Space for the contemporary

Success beyond all expectations for the second edition of Porta Venezia Design District, “the other district”

Porta by Lasvit, design Maxim Velcovsky

Milano Design Week has just reached its conclusion, but the city is still buzzing with the energy of the event connected with the Salone del Mobile. In particular, the Porta Venezia Design District, a self-proclaimed “other district” now in its second year, was a magnet for visitors, with an estimated attendance of over 60,000 visitors. Relying on the cosmopolitan, inclusive and rebellious spirit of the zone, an expression of a city in constant evolution and transformation, the Porta Venezia Design District has been developed to celebrate the contemporary character and diversity of a neighborhood, with a focus on a revolutionary idea of design. The theme of this edition was “EverythinK is design,” inspired by Paul Rand, the graphic design legend who changed viewpoints on visual communication, suggesting that design is the method that permits the union between form and content in infinite definitions, which translate – as happens in art – into a simple, universal language. Likewise, the program of this edition incorporated multiple, different contexts intrinsic to the concept of design, seen in the wider sense of invention and aesthetic formulation.


Once again this year, MEET – Digital Culture Center concentrated on triggering new awareness in the area of technology: the work 21-22 USA by Thierry Loa, an interdisciplinary director, creator of contents for new media, offered a meditative gaze in VR 360° from the skies of one of the biggest worldwide superpowers, bearing witness to the landscapes of the Anthropocene at the dawn of this new era.

At the same time, the MEET Theater hosted the screening of a series of videos, and immersive installations on the theme of nature, with the works of seven international artists: Tamiko Thiel (Enter the Plastocene), Streamcolors (Meta Cities. Quando le città diventano nuova natura), Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits (Deep Sensing), Yoichiro Kawaguchi (Zero Gravity Evolution), Sissel Marie Tonn (The Sentinel Immune Self), Maria Castellanos Vicente (Other Intelligences) and Thierry Loa (21-22 CHINA and preview of 21-22 USA), as well as the exhibition To the edge of matter.


An unforgettable journey, a voyage in matter, physical and virtual, curated for NEUTRA by Migliore+Servetto, also in charge of the creative direction of the brand, with the proposals of eight internationally acclaimed designers: atelier oï, Draw studio, Foster + Partners, Gabriele and Oscar Buratti, Mario Bellini, Migliore+Servetto, Nespoli & Novara, Zaha Hadid Architects.


On Via Felice Casati, Raffles Milano presented DESIGN xEVERYTHINK, a program of exhibitions and activities to interpret the changes taking place in the world of design, whose parameters have been radically altered in recent years, laying the groundwork for increasingly versatile disciplinary hybrids.

Also, in collaboration with Outpump for PVDD, the initiative included a temporary work of public art in the evocative setting of Via Morgagni, revitalizing the urban environment through visual design with posters based on the EVERYTHINK theme.


Monumental and visionary, the exhibition Re/Creation featured the installation Porta at Palazzo Isimbardi by the artistic director of Lasvit Maxim Velcovsky: the piece was in glass molded at very high temperature, where the material expands to generate a space in which minds are free to wander, inspired by the fluid grace of glass.

Porta Venezia Design District

Color as a fundamental tool of perception of the world around us was the fulcrum of Making Sense of Color, at Garage 21 on Via Archimede, an exhibition created by Ivy Ross, Vice-President of Hardware Design of Google, and her project team, in collaboration with the artistic research workshop Chromasonic. WonderGlass transformed the Istituto dei ciechi on Via Vivaio with Contrasto, and two new lighting collections created by Nendo and Formafantasma: Dusk and Graft.

Contrasto by WonderGlass

At Piscina Cozzi, the first indoor swimming pool in Italy and one of the largest in Europe for a long period of time, a facility run for over 30 years by Milanosport S.p.A., a hidden gem was revealed under the foundations of the structure dating back to 1934, designed by the engineer Luigi Secchi: a mosaic in perfect condition, set into the original marble.

Piscina Cozzi

On Via Sirtori, 15 different designers and artists from Catalonia, including Marc Morro, Robbie Whitehead, Jaume Ramirez, Apparatu and Clàudia Valsells, gave rise to Inspired in Barcelona: Terra Rossa, a conceptual group show based on the use of clay as a primordial and universal element in the creation of the first design artifacts, above all in the Mediterranean countries.

Inspired in Barcelona: Terra Rossa

Curated by Apartamento Studios and Júlia Esqué, the installation’s fulcrum was a large pyramid composed of over 70 original cantirs (the traditional Catalan pitchers in terracotta used for cooling liquids), in a site-specific event. Finally, Outpump and Porta Venezia Design District presented Wallcome, an installation in the heart of the Porta Venezia zone, where young students in courses on Graphic Design from selected Milanese schools presented their own concepts in the form of posters on a wall set aside for creativity and the boundless freedom of design.