Initially a showcase for the Northern Italian furniture and kitchen manufacturing industry, it has, over time, become further enriched with products from major foreign brands and designers along with lighting and tooling products.

Additionally, the city of Milan has created a spontaneous demonstration outside the pavilions of the “Fiera” exhibition centre, using many spaces in other districts to showcase new design proposals and take advantage of Milanese nightlife as a backdrop. Milan Design Week includes both events and receives yearly visits from architects, stylists and buyers from all over the world.

The 2023 version, running 17-23 April, has included interesting design proposals from Ukrainian talent among a range of different spaces. Among these, the most relevant is the "Materia Matters" project at the “Fabbrica del Vapore” space (Via Giulio Cesare Procaccini, 4, Milan), created with the support of the Consulate General of Ukraine in Milan and the “Milano Makers” Association.

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The organisers presented the works of 15 different Ukrainian designers, using as a common thread the concept of matter and anti-matter representing the opposites in our physical reality.

“In theory, if matter meets anti-matter, they cancel each other out and turning into energy. United, they are the embodiment of freedom and the future. They are indispensable aspects of the creative process.

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“Matter defines life. Matter is the resources, materials and tools that we use to create something new. Antimatter is creative chaos, unpredictability and surprise.

“Human freedom, in this context, can mean freedom from traditional structures and limitations, allowing us to experiment and discover new possibilities.

“Design is the bridge between matter and anti-matter that allows us to merge everything into one whole. Abstract concepts find their embodiment in material reality through the hands and thinking of artists and designers,” the curators of the show said.

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The project presented a range of innovative designs using ecological Ukrainian materials and objects: examples of furniture, interior lighting, ecological textiles, and items made of innovative materials, as well as products of art and handicrafts.

Participant designers:

      DevoHome - the first creators of imitation fur made from hemp; Patented in 2021.

      Empath Ceramics - a sensitive, signature ceramic that feels and imitates

      FAINA - Ukrainian brand of housing design (ZTISTA innovative material)

      Kashalot Studio - laboratory of emotional decorations in cement and polymers

      Kysen O2 - a designer "breathing" decorative subject, made of ceramic and wood

      Levada - artistic rugs from recycled fabrics

      Mapico - objects of modern design made of wool, created according to the ancient techniques of the Carpathian region

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      Medovisvichky - non-traditional beeswax candles. "Spiritualization" Collection

      Re-Leaf - a brand created by a scientist - the world's first manufacturer of ecological paper packaging made from fallen leaves

      Ruda Studio - brand that develops a modern perspective on the exquisite ancient art of straw marquetry

      SPOGAD - first European brand of sustainable, circular and slow fashion accessories, made with 100% recycled plastic.

      SVITANOK - designer capsule brand - shape adaptation in different scales and materials

      volo.design - design brand of free-form interior objects in basic materials

      Woolberry - Ukrainian brand of felt accessories

      YAKUSH - Ukrainian brand that creates tableware and decorations from hand-made ecological materials, mainly tempered glass

On Apr 19, at the conference room of the Fabbrica del Vapore, the Ukrainian curators of “Materia Matters” presented projects on the theme: "Sustainable materials. How to create the business of the future." The Deputy Consul General of Ukraine in Milan, Victoriia Fufalko, also spoke.

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The team of curators of this exhibition is formed by a group of Ukrainian women: Anna Manako, Anastasia Biletska, Maria Kristina Hamel, Antonina Semenova (communication)

Official organizers: Design4Ukraine Association, LIFE LINE project

Patronage: Consulate General of Ukraine in Milan, Milano Makers Association

For further information their contact email: [email protected]

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