Design week, circularity is also beauty «3B Meteo

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Porcelain stoneware made from recycled materials.  Ambitious project exhibited at Design Week
Porcelain stoneware made from recycled materials. Ambitious project exhibited at Design Week

It was born with the name cyclical economy, then it became circular. First theorized by architect Walter R. Stahel and economist Genevieve Reday-Mulvey in 1976, the circular economy is a new economic model that differs from the linear “take-make-dispose” (take-produce-dispose). A change of systemic approach aimed at reducing waste, keeping materials in circulation for as long as possible and regenerating natural systems. Three concepts that have become the cornerstone of the circular paradigm, born out of the awareness that we live on a planet with limited resources.

It remains, howeveran aesthetic stigma, according to which recycled and recycled items are ugly. A challenge that new generations of designers seem to have accepted. At Milan Design Week, the collective exhibition “Urban Matter (s)” organized by Materially highlights the minimal beauty of the circular economy. “Reducing, recycling and regenerating materials gives life to aesthetically pleasing materials – says Valentina Ventrelli, curator of the exhibition, at 3B meteo – the less is more” approach is necessary from an environmental point of view, but we want to show that circular materials also have their own beauty“. Renewal by subtracting, doing better with less. The concept of the exhibition proposes innovative solutions for a lighter city, which limits waste, reduces emissions and covers the city with a new, more efficient skin (City Skin).

At the exhibition you will find functional materials and fabrics from different sectors.TheBreath is the first patented drug on the market that is able to retain and degrade the harmful particles of bacteria, molds and viruses found in the air in any environment. Saxa Gres, on the other hand, produces porcelain stoneware tiles in various cuts and formats. The materials used are made with a mixture of ash and clay from local quarries and incinerators. “They specialize in urban paving and have a strong circular calling – adds Valentina Ventrelli – they also regenerate disused factories”. Ricehouse produces and markets building materials made from rice waste; light, very thermal and breathable. Among the most interesting solutions is the startup Mixcycling, which creates biocomposite materials by mixing organic waste fibers with those based on polymers (carriers), which can be bio-based, recyclable, virgin, biodegradable and compostable.

Design Week’s Other Circular Events – The first exhibition, which calls for reflection on 3D printing waste, is also staged at Milanese Fuorisalone. The exhibition, set up at Stecca3 in the Isola Design District, has been developed by the leading 3D printing company Caracol, DesignWanted and _sucks. The sculptures made with waste materials follow the provocative message of giving new life to ‘robot shit’.

At Casa Canvas in via Solferino, Dees’ Circular Gallery presents an installation that pays homage to the silence of the times and the design that remains as an object and a tool for memory. The mission is not to produce and consume resources, but to improve what already exists. Deesup is an online marketplace dedicated to design lovers who want to sell or buy used items with the assurance that they are authentic and verified. The goal is to extend the life of the furniture to reduce the impact on the environment.

Interior designer Hisae Igarashi has designed a living space where Paneca fiber panels are the main characters in the connection between clothing and the home, essential parts of people’s lives. Paneco fiber is a material that consists of waste clothing from the textile sector. As strong and easy to work as wood, it can be used for a variety of purposes such as display equipment, furniture and fixtures or interior materials for use in commercial, retail and office facilities.


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