The sustainable creative intelligence of design(ers)

Besides form and function, what design and production values will be increasingly important in tomorrow’s world? Technology helps us take a step forward, but towards what future scenarios? Il Bagno Oggi e Domani discussed these themes with Stefano Maffei, director of Polifactory in Milan, and with designer Diego Grandi during the meeting organised by the magazine in the Press Café at Cersaie 2019.

Today we have to look beyond the traditional design vision that focuses mainly on an object’s form and function. We need to consider the “substance” of products and systems, including technology, materials, life cycle and disposal. Technology helps us calculate a product’s lifetime and its end-of-life management. Today’s consumers take these aspects into account when making purchases, so their choices are increasingly influenced by the factor of sustainability. Cristina Mandrini, editor of Il Bagno Oggi e Domani, discussed these themes and the emergence of new lifestyles with two guests who despite their different backgrounds share the same goal: to look beyond the surface of things. They are Stefano Maffei, director of a research laboratory devoted to discussion and development of technology, and Diego Grandi, an architect and designer for whom art has always been crucially important.

“Design can address the big challenges facing us both now and in the future, from cities to our living and working spaces,” argues Stefano Maffei. “Through their work, designers can redefine values, including those relating to technology, and forge their own vision. One such challenge is the Green Deal, which affects everything and everyone and concerns all aspects of our daily lives. Just think of the way electrification of transport will change the highly traditional sector of interior design. We should remember that traditions are innovations that have proved successful.” Diego Grandi’s vision is: “A surface or a space enclosed by a surface that interacts with a person’s actions. And, as in a dance, each movement corresponds to a function.” This image of human-environment interaction is perhaps not so far removed from reality.


February 2020