Salone del Mobile Milano

NEXT. Design Perspectives 2018

Insight into the future of design and creativity is the concept behind NEXT. Design Perspectives, the event conceived by Altagamma and launched in partnership with Fiera Milano and the Italian Trade Agency ICE, under the aegis of the Municipality of Milan and with the support of the Salone del Mobile.Milano and the Triennale di Milano.

It is a chance to tap into the most cutting edge global trends in design, creativity and innovation and their likely future impact on consumption, lifestyles and the business models of cultural and creative enterprises. A wide-ranging reflection on the future, sparked by some of the most extraordinary international protagonists of different spheres of thought and industry. Paola Antonelli (MoMA) and Tony Chambers (Wallpaper*) are among the moderators of the panels that  will enliven the talks and which will include, amongst others, Marco Bizzarri (Gucci) and Philippe Starck. 

There’s a lot of talk these days about disruptive innovation: the new technologies are ramping up the speed of change exponentially, opening up avenues that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. The Internet of Things, Virtual and Augmented Reality, 3D Printing and new materials are just some of the possible tools for expanding the human experience offered by the new technologies, from renewable energy to robotics, nanotechnology to medical diagnostics and blockchain to Artificial Intelligence. Businesses themselves are having to implement radical change in pursuit of greater adaptability, agility and flexibility,  in order to become organisations that will also see exponential growth. 

Meanwhile, the Millennials are evidencing a new mindset, more open to change and the different forms of experientiality. The quest for sustainability (environmental, social and financial) is driving continual experimentation with new consumption and lifestyle models, while Social Media, the Sharing Economy and all the different forms of digitally based disintermediation are fostering rapidly-changing industrial tastes and business models. 

All this is taking place in an environment in which traditional cultural identities are on one hand becoming more blurred thanks to globalisation and, on the other, are becoming redefined, assuming new meanings, new practices and new characteristics. 

Based on these premises and on research undertaken by the international trend forecasting company WGSN, which identified the 10 most significant global trends for design, fashion, food, automotive and jewellery companies, NEXT. Design Perspectives is geared to interpreting the present and marking out possible futures through design, a prime tool that faithfully reflects not just the evolution of aesthetics but also that of the most significant social and cultural trends. Whether this takes the form of furnishing or fashion, or new forms such as information design, bio design or infrastructural engineering, design helps people get to grips with change. Design is the innovation enzyme. If scientists and engineers spark revolutions, designers make them concrete, incorporating them into real life. In order to better adapt to these rapid innovations and anticipate the upheaval they may generate, the role of the designer has morphed from being the person who gives shape to things to the person who interprets reality.