paolo, «will be Grohe‘s installation in the entrance courtyard of the Brera Academy, where they will bring a slab of water with four immersive rooms, and that of LoroPiana Interiors in the courtyard of their headquarters, at Via Moscova 27, where Apacheta, the project by Argentinean artist and designer Cristián Mohaded, will be on show.»