Milan Design Week puts focus back on the creative interior

This WORKTECH Academy briefing reports on a resurgence of design creativity to address change with key events at Milan Design Week and the London Festival of Architecture.

Milan Design Week has often been seen as a barometer for where the office interiors market is heading.

And after the deprivations of a prolonged pandemic, the 2022 edition was finally back in business on 7-12 June with a sugar-rush of energy coursing through the famous Salone del Mobile in its 60th year as well through the many showroom and palazzo exhibitions and events which fanned out across the city.

‘A wealth of new ideas suggests how the workplace can be creatively repurposed…’

The renewed buoyancy of the Fuorisalone (to give Milan Design Week its official name) generally spells better news for the design sector. The wealth of new ideas related to furniture, lighting, ceramics and art also suggests new ways in which the workplace can be creatively repurposed as a more desirable destination in a hybrid era of increasing employee choice over where to work.

From outstanding exhibitions by Alessi (celebrating its centenary) and Hermès to new pieces by the likes Unifor, Moroso and Cassina, there was plenty to catch the eye of the critics – including an exhibition about Hans G Wegner’s classic Wishbone Chair, a staple of many boardrooms, curated by Ilse Crawford.

After two years in which technology solutions have inevitably dominated the discourse about the future of work, is design about to have its day in the sun again?

Extolling the home office

The London Festival of Architecture 2022 certainly think so. Taking place during the entire month of June, it has taken the theme of ‘act’, which was deliberately chosen after the enforced passivity of the pandemic. Its programme explores the role of architects in addressing the needs of a changing society, the climate emergency and social injustice.

As part of the London Festival of Architecture, 30 leading figures in the design community were invited to nominate an object or artefact that they felt best represents the theme of ‘act’ and make a video about their choice.  A new video is released each day as part of the 30 Objects in 30 Days programme. WORKTECH Academy director Jeremy Myerson chose the home office and you can see a short film about his choice here.

Elsewhere is the London Festival of Architecture, don’t miss Zaha Hadid: Reimagining London, an exhibition of future urban visions from the late architect’s archive curated by students from the Courtauld Institute of Art. This remarkable show features an underground skyscraper cooled by a waterfall. Really, it does. Not to be missed.

Shaping experience

Back in the current world where a combination of design and technology is shaping new employee experiences, don’t forget that WORKTECH’s cutting-edge Tech&Trends22 conference takes place on Tuesday 28 June 2022 at Accenture’s London HQ on Fenchurch Street. Keynote speaker James Baldwin, Head of Digital Workplace at Accenture, will be presenting ‘Engineering the Future of Employee Experiences’, looking at next-generation employee experiences. Read more about this event and book your ticket here.

In our WORKTECH Wednesday Briefings, we reach out to our 10,000-plus Academy members, WORKTECH attendees, speakers, partners and sponsors while WORKTECH’s professional conference series continues through our in-person, virtual and hybrid platforms. This edition is posted 15 June 2022.
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