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Ethical layouts: circularity and sustainability at Fuorisalone 2024

Is one life enough?, Lampo Milano, Isola Design District

The recently concluded Fuorisalone, whose theme was Matter Nature, indeed provided an opportunity to investigate the relationship between the two words and to promote projects geared toward increasingly sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions. 

Designers, companies, schools, and independent brands focused on the progress of the design discipline in the area of sustainability and presented the results of their research and experiments.

A leading role was certainly played by natural materials. Hemp, clay, lime, silk, and cotton were the protagonists both for their aesthetic and material characteristics in line with current trends and for their intrinsic sustainability. Alongside them, new materials developed from waste or the result of experimentation highlighted the many opportunities offered by recycling and creative reuse. 

Not only the objects and materials presented, but also the exhibits themselves were developed with an accentuated focus on innovation and environmental responsibility. Indeed, setting up an exhibition space for temporary exhibitions involves the use of very short-lived materials, forcing one to reflect on how to activate an ethical design process under the banner of circularity and thus sustainability.

Sustainable and circular materials for the installation of Materially NOW, Superstudio Più
Materially responded by proposing for Materially NOW, the format presented for this edition of the Fuorisalone, a set-up designed so that each element could be reused at the end of the event. Materials were displayed on large rectangular volumes, some made of polyurethane foam, others of wool from the Samugheo farms in Sardinia. Both were returned to the manufacturers, who will use them for other events. The colorful and comfortable stools that welcomed and entertained speakers and guests at Materially Now’s busy calendar of events will also be used in other events. Completing the set-up were Madreperla’s Greencast, 100 percent recycled acrylic sheets; Plastiz’s elegant recycled plastic panels; Invernizzi SpA’s certified poplar wood panels; and papers incorporating cocoa bean waste made by Favini. The latter will be given to artists and schools who can give them new life. Circular and sustainable installations were also featured in the other districts of this edition of the Fuorisalone.
Installation project Hemp_Scape by Park Associati, Design Variations

At Design Variations, in the 5VIE district, Park Associati proposed a thoughtful subdivision of exhibition spaces through the use of hemp cement bricks, supplied by the Apulian company Biomat. The exhibition design, named Hemp_Scape, allowed for the creation of fluid and flexible architectural elements with a strong visual impact, and which integrated well with the industrial-looking location chosen by MoscaPartners in the Darsena area. Hemp bricks, identified as the key material for the project, have excellent thermal insulation and sound-absorbing properties. Low-emission manufacturing, then, contributes to a reduced environmental impact, providing a practical and sustainable solution for temporary architecture. Thanks to their dry assembly, which allows them to be built and de-constructed quickly, the entirety of the material used will be put back on the market for reuse, thus reducing the amount of waste at the end of the event. 

Exhibition modules of the exhibition Is one life enough? at Lampo Milan, Isola Design District

Isola Design District has created in the post-industrial spaces of Lampo Milano, a double exhibition. For the first, called Isola Design Gallery, polycarbonate panels were used, which will be reused at the end of the event; the set-up of the Is one life enough? exhibition, on the other hand, was made sustainable through collaboration with Fantolino, a Turin-based agricultural company that provided recycled egg cartons used as bases for the pedestals, and Kineco, which contributed the mycelium pedestal tops.

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