Jonathan is one of five furniture design graduate students from SCAD who are participating in the first-ever study abroad program between Italy and the United States, sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission and the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, April 22-May 15. He will be sharing his experience with us each week he is there. This is the second part in the series.
The city of Milan is calming down after a successful 2009 Milan Furniture Fair, with many of the designers taking their well-earned time off this weekend for the Italian holiday of May Day.
I will also escape the city limits of Milan and travel a few kilometers north to Como, Italy. Como is a favorite vacation spot for many Italians because of its fine dining, shopping and perfect lake views.
As fair ending on Monday, I gained a new perspective on the city of Milan. On Tuesday morning I took a bus to the Kartell Museum and realized that the design culture surrounded the city. At the Kartell Museum I began to understand how experimental and deep the traditions of Italian design are.
Kartell is an Italian furniture and sterile plastic company that produces some of the most innovative products on the market. Recently, Kartell has transformed their showroom into a museum that tells the story of how their company began and has continued to find the best designers for their company family.
Visits to several other design firms and manufactures have given me an understanding of the high design culture. Each designer we speak with has a slightly different design ideology. But by gathering of all these ideologies, as a student, I have realized a new innovative design approach.
Next week I will be taking part in a design workshop called Design Camping – Hospitality transformation. I have the honor of collaborating with four Italian interior design students at the Politechnico di Milano.
We were asked to rethink what an urban camping atmosphere could become within the Milan arena. The purpose of the project is to design a space where visitors could come during the Milan furniture fair and stay for a cheaper rate than a hotel.
The project presents several areas in which each group will tackle. Our group is looking at how a system could be designed to generate a space that could change from night to night depending on how many visitors are occupying the space.
Our design is one that will promote community and gives a new definition to hospitality and interactions within the city of Milan.
As I continue to work on the project I will be publishing on the class blog, furniture740b.blogspot.com. My appreciation for Italian design is growing each day. Around every corner I am discovering new innovations and design approaches. I am looking forward to the coming week and interacting with my fellow design students and learning their approaches to design.