SuperDesign Show 2016 is the new authorial format by Superstudio that looks to the future, reaches its second edition. It focuses on research, on every day’s extraordinary, on freedom of choice, on contaminations between classic and avant-garde, industry and craftsmanship, tradition and future, simplicity and magnificence, being aware that everything has been done by now, that the whole world takes part in the evolution of the habitat that surrounds us, that rules and boundaries are out-dated. This year’s theme of SuperDesign 2016 is the “White Pages” that implies writing together the keywords of the world of tomorrow. Thanks to an architect and the art director of SuperDesign Carolina Nisivoccia, Design42day readers can get to know better this successful design project and event, which is happening already now, from 12th to 17th of April in Milan.
Carolina, could you tell us more about the SuperDesign Show 2016 and its theme called “Blank Pages”. What should people expect to see and what kind of product designs will be presented this year?
The SuperDesign Show 2016 is a wide reaching exhibition (17.000 sqm including “Superstudio Più” and “Superstudio 13”) and a summation of the words “design today,” a condensation of different visions that come together to tell us what’s in the air. Design that is understood in its original meaning, related with the product but also interpreted in a more contemporary way. Impressive installations, involving, immersive, showing new technologies, new high-performance materials, new design ideas, new approaches. Keywords? Future, art, products, materials, visions, sustainability, parametric design. From small objects to large multinationals, it is a chance to lose ourselves, following our instincts to encounter what most inspires us. This year’s theme is a call for participants to look ahead, to plan, to be experimental, resourceful. We leave “Blank pages” open to exhibitors because they can tell us how they see the future. For us, the “Blank Pages” were created by the talented illustrator and artist Sandro Fabbri with a series of sketches that we will exhibit at the entrance. In addition, we have intervened in the common areas, such as information points with the “alphabet” counter of Mabele, or the 700 square metre hall where a carpet especially made and designed for us by Radici emphasizes the theme of the year. Nothing is left to chance, everything is studied in detail, despite the extensive overall size.
Classic or avant-garde?
Nowadays there is no unique style, that is for or against anything. “Contemporary Classic” or “Avant-Garde are restrictive definitions. More than a question of styles will be matters of material and its function.
A Design world of tomorrow — what is your vision?
The era of “photogenic” design is ended, that is to say, those objects that are only designed to be featured in the newspapers. Form will be more and more related to materials, which are divided into traditional (marble, wood, metal, leather, glass) and innovative and with high performance. Every object, from the most common such as tables and sofas, will have a soul, their functions will multiply, will be interactive (the internet of things is getting closer and closer to our everyday life). Paradoxically, thanks to technology we are going to return to the design of objects with a function. Furthermore, going more and more in the direction of sharing (the sharing economy seems to be the economy of the near future), it abandons the logic of accumulation and possession. We will design more and more in this direction. Personalization, sharing, function.
Research, quality and innovation: what do these words mean to you? Why are these key values the field of design?
Research: The crisis of the past few years has paralyzed businesses. Many entrepreneurs have stopped doing research out of fear, but it is necessary to continue to look ahead, to experiment. Design is born thanks to the attitude of visionary entrepreneurs who allow designers to take new paths. Quality is one of the essential words for those who design today. The pursuit of quality is one of the values on which to focus, it has become a necessity. Quality of materials and manufacturing. It is related to the discovery and exploitation of handicraft skills. Innovation is synonymous with research. You cannot stop innovating, although you have to be careful. Innovationisbalanced with quality and mass production is the enemy of quality. You must balance the amount of items in circulation, and focus on these three keywords.
What are the most common mistakes designers make when they present their products? What would you recommend and how would you advise them, regarding participation in this year’s exhibition?
It depends, usually small designers are very good at handling their presentation, even when they have only a small budget available. They know that the way in which products are exhibited, beyond their intrinsic qualities, has a vital role. It happens more often that big companies, although they are always very focused on the quality of their products, do not invest enough time to develop the presentation of what they do. They often do not speak in an engaging manner, so, sometimes it happens that they need advice to help them develop. Here at Superstudio we have often been able to help our clients in this way to develop memorable solutions.