Nothing happens if nothing happens, the theme of Isola Design Festival 2023

The 7th edition of Isola Design Festival, organized by the digital and physical design platform Isola, will welcome visitors during Milan Design Week, from 18 to 23 April 2023

After an intense year of design initiatives that brought together Isola’s global design community in Milan, in Eindhoven during the Dutch Design Week, and at Dubai Design Week, the Isola Design Festival 2023 with the theme “Nothing Happens if Nothing Happens” delves into the realm of regeneration, by making it the focus of its forthcoming edition, during Milan Design Week 2023.

Multiple venues within and beyond the Isola Design District will host more than 25 exhibitions and installations, lively events and a series of talks, involving over 200 international designers, design studios, creators, and manufacturers.

The founders call on all designers and studios to start a chain reaction of change to rethink, regenerate, and remediate, to come together and go beyond sustainable design thinking to make something positive happen.

Isola Design Festival 2023 - Nothing happens if nothing happens
© Isola Design Festival 2023 – Nothing happens if nothing happens

They explain the theme through a clear manifesto and call to action, aimed at all members of their community to think beyond the mere concept of sustainability:

What has happened? Earth is deteriorating. Humans have progressively used and consumed our planet’s natural resources while leaving a giant, hollow footprint.

What have we done? Countless solutions have been proposed. Within the design community, focus has shifted towards sustainable and circular design, to reinventing outdated processes. But designing sustainably means actions, not just words, restoring hope for new generations.

© Isola Design Festival 2023 – Nothing happens if nothing happens

What can happen? We must shape new guidelines for the design industry by rethinking the processes and production systems, regenerating natural resour- ces and waste, and remediating the harm we have done to our planet. The next step must be taken now, because Nothing Happens if Nothing Happens. 

“This year we want to arouse creativity through the exhibitions we host and curate. Isola Design Festival will be the hub for new, collectible, circular, sustainable, and innovative design. Our effort is to rally all members of the design community, visitors and designers alike, to actually make something happen.”, says Elif Resitoglu, co-founder of Isola with Gabriele Cavallaro.

Isola Design Festival 2023 - Nothing happens if nothing happens
© Isola Design Festival 2023 – Nothing happens if nothing happens

Collective exhibitions, special collaborations and events will invigorate the district in parallel with six shows curated by the Isola creative team and guest curators:

Circolare – The Circular Village, at Regione Lombardia, with the layout designed by Amsterdam-based Studio MAST, is the biggest circular exhibition ever seen at Milan Design Week, showcasing materials and products made with natural resources or industrial waste, with a minimum environmental impact in terms of production;

Tools & Crafts, at Fondazione Catella, hosts young talents and a new genera- tion of artisans who use traditional tools and techniques to create contemporary products.

Isola Design Festival 2023 - Nothing happens if nothing happens
© Isola Design Festival 2023 – Nothing happens if nothing happens

Take Care! Of your mind, body, and environment, sponsored by Monkey 47 at Stecca3, is an immersive exhibit curated by Tellurico and promoting projects that focus on individuals’ well-being. With part of the scenography designed in collaboration with Stephanie Blanchard (co-founder of IAMMI Studio).

Isola Design Gallery, at Pastrengo 14, celebrates handmade and collectible pieces made by independent designers and studios, including The Dutch Corner curated by Wisse Trooster.

Under Design Lebanon, curated by Ghassan Salameh, in collaboration with BitsToAtoms and hosted by the association VIAFARINI at via Farini 35, highlights how small-scale design and craft can be crucial for the micro-economy of a country.

© Isola Design Festival 2023 – Nothing happens if nothing happens

Lastly, Isola enlarges its borders reaching a new area of Milan, the Certosa District: here, in collaboration with DesignTech and DesignWanted, it curates Innovation for Living, an exhibition hosted in a 3.000sqm industrial space and dedicated to industrial design and technology, with a layout designed by Pininfarina Architecture.

Know more on the official website of the Isola Design Festival.


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