We Will Design – Innovation through micro-utopias and fictional institutions

From 6 to 12 June 2022, BASE Milano presented the second edition of “We Will Design”: designers from all over the world were invited to join an experimental laboratory of imagination and inclusion.

Schools, universities, international institutions and young students gathered in an experimental laboratory of imagination and inclusion, in which design practices and experiences become a tool to read – and, sometimes, solve – the many contradictions of our present, between upcoming visions, ideals of everyday life and micro-utopias.

The initiative was divided into 4 expositions, with the aim of answering the questions posed by this year’s theme.

Temporary Home

For one week, 5 rooms at casaBASE became a place of experimentation for 5 international designers hailing from France, Germany, England, the Netherlands and Italy, to develop their own projects and reflect on the circular economy.

BASE We Will Design _ Milano Design Week 2022 _ Nicholas Rapagnini_The Growing Sneakers Nicholas Rapagnini_The Growing Sneakers
© Nicholas Rapagnani – The Growing Sneakers

These 5 rooms offered up a vision of 5 cutting-edge scenarios, serving as both home and place of experimentation for the designers over the course of the week, a place from which to develop, display and chronicle their own projects in a public forum.

BASE We Will Design _ Milano Design Week 2022 _ Eleni Michael_Kaajal Modi_Intercultur… the kitchen
© Eleni Michael, Kaajal Modi, Intercultur – The kitchen

For instance, German researcher and designer Rebecca Schedler, in collaboration with Goethe-lnstitut Mailand, presented “Symbiopunk”, a bioreactor and composting system that converts human faeces into fertile mulch, showing how human waste can become a precious resource, not only for agriculture, but also to support natural cycles in a broader sense.

© Rebecca Schedler – Symbiopunk

In “Proposals for a Prevailing World — Vol.I”, the Dutch designer Joppe Broers has created a map of all known extinct species from 1800 onwards, offering a meditation on the rapid urbanisation of our planet.

© Proposals for a prevailing world by Joppe Broers


Once again, “We Will Design” saw the first floor at BASE Milano hosting Exhibit, a wide-ranging exhibition that brought together work from emerging designers, design studios, academies, and universities to become a place of research and experimentation with a focus on new design perspectives.

Machine Anthropometry by Adarsh Nellore
© Machine Anthropometry by Adarsh Nellore

A huge laboratory for research and experimentation, to explore new design perspectives through projects of many such as Abadir, Analogique, Anna Baldocchi, Bolaero, The Swedish school of textiles – University of Borâs, Giulio Bordonaro, Simon Dogger, ThibaulG Dupille, FestivalDivercity and many others. You can see more here.

BOLAERO_Tommaso Mirabella Roberti
© BOLAERO – Tommaso Mirabella Roberti

They Will Design

A space dedicated to the younger generation to reimagine the concept of “institutions” from a place of imagination.

‘They Will Design’ was created with support from the Embassy and General Consulate of the Netherlands in Italy.

Here, the attention shifts from WE to THEY, in a reference to the younger generations who are set to inherit the responsibility for designing the future.

Westophia by Stefano Colombo
© Westophia by Stefano Colombo

They were assigned the challenge to conjure up FANTASTIC INSTITUTIONS which adapt, subvert or replace those currently in place.

What would happen if the younger generations got to “design” the world?

They Will Design involved students aged 18 to 26 from universities, academies, and places of learning in Italy and abroad, to deconstruct and rethink the concept of institutions from a place of imagination.

The young participants were invited to reflect on a range of issues – diversity and inclusion, digitalisation, female empowerment and environmental sustainability – through the drafting of an institutional manifesto to define a framework for action and a relevant base community.

© Antropofago Productions x Baratto _ Photo by Andrea Consonni


In continuity withe the spiriti of the exhibition and responding in music to the visions of the future society, the courtyard and the indoor rooms of BASE Milano saw in consoles more than 15 artists from the underground world who presented every evening live sets and performances from sunset until late at night.

The evenings ranged from a selection of vinyl records to experimental music.


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