Largest design fair in Milan explores the future of cities

Italian architect and designer Mario Cucinella revealed a sustainable installation called Design with Nature. It is for the 2022 Salone del Mobile in Italy, the world’s largest trade and design fair in Milan. The installation is an auditorium, seating area, bar, library and so much more. It is meant to explore how recycling and upcycling could help future circular economies become the norm to leave a lighter footprint on the planet.

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To start, Design with Nature focuses on ethics, circular economies, domestic and public use spaces and urban regeneration. It’s an interactive 1,400-square-meter set of risers that creates spaces for participants’ interaction, reflection and rest.

Related: Womb building reflects nature in the middle of Milan

A hand-drawn sketch of the Design with Nature project looks like a large squiggly across the entire page

Furthermore, Cucinella’s project is labeled as “an emotive exercise in pursuit of recycling and upcycling.” It focuses on the optimistic possibility that humans and nature could live in balance and harmony. Sustainable living is the mechanism explores in a variety of ways where humans’ relationship with nature can be supported by sustainable design.

An auditorium area with people leaning against display cases

Additionally, the installation will be on display at Salone del Mobile from June 7 to 12 at project pavilion 15. Cucinella wants the conversation to surround the possibility that future cities could be potential “reserves” of the future, in which “most of the raw materials used in construction could be sourced.” This vision would have urban areas become opportunities to cut environmental impact, rather than a drag on the climate.

A hand-drawn sketch featuring two tall figures with a humpty area in the middle of the two

On the other hand, the installation explores three themes: ecological transition, the home as the prime urban element and the city as a mine. The project is quite large. It turns the design of the space into a landscape unto itself. The designer hopes it will offer chances for people to have conversations, reflect and work within the space while looking at new ways to interact and work in the future.

An auditorium Design with Nature is filled with people sitting down facing a person speaking at the front of the room

Moreover, the materials used to construct the installation were derived from natural supply chains. This is to show that ecological transition is already ongoing and that businesses can be catalysts of change. Cities are an abundant source of recyclable building materials. Therefore, the installation demonstrates the ways in which cities can learn to harvest their own waste materials to become climate positive.

A sketch drawn in black ink featuring a tree, a display area with a line over it

“Design with Nature will show, therefore, that we can find a different way of building and creating products in conjunction with nature, without continuing to consume raw materials, but by triggering virtuous ecological behaviors,” said in a statement from the designers.

+ Mario Cucinella Architects

Images via Mario Cucinella

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