Visions from the future

Let us together will, conceive, and create the new building of the future, which will unite everything in a single form—architecture and sculpture and painting.

With these words, in 1919, the year he became director of the Bauhaus, Walter Gropius introduced his concept of the total art form as an indispensable building block in man’s everyday life. Art was to be the instrument through which a new society could be founded on the basis of the values of democracy and equality.

Almost 100 years later, the European Commission initiated the New European Bauhaus project. Like the original Bauhaus, the aim is to bring together different actors in society to imagine and build together an inclusive and sustainable future.

Milano Green Forum Museum joined the New European Bauhaus network in October 2021. During the first edition of the New European Bauhaus Festival – 9-12 June 2022 – it will participate as an official satellite event with a programme of meetings and workshops aimed at deepening the theme of sustainability and educating for a more sustainable future.

We believe that education is the cornerstone in the development of a better future. Like in a relay race, cultural change must be passed from hand to hand from generation to generation, pursuing the values of sustainability, aesthetics and quality of experience and inclusion.

Educational institutions are the places where the minds of the future are formed and the ideas of the future are developed.

In fact, Visions from the future exhibition involves projects developed by students from five European universities Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture Finlandia, Burren College of Art and Art & Ecology Irlanda, University of applied arts Austria, Politecnico di Milano Italia, Laba Firenze – with the aim of building a bridge to the future through their voices.

Project organised thanks to the contribution of Silvia Bonaventura.




Garden – Exploring the possibilities of glass waste with the help of glass casting techniques

Designer – Anne Hirvonen
Master’s thesis. Master’s Programme in Contemporary Design. Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Finland

Master’s thesis. Master’s Programme in Contemporary Design. Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture.
During the spring 2021 in my master’s thesis I explored the possibilities of glass waste with the help of casting techniques. The topic was addressed from the perspective of sustainable development, circular economy and material flows. In this work, I became acquainted with the raw materials used in glass manufacturing. Improved acquaintance with these materials helps to deepen our understanding of the value of recycled materials as a usable resource alongside virgin raw materials.
The thesis was carried out in co-operation with Fiskars Group, Iittala. During my work, I became acquainted with the glass waste that was generated by the Iittala Glass Factory but could not yet be reused at the factory. Through material and casting technique tests performed at the Iittala Glass Factory, I explored the behavior of glass and how it affected the end result. I also explored the opportunities for new ideas and operating models that would enable the waste material generated as a side stream of production to be utilized at the Iittala Glass Factory.

Full Thesis

© Photos by Aleksi Tikkala, 2021. Glass casting by Jorma Huovilainen with assistance of glass school students from Tavastia
Vocational College at Iittala Glass Factory, 2021.

Flower Matter

Designer – Irene Purasachit
ARTS Thesis, CHEMARTS minor (CHEMARTS Summer School and Design Meets Biomaterials course), Aalto University, Finland

‘Irene Purasachit investigates the design processes of an innovative biobased material from a designer’s perspective using flower waste in Bangkok, Thailand as the case study through her thesis ‘The Designerly Approach in Material Development: a design-led exploration of surplus flowers as raw material’.
The research started off from background research on the current situation of cut flower industry before moving on to the development of materials from flower waste.  A part of the development resulted in ‘Flaux’, a nonwoven textile/ flexible sheet/ leather-like material from flower petals that contains no artificial colourants and oil-based ingredients.
During the development, the importance of the locality of ingredients together with production scale and four aspects of the material properties: strength, water repellency, texture and colour, which are reverent to future innovative bio-based materials development were raised.
Irene’s thesis then further expands into her current project, ‘Flower Matter’, ongoing research of ways to sustainably valorise flower waste and to enable a circularity of the cut flower industry through regenerative materials.

Link to the project

© Photos by Soracha Anghin and Irene Purasachit

2030-life after plastic

Designer – Yael Siman Tov
Laba Firenze, Italia

The aim of the Project ‘2030-life after plastic’ is to define some of the most discussed issues in recent years to question our way of doing and consuming so far and the new solutions for the climate crisis created by us – human beings. Sir Terence Conran said ‘We must imagine the world not as it is, but as it should be’. We, the designers of the future, have the opportunity to greatly influence human attitudes towards the environment – by raising consumer awareness for products that do not harm the future of the environment, animals and humans.
I believe that a reciprocal and positive relationship between man and the environment can be created through the thorough and continuous search for ways and methods to do good for nature. Integrating the theory of the circular economy into a design project has helped me realise that sustainability is mainly measured by our ability as designers and human beings in general to use all our knowledge and skills for the benefit of finding future solutions. Only by pooling all resources for the benefit of the goal can we achieve results and, of course, enjoy them. It is not easy, but it is worth it.
The creation of the ‘xenia’ collection of disposable objects represents the unification of circular economy theory, ecological design and an understanding of 21st century needs. The need for a ‘disposable’ product has not been ruled out. It was converted into an ecological solution, which created the possibility of using an existing (and natural) raw material for another life cycle and the creation of a completely new product.

Albert Einstein said that ‘We cannot solve our problems with the thinking we used when we created’. I think so too.


Designer – Henriikka Pahkala
Bachelor Thesis – Aalto University, Finland

Burnt is a series of glass sculptures inspired by trees growing on the shores of the Baltic Sea. The trees on the seashore have a rough life. Arctic conditions, wind, water and ice will challenge them throughout their lives. Sometimes the conditions are just too much, and the trees fall down, drown and lose their branches.
Bark, cones and driftwood collected from the beaches have been used as the mold material for the Burnt glass sculptures. The organic material is attached to a mold constructed of a flexible metal wire mesh. When hot glass is blown into a mold, it heats the wire mesh and the mold flexes and bulges at its edges in each time little differently. Thus, objects from the same mold are each unique.
The organic material in the molds burns and thins after several blows. When bark, cones or branches are too worn, they are removed and replaced with new ones. The material of the molds has been collected and found, so there is no need to chop down living trees to create these glass objects.
The series consists of smaller objects in color blown into molds built from either bark or pinecones, as well as large bright sculptures in which the mold material has been either cones or driftwood. The Burnt started with Aalto University’s Experimental Design course taught by Anna Van Der Lei. From there, the topic expanded into Henriikka Pahkala’s bachelor’s work. Burnt is still an ongoing project that will have more experiments in the future. Thereupon, all the works are numbered and named after the project name Burnt.
The series has been made in collaboration with local glassblowers Orcum Erdem and Paula Pääkkönen.


CHAMELEON JOINT – A sustainable building system made of bamboo and recycled plastic in Tanzania

Designer – Emanuel Jicmon
Thesis – Politecnico di Milano, Italia

Plastic, due to its cheapness, versatility and durability, is one of the most useful materials for modern society, which, due to insufficient waste management and a failure to recycle the material, has resulted in irreversible environmental damage.
More than 8,300 million tonnes of virgin plastics have been produced globally in the last 60 years, with Tanzania alone accounting for about 3,000 tonnes of PET, polypropylene, high and low density polyethylene each year. Improper waste disposal in the country has caused plastic pollution: only 34% of waste is collected, of which only 2% is recycled.
Sustainability is the fundamental principle of the project which gives architecture the role of addressing this environmental threat by proposing an experimental building system to be implemented in the village of Kerege, Tanzania. The idea is to build with the community an ephemeral reticular structure made of bamboo and recycled plastic: a market in which to display agricultural products, generating a circular local economy.
The key point is the design and later realisation of a ‘Chameleon Joint’ type structural connection made of recycled plastic (reinforced with natural fibres) by integrating it with Tanzania’s most abundant renewable green resource: bamboo – opening up new sustainable approaches to tackle plastic pollution.


Designer –Giacomo Fabbrica
Progetto di laurea – Politecnico di Milano, Italia

The thesis project concerns the extension and completion of The Float Building (by RPBW) located in the port area of the city of Dusseldorf: Hafen. The required urban graft redevelops an area of 4000 m2, currently used as a car park in the middle of a changing urban context.
‘Kulturhaus’ is a cultural centre housing an auditorium, rentable spaces for co-working and meetings, exhibition spaces featuring a free-layout and a cafeteria. The design also involves an urban garden with anti-smog planting, a green and recreational place for the surrounding area. The technical-sustainable approach was a fundamental theme: on the one hand environmental sustainability by weighing up the material and technological choices, on the other hand urban sustainability by paying attention to space, urban morphology and the programme. The dry construction system used makes it possible to reduce environmental impacts during the construction phases and at the end of the building’s useful life. The ventilated façade system, attention to exposure and natural ventilation are in-depth themes that make the building “a living breathing organism”.
This paper aims to be an investigative and design report of the RPBW method, revealing the steps of a process involving analytical, interpretative, design and graphical representative phases.


Designer – Gaia Gorelli
Thesis – Laba Firenze, Italia

The project envisages the creation of a product capable of developing a process of deep reflection and understanding that leads to circular reactions useful for the well-being of pollinating insects, citizens and urban or peri-urban contexts.

Melaria, practical, compact and transportable, is equipped with a special mechanism that allows extraction of the honeycombs from the honeycombs without invasive human intervention. This mechanism mediates direct interaction between man and bees, eliminating stress factors for both. By performing simple actions, the honey is soon harvested and ready to be shared. The project is designed to be intended for the community and, in this case, it is planned that associations dedicated to the care of the urban and collective apiary distribute the honeycombs of honey to participating citizens.


The packaging of the honeycomb consists of four elements: The Mater-Bi bag, a bioplastic to contain the honeycomb and isolate the honey from the air. The box, made of Delipac 360 g/m2 food-grade cardboard, in the shape of a trunk that contains and protects it from external stress.
Transport of the latter is facilitated by the special closure made possible by the interlocking with an elliptical, rigid, kraft paper profile. Inside this profile is a parchment decorated with plant paper.
The packaging is designed for the user to actively participate.


Designer – Alessia Lo Preiato
Project – Laba Firenze, Italy

As the climate crisis becomes more and more evident, when coupled with the significant demographic growth rate, it becomes necessary to rethink and design supply systems for basic necessities so that the entire population can have access to food, reducing food waste, shortening the production chain and adapting new technological systems for own, convivial and conscious production.
ContaminAzioni is a value proposition that puts the environment and mutual sustenance between man and the plant world first, making the integration of greenery into the urban layout efficient and beneficial: a vertical vegetable garden where plants are no longer a mere decoration, but the symbol of a new conception of urban space, where the design of the object stems from the use of PVC pipes – completely recyclable – used in construction, developing a vegetable garden also capable of naturally forcing polluted air to pass through the roots and leaves of plants, purifying it. Taking advantage of aeroponic technology allows plants to grow much faster and save 90 per cent of water compared to traditional systems. Furthermore, the decision to use only sunlight is intended to favour cultivation that respects the seasonality of the products, and also to choose plants – short-cycle, leafy and aromatic herbs – taking into account the local area and respecting the plant’s natural life cycles.
The invitation is to consider the environment in which we live as a hyperconneced system, where we humans are a small part of this whole.

New Winds, Green Sails – Design method for natural fiber based composite materials in a maritime environment

Designer Jean Munck
Bachelor Thesis –  Aalto University, Finland

Natural fiber based composite materials have gained prominence among designers during the past years as a viable alternative to more traditional synthetic materials. In the boatbuilding industry there has been a great interest in finding an alternative to glass and carbon fiber. As these materials have turned out to be somewhat of a double-edged sword, causing pollution during their initial production process and at the end of their lifecycle. Hemp, jute, and flax have been touted as a possible replacement, because of their similar material properties. But how do these materials impact the design process and how responsible are they really? To test this, I created a dinghy concept that bases itself on these materials. I followed a design method that is aimed at finding sustainable material solutions. This method was created by Granta design, the company that also curates Edupack, one of the most comprehensive material databases available for designers and engineers.

Eco-Architectures/Pavilions for the “Biblioteca degli Alberi”, Milan

Students of the Technological and Environmental Design didactic laboratory, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

The study conducted in the Technological and Environmental Design didactic laboratory considers the application of the principles of Material Balance theories and practices through the executive elaboration of sustainable constructions, conceived in mechanical form and dry stratified, in order to favour assembly, disassembly and recycling procedures. Specifically, the study carried out by the students examines the formulation of structures, installations and pavilions conceived as systems to serve the Library of Trees in Milan. The experiment considers the criteria of architectural engineering, executive design and simulation of the modes of environmental interaction, leading to the development of construction strategies, building components and technical interfaces capable of favouring the realisation in a balanced way with the context and the existing buildings, supporting the use of natural materials for the “mechanical stratification” of the architectural organisms. In addition, the study is explicit in its adherence to the principles of environmental sustainability according to the design of the drawings in the form of guidance and instruction tools for the construction, so as to simulate the reduction of parts, the visualisation of parts and pieces to be assembled/disassembled up to the optimisation of spaces and surfaces.



Lindsay LeBlanc, Burren College of Art, Ireland

The foundation of my art practice is rooted in craft and natural life cycles, drawing inspiration
from the realm of magic, science fiction, and fantasy. Aesthetically, my sculptures explore notions of fear and the uncanny as a tool to generate new meaning around ideas of a future hybridised relationship between humans and plants. I endarken spaces to give viewers a glimpse into the ways that viruses, predators, chemicals, and ecological adaptations affect all species on earth through consumption and proximity. My work asks a viewer to see botanical life made up of the very things it consumes, to imagine an existence where one doesn’t act solely upon nature, but nature is also acting back upon us. In the studio, I take a multidisciplinary technical approach utilising my years of experience in glass arts, and theatrical installation. I incorporate glass, fluid, light, shadow, and immersive installation techniques to disquiet the spaces they inhabit. In illuminating the ambiguities that arise from human encounters with non-human nature, my work proposes future coexistence with environmental nature through eco-critical conversations and material agency. My sculptural investigations evoke conversations, curiosity, audience engagement, and deep thought surrounding multispecies care within liminal spaces, even if complicated by fear.

Past, Present, Future, 2022

Catherine McDonald, Burren College of Art, Ireland

Science fiction predicted ecological peril many years ago, and has a direct link to climate awareness in its ability to create stories which mirror contemporary concerns.
Past, Present, Future is based on an SF narrative and is an ongoing installation project. Each installation of this work unfolds the narrative of five clay creatures, and their journey to achieve immortality. Their goal is to fuse their bodies to the planet through fossilization, and to combine themselves with flora in the hopes of successful reproduction. This way, they will exist in the past, the present and the future, escaping their fear of oblivion. This story allegorizes the human ambition to belong to the Earth’s past, and to expand into the future through procreation or the colonization of other planets.
The human viewer becomes a participant within the narrative, through the subtle shifting of soil beneath their feet. The participant is surrounded by living entities which act autonomously. They have no control over these entities, but are nonetheless subtly aware of the minor impact they make on the ecosystem simply by walking through. It is therefore used as a microcosm of larger global environmental issues; an artwork which draws attention to  the human understanding of their place in and impact upon the macrocosm of planet Earth.


Katerina Gribkoff, Burren College of Art, Ireland

My practice seeks to entangle an art-making system with complex living systems of growth and cultivation. It centres the garden in art-making, as a material source, a gallery for display, a repository for decomposing works, and a stage for plant-people-plot interplay.
In my work, I aim to understand the position of materials within mesh-like webs of entanglement between human, non-human, and non-living entities, and the potential for material to foster better connections between human and more-than-human worlds. Visiting farms and gardens, I engage with maintained systems of growth to better understand the imperfect material realities of collaborating with plants. Mirroring a gardener’s use of material, I utilise the abundant, the local, the used, the discarded—what is available and what fulfils a need.
Thinking with Donna Haraway’s statement that ‘reality is an active verb,’ I can understand art-making as a process of co-becoming between human, non-human life, and non-living entities.
The work itself is collaborative, engaging directly with the dye plants in my garden beds and studio pots. My methodology includes growing and foraging to make plant-derived dyes, inks, pigments, and stains; working with textiles including cotton, wool, and soil bags; and building structures in collaboration with plant growth. I take care when speculating the needs of plant-kin, moving slowly and intentionally, making educated improvisations through acts of quilting, tucking, and stuffing.


Brandon Lomax, Burren College of Art, Ireland

In my latest body of work, I have focused on limited (often binary) material pairings as a means to create tension and provoke thought. In many of my studio investigations, I have been partnering (hu)manufactured materials (predominantly paint and/or guitar strings) with naturally occurring found detritus. All the while retaining an anthropocentric perspective as a tool to access human empathy.
I have been considering ideas of human and multispecies collaboration and intervention. Recent Inundation with the urgency of the climate crisis language and popular sensationalism, I have felt an increasing need to release some internal pressure. I’m reconsidering technology as a cultural asset to inform a protagonist in the story, rather than the clichéd dystopian villain it is so often made out to be. After all we have more ability than ever to share and disseminate information because of it. In utilizing technology for the benefit of the climate crisis, our response can become a more feasible redirection rather than a very unlikely full stop.
By pouring toxic polymer-based housepaint onto a tree branch, an activation occurs. Something about that looks and feels contrary to the common ethical code. Recreating this activation hundreds or even thousands of times creates a disruption or distortion of our normal perception of time. An observation again: plants grow one layer of skin at a time (picture hundreds of years of tree growth for example), which is the same way that some new pieces of artwork are “growing” in my studio currently. Similarly, my sense of time in the context of my working mind has distorted, such that my work production has begun to feel more in sync with earth cycles and long form organic growth development, rather than a schedule designed around specific human rituals. I am creating a sort of manufactured cultivation cycle whose outcome, scale and success is articulating itself more each day.
Relying on minimal aesthetics, primitivism and installation, I work to provide form and function to that which is considered unknowable or perhaps just beyond perceived human cerebral capability.
I embrace the volatile creature that feeds equally between spirituality and quantum science. Dabbling with complex ideas of multi-dimensionality and transcendence to explore the realms of human emotion and its intangible connectivity to all that exists in the more than human world. I rely on minimal aesthetics to moderate this conversation and provide accessibility. I enjoy finding myself tangled up in the webs that connect all things, and I make my work as an ongoing personal research project to provide a visual and sometimes sonic interpretation to these complex and abstract phenomena. Seeking to both memorialize and embrace the ephemerality of life.
Fundamentally, this, and all of my work is about perception. It is consistently informed by place, emotion, experience, and time. I attempt to consider all life. Sentient and otherwise, human and more than human. After all we are all in this together.

Durability in the age of transience – An approach of acceptance and appreciation of the signs of wear and tear given by time

Giulia Maionchi, Laba Firenze, Italy

This project aims to raise awareness of a reflection on the objects of our everyday life, on the time of objects, now increasingly short and ephemeral, and on the hidden beauty that can be found by allowing objects time to live, and thus to write their own personal biography in which the signs of time are not to be seen as mere obsolescence, but as a story.
These objects with their imperfections become objects/witnesses of time. All those elements that are often considered as a defect of surfaces in our Western society, and that instead, in their unpredictable and non-designable randomness, can be transformed into strengths and beauty of the artefacts, as happens in the East with the Wabi Sabi approach.
I believe that we need to take a step back, or rather, search for a balance now lost in the society of hyper-consumerism. This is why we should return to a perspective in which things are designed not to be thrown away, or at best recycled, but to run their course, in which we are participants and not spectators.
The importance of finding innovative solutions to ‘save’ objects that have a value and relevance for us, whether linked to the sphere of functionality or the purely affective, is now more than ever a necessity and our task.


Testi University of applied arts, Austria

Repair is probably the most urgent task we are currently facing (repair in English, reparieren in German, also in German: wiederherstellen (restore), erneuern (renew), heilen (heal), wiedergutmachen (make amends). How can repair be thought of and implemented in such a way that changes would be sustainably possible both in the present and in the future? How can we see social change as a duty, as an act of care and dedication, as well as of slowing down time? What strategies are there to help us avoid giving up?
Can we learn and work together (across all ages and cultural, religious, class and educational boundaries), and find each other across both visible and invisible social boundaries and positions, through some kind of form of care and repair? Can resilience be gained through the visibility and awareness of our scars? And: Can art help us to hear the delicate tones and voices of the in-between and to gain the ability to create a utopia?
With the program, Klassen für Alle: Assembly of Repair, the University of Applied Arts Vienna would like to invite any and All interested, to join them in the search for questions and answers regarding processes and practices for learning together towards a better present and future.

Unexpected encounters


Slow Dating by İpek Hamzaoğlu

Randomly (through the drawing of lots), and over several rounds of Slow Dating, participants became unexpected conversation partners. The physical encounter in physical space stood in the foreground. Guided and playful, questions werde asked: Where do we need Repair? What can I do on my own? What can we do better together? But also: What happens when we talk to people we don‘t know? What makes us curious?
How do we speak when our languages are foreign to us? Even differing opinions and lack of understanding can still result in a space to learn.
İpek Hamzaoğlu is an artist and filmmaker. Her work revolves around the representation of collective melancholy and the potential of post-apocalyptic future narratives, community knowledge, and gossip. She was part of the artistic research project “Dis/Possession” and published “Despite Dispossession: An Activity Book” in 2021. She is also part of numerous queer feminist projects on archive politics, friendship, and collective knowledge production.
İpek Hamzaoğlu is curatorial and organising assistant of Klasse für Alle.



Workshop di treecycle, UNOs (Theresa Schütz, Rainer Steurer) & Studio Holz (Philipp Reinsberg)

After the random selection of teams and an introduction to the workshop, work experiments took place on the third day of the Assembly. Newly found teams (foreigners to each other) were working together. Recycle materials had been collected (in nature, in dumpsters, from deconstructed exhibitions) and donated on the previous collection days and from both, separating and uniting ideas, seating was designed and built, which was then used for the THINKING, SPECULATING &TALKING part of the Repair Assembly.
The documented chair project is by Astrid Boesch-Bodisch (participant of Klasse für Alle).



Field Trip and Seeding Tour by Isa Klee, participant of Klasse für Alle

Field Trip and Seeding Tour by Isa Klee (endangeredspeciesadvocacy), participant of Klasse für Alle
Isa Klee developed this artivistic practise and cultural hack to sustain biodiversity and to green the city.
Collecting, archiving and sowing seeds wherever she goes is a form of ecoystem care that is self care as well.
Whereas species disapear and climate change is pushing our ecosystems to the limit, we can make a positive
impact by creating a diverse and flourishing natural surrounding where possible.
Isa Klee is the winner of the Climate Protection Award of Climate Alliance
Austria. She has also been a founding member of various community gardens in Vienna since 2011 and is
co-founder of the Öko Campus Wien initiative.



Common Practice by Erika Farina & Johanna Preissler, participants of Klasse für Alle

How can we come together and collaborate, how can we each speak with our own voice and at the same time work on a common cause? A table as a possible space for creating and speaking together, as a symbol of negotiation and communication, where one shares, celebrates, mourns and decides, was the place to start. It invited us and the participants to sit down, bring in and share our own knowledge and skills. Each
separately and together we translated our thoughts on collaboration, cooperation and community into textile surfaces. The materiality was diverse, the color was always white. The threads we span, the ideas we expressed, we brought together piece by piece and connect the individual parts to a work that bears many signatures. A large white surface, a flag, a cloth, a textile collage emerged and conquerred the table. At the end of the day, working together, sitting together and talking together transformed the table as a place.
Literature on the topic of repair from the Reading Room accompanied us with a pre- and post-reading during the common practice. We sewed, embroidered, crocheted, painted, knotted, knit and wrote.
Erika Farina is a trained dressmaker and freelance artist. In her work she deals with the connection between
perceptual processes, material and form. She is part of the Artivism Reading Group of Klasse für Alle.
Johanna Preissler works as a craftswoman and artist. In her projects, she deals with spaces and things and their relationships to people.
Her interest in collaboration and sustainability has led to the Artivism Reading Group of Klasse für Alle.

Note sugli istituti

The Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture is a Nordic leader in higher education for design, fashion, games, media, architecture, film, art education and art. We produce world-class research in art education, design and design thinking, digital media and visual culture, urban planning, architecture and landscape architecture. We educate students to be global citizens, contributing to their communities with imaginative, collaborative, compassionate and unconventional approaches to some of the most pressing challenges facing the world today.


Founded in 1994, Burren College of Art is located in the West of Ireland in the rural region of the Burren – an area famous for its natural beauty and unique ecosystem. We are an internationally recognized Irish non-profit college specializing in undergraduate, postgraduate and alternative approaches to fine art education. Our postgraduate programmes are accredited by the National University of Ireland, Galway and welcome students from all over the world. Our undergraduate programme is designed for students in North America who wish to study abroad in Ireland for one to two semesters. Our workshops and residency programmes welcome international practitioners, and our Creative Difference and Leadership programmes are designed to educate non-artists in the principles and procedures of creative processes.
The MFA/MA in Art & Ecology was launched in 2013 as the first postgraduate degree in this field in Europe. This highly prescient and innovative programme is an interdisciplinary, research-based programme designed for students who wish to develop an ecologically focused artistic practice. Graduate students develop key skills in producing work in studio and field-based contexts, investigate how social and earth ecologies coexist within the unique context of the Burren, and have the opportunity to participate in collaborative or community based initiatives.
Students work with BCA’s core faculty team alongside environmental scientists and local community based organisations to develop critical enquiry through arts practice. Graduates produce a final exhibition of work engaging the dynamic between ecology and arts practice and demonstrating an embodiment of the social, cultural and theoretical concerns shaping the relationship between contemporary art and ecological thinking.

Dipartimento Design Laba Firenze



Understanding complexity or almost. Four stories of Laba projects

Design research, new languages for a new project.

Words are things: design has built the lexicon of our society. In the coming years, also in relation to the pandemic whose parable we do not yet know, its role will be decisive because objects will increasingly take centre stage, not only for their practical function but especially for their symbolic and ritual significance. A transformation is taking place that is not only economic, but also social and cultural. Darwin argued that ‘It is not the most intelligent species that survives, nor the strongest. It is the one most susceptible to change’. The most innovative design is research from ancient knowledge, the most surprising applications of 3D creations. Picking up on a reflection by Maldonado on the identity of design, namely that “…design (…) emerges as a ‘total social phenomenon’. That is, it belongs to that category of phenomena that cannot be examined in isolation, but always in relation to other phenomena with which they constitute a single connective tissue…”. The cultural dynamics of our time are becoming increasingly complex and entangled. Trying to understand the thread that holds them together appears to be a risky but not futile operation. In order to do so, it is necessary to abandon the usual disciplinary boundaries, it is necessary to annex to the territory of a specialist’s gaze even the naive reflection of those who risk linguistic hybridisation, opening up onto an undefined field lacking in unambiguous and detailed instincts. This interweaving of spaces, bodies, languages, histories, materials and affections is the territory with which the world of design is measured. Using, also, the objects that populate it as privileged cultural and expressive catalysts. And this is the key to understanding the Laba projects in this exhibition, a research that is part of my process of development, but at the same time an opportunity to explore a territory, a suspended condition, on the borders of art and life. A place of tension where all relations, all relationships with the sphere of the everyday are capable of creating an operational potential, determining a multiple environment affirmed solely by a sense of plurality. The discipline of design can be thought of as a large territory; just like any artistic form, it bases its cultural existence on diversity of expression.
Angelo Minisci
Coordinator Design Department Laba Florence

The LABA in Florence is an Academy of Fine Arts authorised by the MIUR. An Institute of Higher Artistic Education that has always focused on “innovative” courses, close to new technologies and involving the use of multimedia. The Academic Courses, equivalent to the degree, are structured on the 3+2 through the departments of Photography, Graphic Design & Multimedia, Visual Arts-Painting, Design, Fashion Design and Cinema and Audiovisual.

Scientific Director: Ingrid Paoletti (Professore Associato in Tecnologia dell’Architettura)

Members: Massimiliano Nastri (Associate Professor in Architectural Technology), Saverio Pasquale Spadafora (Technical Supervisor), Maria Anishchenko (PhD Student), Olga Beatrice Carcassi (PhD), Giorgio Castellano (PhD Student), Danilo Casto, Marta D’Alessandro (PhD Student), Gokhan Dede (PhD Student), Andrea Giglio (PhD Student), Giulia Grassi (PhD), Valeria Marsaglia (PhD Student)

The Material Balance Research group within the ABC Department – Architecture, Construction Engineering and Built Environment at the Politecnico di Milano, welcomes the activities of analysis, both theoretical and applied, by researchers related to academic, productive and constructive realities in the international field. The work within the research group is determined through the multidisciplinary examination (cognitive and design, methodological and instrumental) of multiple areas related to technological evolution and the needs of environmental balances within the contemporary scenario. In this regard, the study around the scientific and disciplinary formulation of Material Balance Research is outlined in accordance with the fundamentals of ‘polytechnic culture’, promoting principles and procedures oriented towards the need to limit non-renewable resources, reduce polluting emissions and ‘transformation’ (of processes, technologies and materials) in order to limit impacts on the environment: these ethical and cultural references help to establish the strategies, criteria and areas of analysis and application, through the development of themes and objectives aimed at supporting innovation within the technological culture of design and technology of architecture.


Klasse für Alle is a new program of continuing education, created by the University of applied Arts Vienna to opening up their institutes and departments towards all those who are interested in discussing, reflecting upon, and redesigning of our society. The urgency of current existential dangers requires collective action and dialogue. We invite people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds, from all professional fields, with or without previous education, and with a diverse range of skills and interests, to work with us on building a present and future worth living. In Klasse für Alle, we will learn from and with each other, and with as little hierarchy as possible. Artists and other specialists (from both within and outside the University) will lead and accompany this learning. Mutual appreciation and respect for different opinions will form the basis for this cooperation.

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