With a huge number of events and historical locations to explore, Paolo Casati – the creative director of Brera Design District, describes the 2017 event.
Since when it was first held in 2010 that Brera district has had a huge expansion and continued its mission of uniting the tradition and innovation, in the field of design. It embraces new formats and players.
As we already told you, the 2017 theme is related to a Bruno Munari’s quote: “Designing is a game and playing is Design.”. Centered on gamification, there are also prizes and several themed encounters, special projects and cultural initiatives.
Paolo Casati spoke to Domusweb about the strong points and new ideas of the 2017 event. Keep reading to discover all of them!
Domusweb: Let us start with some numbers: how many exhibitors (designers, brands, companies) will there be this year? How many more (or fewer) than last year? How many locations?
Paolo Casati: The aim is to maintain or increase last year’s numbers: 160 events, 295 companies and 250,000 people in the District. A month before the event, we have already reached the number of 125 registered events and we are fully expecting to increase numbers that have been constantly rising since 2010, the first year of Brera Design District.
Domusweb: Can us circumscribe the area? What are the district’s “boundaries”? What area are we talking about?
Paolo Casati: Brera Design District originally took the boundaries traced by the D.U.C. Brera (Distretto Urbano del Commercio) defined by the Council and Chamber of Commerce within a perimeter comprising three historic quarters: Brera, from which it takes its name, Moscova and Garibaldi. With the development of the Porta Nuova area, Corso Como and Piazza Gae Aulenti – and driven by several people active in that area – we decided to extend the boundaries northwards to create “Brera Extra”.
Domusweb: When did the idea of Brera Design District first appear? What were the initial idea and aims?
Paolo Casati: Brera Design District was inspired by Marco Torrani, President of the Via Solferino association who, in 2009, introduced the idea to promote the district and involved a small number of local showrooms. The following year, Torrani appointed Studiolabo to develop the project. The aim has always been the same, to develop a local marketing operation with its own communication plan to promote excellences and expand the area’s business and property, combining tradition and innovation in the scattered field of design. What have changed are the commitment and formats, which today see four coordinated projects, two local events (Fuorisalone and Design Days), a consultancy platform (Brera Real Estate) and a special project called “Brera Design Apartment” which, during the forthcoming Fuorisalone will host “The Visit”, a Studiopepe project.
Domusweb: Who is curating this year’s edition? Is there a common thread?
Paolo Casati: Brera Design District has no curators but proposes a themed format, the “Lezioni di design” prize and a number of themed encounters, special projects and cultural initiatives. (…) The theme is a Bruno Munari quote and strongly references his imagery and design approach. Munari worked extensively on the concepts of play and toys. In Da cosa nasce cosa he wrote: “We should also make some educational toys for adults, to do away with preconceptions, to exercise the mind and unleash hidden energy.”.
Domusweb: What are this year’s strong points? The unmissable events and new locations?
Paolo Casati: This year’s strong points are certainly the international names and brands in the district with events and installations supplementing the nearly 100 permanent showrooms, something unique worldwide given the size of the area. Design but not just that. Fashion names are increasingly linked to our world and there are art installations and places open only for Design Week such as:
- Gallerie d’Italia courtyard, open from 7.30 pm to 11.30 pm with Poesie di Neon, a light installation by Luca Trazzi;
- Liceo Parini school with the project Intersezioni formulated by Lorenzo Longo’s design studio De-Signum with Barbara Negretti;
- L’architettura in una finestra installation in Piazzetta Brera, a project by Gambardellarchitetti;
- Works by Gaetano Pesce with the installation Frammenti, Maestà Tradita in Via Brera and Via Fiori Chiari;
- An exhibition at the Foundation and Ordine degli Architetti PPC della Provincia di Milano in Via Solferino, devoted to Aldo Rossi and his relationship with Milan entitled “Aldo Rossi e Milano 1955-1995”, an anthology of projects imagined, designed and constructed in Milan.
Nor must we forget the Pinacoteca and Accademia of Brera, Orto Botanico, Palazzo Cusani, Palazzo Clerici, San Carpoforo, the cloisters of San Sempliciano and the Mediateca Santa Teresa in Via Moscova, some of the loveliest and most important locations in Milan and protagonists of the Fuorisalone with installations and events open to the public.
Domusweb: What is the campaign design? Who is it by?
Paolo Casati: The illustrated graphic image is by Stefano Marra, a young graphic designer and illustrator who has produced a district map, the Gioco dell’Oca game and a number of iconic local characters and locations. Every year, we entrust the campaign image design to an illustrator and this year we chose Stefano for his style, which is consistent with the chosen theme and image we wanted to convey.
Domusweb: Any suggestions for our readers on how to best survive the Fuorisalone?
Paolo Casati: In 2006, with Fuorisalone.it, another project conceived and produced by Studiolabo, we launched a creative contest entitled “Surviving Fuorisalone: kit di sopravvivenza al Fuorisalone” with a request to creatively render a project, idea or service that would assist the visitor experience of this complex event. (…)
Technology is certainly a help and we try to best support visitors who should include in their kit: the Fuorisalone.it website for planning their days and for in-depth content; the special app for their events agenda; and the paper map and guide to Brera Design District to gain their bearings.
As well as this, there are some key rules: move around on bicycles, mopeds or the Metro; dress in layers and ready for anything, from torrential rain to the heat and from a cocktail hour in a historic building to a deckchair in an industrial loft, comfortable shoes, a power bank for Smartphones and a camera. Plus, some stretching first thing in the morning and before going to bed at night because it is a week when you will get through many kilometres (and cocktails).
Enjoy everything in Brera Design District and don’t forget to tell us your experience!
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