This Future is Currently Unavailable

The 8th edition of Isola Design Festival, organized by the digital and physical design platform Isola, will welcome visitors during Milan Design Week, from 15 to 21 April 2024.

Isola Design Festival will present an evolution of its successful format this year. Venturing into new locations such as Lampo Milano, WAO PL7, and Galleria Bonelli within the Isola Design District that were never opened during Milan Design Week, Isola is set to turn these hidden gems into prominent hotspots. These and many other venues will point towards the future of design and cultivate an atmosphere of creativity and exchange throughout the entire neighborhood. Inspiring exhibitions, outstanding installations, lively events, workshops, live demonstrations, and design talks will involve more than 320 international designers, design studios, creators, and manufacturers hosted in over 40 locations, including 3 main hubs.

Isola’s annual theme titled “This Future is Currently Unavailable” for 2024 is a statement to provoke action.

“This Future is Currently Unavailable” is not just a tagline, but a call to action and reflection. The idea came during our adventurous travels to global design events, sparking a vision of the immense potential within our design community. This year, Isola is on a journey to prove that design is more than just sustainability, it’s a powerhouse for tackling real-world issues. Picture it like this, a traveling hub of exciting, curated, and innovative design initiatives. We’re not just building a community, we’re setting the stage for the future of design!”
— says Gabriele Cavallaro, co-founder and CEO of Isola Design Group.

A Isola Design Festival 2024_This Future is Currently Unavailable

To move towards the future, designers must embrace experimentation and collaboration across all fields and disciplines, seek innovative solutions, and keep in mind that design should collectively impact the planet and humanity. By bringing together designers from diverse backgrounds and nationalities, the event will inspire a holistic approach that transcends borders and traditional ways of seeing design. Highlighting forward-looking proposals that mix innovation, sustainability, and craftsmanship, Isola unites diverse fields into a promising design multiverse, showcasing the potential face of this industry in the years ahead.

Isola has launched a call to all designers to imagine how design and new craftsmanship can shape our future and that of the planet:

Some say that the future has arrived. Others say the future is unpredictable. What we can say for sure, is that the future can’t be like what we are living in today.

So how can we make the most of the latest technologies? How can we reduce the increasing food and industrial waste issue? How can we offer a better quality of life to everyone, everywhere? How can we take advantage of differences in culture and thought processes? How can we bring awareness to socio-political crises and help manage the current ones?

Design must become the bridge to get us to a better tomorrow, but how do you imagine it?

Last year, Isola’s global design community got together bridging diverse cities and cultures in several international events from Milan Design Week to the London Design Festival, from Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven to Tanween 2023 in Saudi Arabia and concluding in Dubai Design Week.

Disclosure_Shailesh Rajput Studio_Orj (1) ©Shailesh Rajput Studio

As part of this desire for connection between different cultures and countries, Isola will bring to Milan participants and collaborators from the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Asia. Echoing 2023’s openness and unraveling this driving force further, Isola Design Festival will present several collaborations with partners from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with the “Routes to Roots” exhibition conceived for Tanween 2023 (Ithra’s Creativity Conference) and with the “Anatolia” design show presented first at Downtown Dubai.

At the core of the vaste programme of Isola Design Festival 2024 are three main hubs, Lampo Milano, WAO PL7, and Stecca 3.0, and five shows curated by Isola’s curatorial team led by Elif Resitoglu (creative director of Isola Design Group) and guest curators.

“We will present five collective exhibitions, each telling its own story and showcasing the incredible growth and collaboration within our community. With projects from 47 countries, every exhibition is thoughtfully curated to highlight the essence of our collective spirit. I’m beyond excited to see the amazing developments 2024 has in store for us!”
— affirms Elif Resitoglu

Lampo Milano is a new urban redevelopment project spanning an area of 40.000 sqm within the historic railway yard, Scalo Farini. The project welcomes citizens of the world into its spaces, inspiring creativity through its coworking areas, cultural events, workshops, and pop-up galleries, among other engaging activities. Lampo Milano will be the backdrop of two main exhibitions:

Isola Design Gallery_Andrei Clontea STUDIO_ATHARI (1) ©Andrei Clontea STUDIO

Isola Design Gallery focusing on collectible design, unique designs with a narrative, Dutch design and contemporary products crafted by independent designers and design studios from all over the world. Thanks to the polycarbonate panels and materials provided by Polipiù, the exhibition design will be a play on color, light, and transparency to contrast the brutalist industrial look of the space.
Participating designers and design studios include the following:
16m², 1×1 systems, A* Alittlemore Studio, Aernout Langeveld, Aimee Wilder, Alexandre Delasalle, Alice Lahana Studio, Andrei Clontea STUDIO, Apol Objects, Atelier Iris Nijenhuis, Bang, Binary Ceramics, Boi, Catherine van Bijnen, Chenchen Du, Ciro Timmers, Clémence Birot, Comuna Mx +AD2, Crio, Dace Sūna, Daniela Deluca, David Valner Studio, Demehico, Design Shades, Elizabeth Vasquez /Pollen Studio, Elli Design, Engi Jaouda, Estúdio Carmine, Evangelion Studio, FiliPista, Floriane Bande, FONTANI (STUDIO F), Form&seek, Giorgio Bena, Harshita Jhamtani Designs, Heiko Bauer, Henri Texier, In2Green, Inge Simonis, Janneke de Lange, Jimmy Rojas, Jisk Lindeboom, Julia Chiaramonti, Konos Studio, Lamiss Akar, Length Breadth Height, Leo Achard, LTU CoAD, Luis Gimeno Design, Maayan Kipnis, Marina Studio Design, Mati sipiora, maxz, Mijali Posada, miriampryka, MLK Furniture, Moon Rabbit Adaptive Lab, Nils Sorger, Noiro Studio, NOSTUDIO, OHM studio, Pablo Octavio, Philipp Aduatz, Phlox, Quasidesign Studio, Ralf Gloudemans, Rampinelli Edizioni, Richa Gujadhur, Ritsert Mans, Roc H Biel, Ryoji Takahashi / VITRO, RYOSUKE AKAGI DESIGN, Saudade Collective, Sien Entus, Slightly Abstract By Sanjeet Gadkari, Structural-aspect, Studio B L, Studio Floris Meijer, Studio Kája, Studio Madeleine Scholtes, Studio Mau Mau, Studio Sospeso, Studio Zoran Strijbosch, Supapo Criativo, SvenJansse, Taftique, Tanay Kandpal, Triple Bottom Line, Tsubasa Koshide, White Studios, Woven Memories, Ya Phygital Fabrica, Yet Design Studio, Yif Design, Yufei Gao, Yuoning Chien, Yury Goncharov.

Moreover Isola Design Gallery will host a showcase curated by Juan Torres for DesignWanted. “ENHANCE – Design for Social Impact” will highlight design endeavors that contribute positively to society, featuring innovations like devices that harness solar energy to generate light/electricity, systems that recycle waste within a circular economy, and mechanisms that extract drinkable water from fog, among others. Participating designers are Cheuk Laam Wong, Fucina Frammenti, Nick Geiper & Charlotte Von Ravenstein, Pavels Hedström, Rehub.

Isola Design Gallery_Elli Design_Double armchair ©Giovanni Aponte

Is One Life Enough? features a curated selection of collectible pieces and market-ready products crafted using sustainable materials and circular methods. It sparks a dialogue on the countless possibilities within a human, product, and material lifetime while showcasing ways to infuse new life into products designed for a single life cycle. A section of the exhibition will be dedicated to Colab, the first purpose-built material library in the United Arab Emirates. With a minimal environmental footprint, the exhibition set-up will boast sustainable craftsmanship, made possible through the partnership with Fantolino, supplying recycled egg cartons to serve as the base for the pedestals, and Kineco crafting pedestal tops from mycelium.
Participating designers and design studios include the following:
Albin Karlsson, altered artifacts, Austeja Platukyte, BlueCycle, Daniyar Uderbekov, Dario Erkelens, Emma Johann, Eugene Shon / ARTL, Eva Ausmann, Heiko Bauer, Interesting Times Gang, Krill Design, Lu Shenhuan & Fan Runming & Liu Yutong, Mariekke Jansen, matterpieces, Mushlume Lighting, Natalie Pichler, Oiamo, Piece of Cake, POLIMAIR, Prostor Studio, Sabrina Merayo Nuñez, Senzaquadro®, Shaghayegh Ranjbar, SiyuLiu, Studio Jean Louis Noël, Studio Samira Boon, Tatiana Skorodumova, Vincentius Aldi Masella / owalla, Wknd Lab, Yu Watanabe.

Is One Life Enough_Eva Ausmann_Squeeze – Inflatable Lamp (2) ©Eva Ausmann

Featuring over 30 designers based in the Netherlands and spread within both the Isola Design Gallery and Is One Life Enough’ exhibitions, the Dutch Corner, supported by the Netherlands consulate-general in Milan and curated by Wisse Trooster, will show visitors the current state of the contemporary design field in the Netherlands, from sustainable products to collectible items.

In addition to the two main exhibitions, Lampo Milano will serve as the venue for Isola’s Pop-Up Design Store and Media Corner, and a dedicated space for Talks and Panel Discussions.
Partnering up with L’Essenziale Studio and HeyCrates, Isola will create a Pop-Up Design Store, where visitors can buy small scaled design pieces, magazines, and much more from Isola’s vast community of exhibiting designers. Within the store, L’Essenziale Studio will also create a Media Corner where in collaboration with DesignWanted will get the inside scoops on some of the key individuals of the Isola Design Festival.
As part of their ongoing collaboration with Isola, IAMMI will design not only a backdrop for Talks and Panel Discussions, but an inviting installation titled LIKE A ROCK. With pieces from their Tofu collection, soft yet rocky-looking seats, made from upcycled foam rubber, IAMMI emphasizes sustainability by using eco-friendly materials and blends it together with handcrafted design. The foam for the Tofu collection is sourced from ReMat and is coated by Poliart using materials by Elastopol.

Isola Design Gallery_White Studios_Zoi collection ©White Studios

Other installations within Lampo Milano includes:
● Always Welcome Agile ‘HUT’ Project by Circular Squared will feature an exclusive limited edition piece by South African design studio KINO. Inspired by the restoration of Muizenberg beach huts, the initiative repurposes salvaged wood into functional objects embodying sustainable living.
● Blueground by ASA & Alberto Vallesi Design Studio x La Pietra Compattata. A blue playground built with regenerated and conscious materials, this gathering space is also an exercise in the possibilities of sustainable use of matter.
● Senziente by Jonathan Bocca delves into the concept of sentience and our relationship with the environment. The project focuses on recycling paper waste to create furniture pieces with an interactive relationship between users and objects.
● The Future Will be Sown by Made in Earth Collective is a theatrical experience. Six days, Six ecological materials, and Six wearable ornaments, meticulously emerging from six different landscapes in Southern India. It explores the impact of meaningful encounters,; both deliberate and serendipitous,; which transcend the known boundaries of architecture.
● Rays of Light by Spinzi is a site-specific installation at Scalo Farini juxtaposing their collectible design pieces: coloured dots on the floor dialogue with perforated stools.

SOLIDIFIED_Umut Yamac_Array for VIBIA ©Umut Yamac

Within the recently established WAO PL7 (Via Luigi Porro Lambertenghi 7), a new stunning coworking space by the OneDay Group, Isola creates a hub with several indoor and outdoor exhibition areas, and installations. WAO PL7 underground parking garage will be transformed into a craft show that will host Disclosure: Design Studios Unveiled, where various design studios will be creating a temporary atelier to showcase their work and offer live demonstrations, providing visitors with a raw and interactive glance at the process of crafting design products.
Participating designers and design studios include the following:
Heilig Objects, Roni Collective, Shailesh Rajput Studio.

Within the co-working area, the architecture and design firm specialized in biotechnology for the built environment ecoLogicStudio will set up a temporary lab and work space to present the PhotoSynthetica Collection: three biophilic design products that includes a desktop biotechnological air purifier, a compostable stool and a 3D printed ring made of re-metabolised pollution.
Moreover, Architecture Hunter unveils the first public event of The Hunt, their virtual reality experience. Nine distinguished architecture firms have been carefully chosen to represent nine different countries, each crafting an exclusive project specifically for this exhibition. Renowned names like Kengo Kuma, Woha, 3XN, and Marcio Kogan offer their interpretations of the “architect’s refuge”.
Lastly, the sustainable Italian design brand that brings a human touch to design – Hiro – is partnering up with Isola to transform one of the most suggestive spaces within WAO PL7 into a showroom, the Hiro Design Home. It will be a real pop-up store and a space to exhibit the prototypes of the finalists of their open call dedicated to the shoe rack with a contemporary twist.

Size 100 by Design Soil_Notch ©Tetsuya Hayashiguchi

Just in front of WAO PL7, inside the Galleria Bonelli (Via Luigi Porro Lambertenghi 6), Isola will showcase two exhibitions presented during the latest events in the Middle East:
After its successful debut in Dubai, Isola brings Anatolia to Milan. Inspired by the great crossroads of ancient civilizations, the show will highlight Anatolian design and will have an atmosphere reminiscent of the Silk Road, a historic trade route that linked the East and the West, creating a vital hub for cultural exchange within the territories that it traversed. Such will be the rich exchange of expertise, craft, and traditional techniques presented by Middle Eastern participants to the wide international Milan Design Week audience.
Participating designers and design studios include the following: Atelier Terra Madre, Creande, Doodle And The Gang, Dozaj / Gokhan Sencan, Editions Levantine, Ev ceramic-lab, Kita Living, Nella Figueroa, Od Art & Design, Tugba Cebecioglu, Zade Design.

Seen first in Saudi Arabia for Tanween, the annual Creativity Conference conceived and created by The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture – Ithra, Routes to Roots, will be a journey through designs from MENA regions and the world that preserve heritage and the Earth. The focus will be on products that draw inspiration and expertise from ancestors pairing it with cutting-edge craftsmanship, in a demonstration of how emerging talents can breathe fresh life into the design landscape, bridging the gap between tradition and innovation. On show, functional objects that highlight an eco-conscious approach to design, integrating biomaterials, natural resources, household and industrial waste, and blending traditional methods with innovation to craft modern design pieces. In the building courtyard, Ithra will present the Iwan installation.

SOLIDIFIED_Rive Roshan_Voices Vessels ©courtesy Rive Roshan

Other images can be seen in the gallery down below

Guest Exhibitions and Installations

Returning as this year’s third hub of Isola Design Festival, Stecca 3.0, the socio-cultural center in the heart of the neighborhood will host international and local designers, artists, institutions, and experts through public talks and workshops under the umbrella of their theme, “Crafting Dialogues”. Through their partnerships with Constructlab, IAAD., ISIA Urbino Academy, and Nieuwe Instituut, Stecca 3.0 will foster dialogues and exchange of knowledge:
● At the ground floor of Stecca 3.0, Nieuwe Instituut presents “New Store”, an exhibition that reimagines consumerism as a force for environmental and social good. It challenges the traditional concept of product and explores alternative forms of exchange that are regenerative rather than extractive. Through collaborations with organizations like the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam and The Seeking State, the exhibition aims to foster long-term positive contributions to environmental and social processes and invites visitors to rethink consumption patterns and participate in a journey towards sustainability. Nieuwe Instituut collaborates with local partner Temporiuso for a public programme with talks and gatherings.
● IAAD. along with Accademia Italiana and SAE Institute presents Bravery Bar, an in-depth cultural and educational event designed through a joint project by 21 design schools. The Bravery Bar designed by students in collaboration with Fercam Echo Labs, will be a meeting space to stimulate dialogue between communities. In addition, 150 selected international students will participate in daily workshops on the theme of dialogue, followed by networking aperitifs. On the top floor, the exhibition “Between Us,” curated by Matteo Ragni and Giulio Iacchetti, explores dialogue through design exercises that highlight values such as justice and peace. Showcasing scale models and selected objects, it offers tangible examples of how design can promote dialogue. Lastly, the installation “Individual Collective,” will offer a reflection on individual and collective emotion by mirroring visitors’ emotions through a software that uses AI and facial recognition.
● Constructlab will curate talks and co-design the Kiosk of Reciprocity, a mobile project promoting convivial ground and collaborative welfare in Milan. Temporiuso will involve the designers of social carpentry BRIChECO and the cyclo mechanics of +bc Association of Stecca 3.0.
● ISIA Urbino Academy will bring a site-specific environmental typography intervention to the public staircase of Stecca 3.0.

Moreover, Isola joins forces with institutions, academies, design collectives, and studios to engage visitors with various design interventions scattered across the neighborhood. Isola activates a network of locations bringing together diverse design realities through strategically selected venues that will link the three main hubs. Among others:

Around the Table, curated by Masquespacio, at Via Luigi Porro Lambertenghi 3, Spanish design studio will create a lounge design installation and an exclusive table setting with their tableware products. An exhibition by day that transforms into a private space for dinner experiences for VIP guests, press, journalists, influencers, and architects by night.
The installation will also showcase design tools by Macaroni Event, who will host interactive dinners using their innovative tools. Lastly, in collaboration with Dinner Conversations, Isola will host an exclusive dinner that will spark meaningful connections within a context of design. The event is held in collaboration with RBSGROUP Italia.

By arakawagrip by Arakawa & Co, at Zona K in Via Spalato 11. Three exhibitions related to Arakawa will bring the works of 16 Japanese designers to Milan: Biblioteca d’oro by Arakawa Grip celebrating the 50th anniversary of the brand; New Normal New Standard 4 – The Japanese Maison presents designers that work with their young family business successors; COMPOSITION by Kairi Eguchi where seven designers have created new furniture using Arakawa Grip focusing on materials, phenomena, and floatation experiences.

Convey, The New Wave of Design Companies, at Basic Village in Via dell’Aprica 12. With over 1000 sqm dedicated to new products, special set ups and activities, Convey aims to connect contemporary brands and leading figures to accelerate their growth, creating opportunities and promoting shared values to help build the new international design scene.

OATLY! Pop-up – Designed For Humans, at Via Confalonieri 11. For the first time in Italy, a design installation, curated by Joris Verstrepen, by the worldwide known oat-based products brand for its oat-based products .

New Craft (SHOP), at Via Guglielmo Pepe 16. An exhibition by the craft house Shinkogeisha will show how 3D printers can transform resin into craft-like materials, creating room for new resin products and exploring innovative design possibilities through repeated trial and error.

SOLIDIFIED, meaningful manifestations, at Studio Via Farini in Via Farini 35, will present products where the materialisation and production method (the craft) is essential. Items that offer a counterpoint to a fleeting world, tangible products that respond to and excite the senses.

Size 100 by Design Soil, at Via Pastrengo 5, shows a furniture collection composed by products that fit into a package with the total dimensions of 100 cm and that can be brought back home like a “souvenir” in a size of carry-on baggage dimensions of international flights.

Urban Jungle Experience by Monkey 47, at Via Confalonieri 21. An immersive olfactory urban jungle installation will transport visitors to the heart of the Black Forest. Made using materials provided by Portuguese leading cork brand GENCORK, the installation will tantalize the senses allowing guests to experience the aromatic botanicals of Monkey 47’s gin. Throughout the day, visitors can walk in, hang out, play games, and enjoy live music. Additionally on show, MODeditions’ handcrafted copper pieces and the limited edition bottle featuring the coasters designed by the winners of the open call launched in 2023 with Isola.

We Were Here, curated by designers Jiin Yoon and Joris Verstrepen, at Via Cola Montano 13. An exhibition and a cosmic journey where designers will reveal stories through form and function. A showcase of ingenuity, leaving enduring marks that impact and resonate, shaping the canvas of time.

WORTH Exhibition, at Bottega Immagine in Via Carlo Farini 60. An exhibition designed and organized by multidisciplinary design studio Tellurico will show 70 projects developed within the WORTH Project, the biggest European creative incubator dedicated to promoting transnational collaborations between designers, creatives, manufacturing companies (SMEs) and technology companies.

In the Neighborhood

Between the studios and galleries already located in the neighborhood, it will be possible to visit:
● Angelo della Pergola1 (Via Angelo della Pergola 1) a minimalist space in the heart of Isola, which has dedicated a series of flats to design and art will be open to the public.
● Brussels House (Via Gaetano de Castillia, 23) aims to promote the image of Brussels as a dynamic, enterprising, creative and international place. The Brussels House in Milan offers the opportunity for emerging and non-emerging Brussels designers to exhibit their creations during Milan Design Week.
● Centro TOG (Via Livigno 1). The TOG Foundation opens the doors of its new Centre, inaugurated last October, to bring to Milan’s most important showcase of the year a reflection on design and beauty as privileged tools for inclusion.
● Green Island, in the Garibaldi Station atrium, presents The Secret Garden where visitors can discover projects made with natural elements, wax, bees and vegetation. It’s a journey of eco-design, landscapes and botany curated by Claudia Zanfi. The elements of this unusual garden revolve around the central installation conceived by designer Matteo Cibic and made by Jaipur Rugs, a special carpet in natural yarn.
● Regione Lombardia returns to Milano Design Week with a series of installations hosted at the Belvedere, on the 39th floor of the Palazzo Lombardia building, within the iconic Piazza Regione Lombardia and in the IsolaSET spaces.
● Primo Marella Gallery in Via Valtellina, 31 will present the art works of its international emerging artists from non-European contexts. Over the years the main focuses of the gallery have been China, Russia, India and now Asia, South East Asia and Africa.
● RivaViva, at Via Luigi Porro Lambertenghi 18, will host Artisan, a brand renowned for its craftsmanship in the production of solid wood furniture founded on the legacy of the old Ćostović carpentry workshop in Bosnia. This collaboration launches a line of ecological furniture of timeless elegance and with production cycles with a low environmental impact.

In the weeks leading up to Milan Design Week 2024, Isola will reveal the full programme of events and participants.

Isola Design Awards 2024
Last December, Isola launched the open call for the fourth edition of the Isola Design Awards. The digital contest aims to inspire and empower designers to explore new horizons and to push the boundaries of their craft.
This year’s awards are divided into 10 categories: Furniture, Seating, Lighting, Tableware, Textile, Product, Material, Sustainability, Outdoor, and Innovation.
Among the prizes, a trophy designed by design studio IAMMI, a free participation at Milan Design Week 2025, and a cash prize.

Isola is the world’s first digital and physical platform bringing visibility to independent designers and design studios, by connecting them to design professionals, companies, curators, journalists, and potential clients. Its dedicated curatorial team selects projects with a focus on sustainability, innovation, and handcraft.
Isola also organizes various in-person events under the umbrella of Isola Design Festival, which takes place throughout the year, during Milan Design Week, Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven (Netherlands), and Dubai Design Week, hosting dozens of exhibitions, hundreds of exhibitors, and thousands of visitors.
Founded in 2017 in Milan, Isola Design District immediately became one of the main official areas of the Milan Design Week, with special attention to international and emerging designers. Since 2019, Isola Design District has also participated in the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, becoming the first Italian design district to participate in a foreign event.
Isola expanded its borders even further in 2022, when for the first time it led a curated group of designers to the United Arab Emirates for Downtown Design during Dubai Design Week, and in 2023 by taking part in Material Matters at the London Design Festival and Tanween 2023, Ithra’s Season of Creativity, the largest creativity platform in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Launched in 2021 with more than 1.200 designers from 65+ countries and 2.000+ projects published, Isola offers a community for creative people around the globe through its digital platform, with dedicated profiles and portfolio pages. The digital platform aims to spark direct community interactions, discussions, and the sharing of expertise.
Moreover, via the upcoming Marketplace by Isola, each verified designer and creative studio will get the chance to sell their physical products, digital assets, and NFTs.

DATE 15—21 April 2024
OPENING HOURS 11:00 — 19:00
WHERE Isola Design District
LOCATION PARTNER Galleria Bonelli, Lampo Milano, Stecca 3.0, VIAFARINI, WAO PL7