April 2023

Designing Design Education: The iF Design Foundation in Milan

Michele de Lucchi (AMDL Circle), Francesco Zurli (Politecnico di Milano) and Christoph Böninger (iF Design Foundation) discussed the necessity of transforming the professional image of "design" and possible approaches for future design studies during Milan Design Week in April.

On April 20, as part of the program accompanying the prestigious Milan Furniture Fair, the exhibition opening and lecture series REFORMING FUTURE took place at the Instituto Marchiondi Spagliari, an abandoned Brutalist masterpiece. Built between 1953 and 1957 to a design by architect Vittoriano Viganò, the educational institution in Baggio (western suburb of Milan) reopened its doors after years of oblivion during Milan Design Week 2023. The building, abandoned to decay for decades, is considered a rare example of Brutalist architecture in Italy: a concrete masterpiece, built on a large garden plot as a prime example of educational buildings. The current plan is to bring the building back to life as a residence for university students and young artists.

Closed in the 1970s and neglected since then, the Istituto Marchiondi Spagliardi was open to the general public again for the first time during Milan Design Week, April 20-22, 2023. Thanks to the collaboration between Mosca Partners and the City of Milan, the building hosted the REFORMING FUTURE exhibition and lecture series, part of the Design Variations 2023 project. In addition to guided tours of the architectural structure, organized in collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano, the interior of the complex hosted projects by students of the master's program of Michele De Lucchi and Andrea Branzi. The installations, models and videos found their place along an educational itinerary conceived in dialogue with the architecture. Michele de Lucchi, Francesco Zurli and Christoph Böninger discussed with the visitors the necessity of transforming the professional image of "design" and possible approaches for future design studies.

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