Prada Frames: a Fuorisalone symposium with Formafantasma

Prada and Formafantasma announce the Milan Design Week symposium

Organized by Formafantasma and at the Braidense National Library in Milan from June 6 to 8, 2022, Prada Frames is a free event exploring the relationship between the natural environment and design

For Milan Design Week 2022, Prada has teamed up with Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin of Formafantasma to organize a symposium at the Braidense National Library in Milan, exploring the complex relationship between design and the natural environment. The initiative introduces “a moment of collective reflection” and aims to debate, share and present innovative reflections through an educational and informative format.

Prada Frames: a Milan Design Week symposium

The theme of the symposium focuses on the ecosystem of the forest, the logic that governs the wood industry and the role that design can play in this ecosystem. It stems from Formafantasma’s ongoing research which formed the basis of “Cambio”, an exhibition originally presented at the Serpentine Gallery in London in 2020 and developed by the designers and their teams in Milan and Rotterdam. “The symposium, in fact, is also a means of expanding our knowledge on the subject”, explain the two. “Over the past year, we have studied Finnish forestry extensively in connection with Artek, the furniture company founded by the Aaltos. We will address this issue in one of the sessions.

The goal of this collaboration with Prada, they add, is to create a platform that “can actually produce meaning and ideas instead of just products”, not as a critique of product manufacturing, but as an opportunity to develop a new design culture that can look beyond.

“Education and culture are essential instruments that not only help us understand ourselves and the world we live in, but also push us to explore the unknown,” says Miuccia Prada. “Conversations have always been central to Prada’s approach and investigation of the world, so Prada Frames with Formafantasma was a very natural step in that direction.”

“Education and culture are essential instruments that not only help us to understand ourselves and the world we live in, but also push us to explore the unknown” – Miuccia Prada

For three days, the symposium will host speakers including scientists, anthropologists, activists and practitioners from the fields of design, architecture and conservation whose work goes beyond product design. The lineup includes Paola Antonelli and Alice Rawsthorn, Eyal Weizman and Paulo Tavares from Forensic Architecture, writer Amitav Ghosh, Anna Tsing and science platform Feral Atlas, Andrés Jaque from the Office for Political Innovation and dendroclimatologist Valerie Trouet. “We wanted it to be multidisciplinary; we firmly believe that the only way to really approach ecology is to stop fragmenting knowledge and to examine subjects from a multitude of perspectives,” the designers state.

Two daily sessions will feature a variety of formats such as readings, debates, conversations and video screenings.

“For a very long time, design focused only on the needs and desires of users, and therefore less concerned with the supply of materials and its development”, conclude the designers. “Given the ecological crisis, it is more relevant than ever to be much more aware, critical and creatively engaged with the chain of custody of materials. The main opportunity is the development of a much more sophisticated idea of ​​design that goes beyond style and in fact engages more systematically with sustainability challenges. §

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