MFL-Magazine For Living
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Milan’s fabulous design women

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Magazine For Living has devoted its cover story to the Design Queens, six creatives, talent scouts and mentors, all protagonists of the city of Milan’s restart on the design scene 

Maria Porro may look young on paper, but her professional pedigree is outstanding. After a career in art, she worked as a scenographer for the opening ceremonies at the Olympics in London and Sochi, in Russia. She took the helm of the family company, Porro spa, a few years ago and has also been the new President of the  Salone del Mobile.Milano since June. She has long-standing ties with the Milanese event, having spent a great deal of time as a child in the lanes of the Salone and the artisan workshop of her grandfather Carlo Porro, who set up the company. She has always been involved with the design world,  and in her new roles, she is keen to speed up the digitisation process, as well as sustainability and internationalisation, major challenges for the Salone del Mobile.Milano and the city itself. Another outstanding figure on Milan’s creative scene is  Marva Griffin Wilshire, the founder and curator of SaloneSatellite since 1998. We’ve lost count of the number of awards she’s garnered; she won the Compasso d’Oro XXIII Lifetime Award in 2014, the Ambrogino d’Oro in 2017 for her contribution to the city of Milan and an Honorary Master’s Degree in Product Service System Design from the Polytechnic University of Milan during “supersalone.” Over the last 22 years, she has brought more than 12,000 young people to Milan, including figures such as Nika Zupanc, Lorenzo Damiani, Nendo, Oki Sato, Xavier Lust, Sebastian Herkner,  Matali Crasset, Francesca Lanzavecchia, Alessandra Baldereschi and Satyendra Pakhale. 

Then there’s Rossana Orlandi, whose gallery of the same name, which opened in 2002, is one of the places to be for creatives the world over. From the fashion to the design sector, she has emerged as a formidable talent scout: Marteen Baas, Formafantasma and Nacho Carbonell are just some of the names she’s pinned her hopes on in the past. With Guiltless Plastic, a project launched four years ago, she aims to abolish unnecessary plastic and get rid of the ‘single-use’ concept in favour of more responsible use of the material. Cristina Celestino also debuted at SaloneSatellite; a trained architect, she is an interior designer who found her own career path thanks to Milan, to the city’s vocation and to its energy. Through her projects and creative direction, Fornace Bironi aims to foster cultural change through increased awareness of the landscape, nature and the environment, not just in companies but also in the general public. Giovanna Castiglioni has inherited her father’s precious legacy of ideas and projects. At the helm of the Castiglioni Foundation, of which she is Vice President, she is involved with archiving, preserving and furthering knowledge of the designer’s work, fundamental for giving the cultural legacy of one of the most influential figures on the scene back to the city. Castiglioni also had a great impact on another designer whom he taught at the Polytechnic -  Patricia Urquiola, who set up the Studio Urquiola with Alberto Zontone. Art Director at Cassina since 2015, she has also carried out projects for many of the leading international furnishing brands. In her role, she endeavours to find the best conditions for furthering and supporting emerging talents, breaking down barriers, including those of gender. The fab six  - the female face of Milan.   




Original Text: Cristina Cimato 

Magazine: MFL – Magazine For Living 


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8 September 2021