Milan Design Week | The New Sustainable Design



Milan Design Week is the most important design event in the world, with the Salone del Mobile furniture fair as a backdrop and hundreds of events in the city's design districts. This year is the 60th anniversary of the fair, which features more than 2,000 exhibitors offering everything to design your space, such as cabinets, lighting, beds, chairs, and tables and with a variety of styles from classic to modern. In this version, the objective is to minimize the environmental impact.


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The first edition of this event was in 1961, this year it will be held from June 7 to 12 celebrating its 60th anniversary. With the world’s return to normality, due to the pandemic, they have had to limit the number of exhibitors and visitors. As with every year, innovation, quality, and creativity are present and during this edition sustainability and environmental care are a priority in using recyclable or reusable materials. Materials with FSC or PEFC certification, among other aspects such as adaptability of design are encouraged.

The fair’s mission is to "demonstrate that it is possible and crucial to start holding major international live events again, incorporating sustainability and environmental awareness into furniture production" and to highlight "the ongoing ecological transition of the decorating system."



Encouraging exhibitors to use materials or processes with low environmental impact, Maria Porro, president of Salone de Mobile says that "We cannot stand still, in fact, we have a duty to move even faster in the direction of design, production and distribution solutions that are as sustainable as possible; what we need today is an ethical approach". Following this inspiration, different brands created their projects and exhibitions with a commitment to the environment.

Lexus luxury, a car brand, opened this edition of the show with a focus on its objectives and purpose. Showcasing its commitment to the environment by working on carbon neutrality, technology, craftsmanship and innovation. Lexus presented its new model LEXUS RZ, its first 100% electric model with a battery of the same brand. Also present will be the 6 finalists of the Lexus Design Award 2022 contest, who had to work on solutions for a more sustainable future by creating luxury transportation prototypes. It makes you wonder, what the future of the car industry is going to look like.

Gandia Blasco, makes their presence known once again. Using noble, sustainable and natural materials. In addition, they have explored the trends of the season, with a colour palette of neutral and warm tones. A the fair, Gandia Blasco presented its Onsen collection, where geometric shapes and materials such as steel, wood, aluminum, vinyl took the forefront. Demonstrating the designer's efforts to preserve its natural essence with minimal intervention.


Another of the star exhibitions of this event is the installation of the architect Mario Cucinella. His instillation "Design with nature", explores themes of circular economy, architecture and reuse of materials. It will occupy a space of 1,400 m2, with interactive spaces and elements of vegetation. The project examines a future where cities could be natural reserves. At the end of the event, all the materials will be reused in public spaces, such as libraries, classrooms, and work tables.

Epta is joining the Milan Design week this year with its project "FUTURE". The project focuses on sustainable innovation and creates structures in small spaces with biophilic and plastic-free installations that aims to promote personal well-being. At the same time, focusing on bio architecture. Epta's partners are in favour of biodiversity and sustainability along their whole manufacturing chain. One of its flagship products is a wine cooler which is ecologically designed with recycled wood, is removable, LED lighting and R290 (reduces energy consumption of refrigeration systems compared to conventional refrigerants) as a natural refrigerant.

Latin America will have a presence thanks to Colombian Embassy in Rome, the Colombian Consulate in Milan and Procolombia, Organised by artists and designers of the country, "Children of Macondo" takes centre stage. The team focuses on their homeland, manual processes, inclusion and innovation with special attention to circularity and sustainability. "Artisans and design become the synthesis of ancient knowledge, skill, technique and innovation, building an ideal bridge between the past and the future," explained the organisers.

A week more conscious, committed and above all more creative and innovative, raising awareness of environmental issues and discovering new alternative technological designs. Great brands reflecting on the changes we are living and achieving sustainability using renewable energy, reusable materials and transparent production.


+  Words:

Carmen Espinoza
Luxiders Magazine