Next week in Milan Design Week – 3D Printed Designs


Aya Bentur  

Design 3-0 Libero Milan Design Week 2016 Make it LEO

Milan Design Week is coming up, we are looking forward to a week of design, conversations and spritz!

For those lucky enough to be in Milan that week, here are 5 recommendations that include 3D printed designs, their impact on industry, design and society.

1. Unpretentious Objects

Unpretentious Objects, curated by Hans Maier-Aichen, deal with transformation. From a pool of photos from different regions taken over the years, an individual selection of everyday objects is used as a template to build a physical translation using a 3D printer. The resulting miniatures are stripped of their former monolithic and imposing size, yet keep their iconic quality, for more intimate inspection. Detached from their genuine function, setting, materiality and surface, they become rather abstract, useless, romanticized and liberated from their social and industrial implication (below).

Atelier Clerici, Via Clerici, 5, Milano



Unpretentious Objects 3D Printed Hans Maier-Aichen Milan Design Week 2016 Make it LEO

2. MƎTHESIS: Metal 3D printed high end product design

After Synthesis in 2014 and Arthesis in 2015, this year MƎTHESIS will bring an overview of the state of the art in 3D printing hardware, software and materials to the Fuorisalone Design Week Events. In collaboration with Autodesk and 3D printer manufacturer Sisma, the MƎTHESIS event will show that a new era for metal 3D printed high-end, commercially viable design products is at hand.

MƎTHESIS invited 10 top designers in the world of 3D printing to envision a new generation of objects centred on the theme of “Objects for the Dinner Table”. The products were designed using Autodesk’s Fusion 360 CAD software and 3D printed directly in metal (steel or bronze) using Sisma’s Laser Metal Fusion Mysint100 3D Printer. The exhibition will be held throughout the week, and on Thursday, April 14th, at 15:00 Tessa Blokland will give a presentation about Make it LEO discussing; from infinitely reproducible to limited editions.

Via Tortona 20 ,Milan

Bronze Toothpick Holder by designer Alessandro Zambelli (below)

Methesis Toothpick Holder 3D Printed Bronze by Alessandro Zambelli Milan Design Week Make it LEO


3. Copies Without Borders

Also at Atelier ClericiM+, Hong Kong’s new museum of visual culture, presents the first international edition of its talks series M+ Matters, Copies without Borders: Imitation as Innovation.

Spotted Nyonya by Hans Tan Mplus Milan Design Week Make it LEO

Spotted Nyonya – Offering Dish by Hans Tan, 2011, sandblasted porcelain. © Hans Tan. Collection: M+, Hong Kong (above).

The characterization of copying, of designs, ideas, and products, as a destabilizer of economic systems, a scourge on legitimate modes of production, and even a moral-ethical failing can be seen as a relatively new phenomenon that arose during the Industrial Revolution. However, in a post-industrial, digital, and more culturally hybridized era, the ethos of sharing as well as the homage practice are rising phenomena and the lines around pure copies are getting blurry. Bringing together leading design practitioners, curators, and thinkers, this discussion explores alternative ways of thinking about copying in its various (positive and negative) forms – as it produces frictions, new potential, and geographic expansion across borders.

The discussion will be held at Atelier Clerici, Via Clerici, 5, Milano

4. Design Libero at XXI Triennale International Exhibition

Coinciding with Milan Design Week is the Triennale which will be held from April to September. The XXI Triennale di Milano International Exhibition has a vast program of exhibitions, events, competitions, festivals and meetings throughout the city. Design 3.0 by Libero Rutilo (below and up top – photos by Claudio Morelli) was selected to participate and will be exhibited at Accademia di Brera Milano. 

Design 3-0 Libero 3D Printed Connectors Milan Design Week 2016 Make it LEO

Libero Design 3D Printed Vase Make it LEO

Design 3.0 experiments with new forms of hybrid production; today designers have become the makers and producers of their ideas, bypassing traditional production and distribution systems. Libero seeks to experiment with new dimensions between craftsmanship and industrial production. Design 3.0 is a series of self-produced objects built with a system of 3D printed joints and found elements made out of wood or plastic. Every object can be easily assembled and disassembled for easier shipping and end of the cycle recycling. DesignLibero’s vases upcycle PET bottles to vases, rightmost is the Spider vase and next to it is the Lace vase (both available on Tessa’s Curated Boutique).

Accademia di Brera Milano, Milano

5. Belgium is Design: Belgium Matters

UNFOLD, the Antwerp based design studio that started 3D printing ceramics back in 2009, will be presenting two new pieces developed together with Materialise, at Palazzo Litta in the exhibition ‘Belgium is Design: Belgian Matters’, curated by DAMN°. “We see innovation as an opportunity to renew a traditional technique. Thus, craft and age-old knowledge not only survive but become rejuvenated. We see a 3D printer not as a substitute for something else, but rather as a complement. It is a tool, something that’s in your toolbox”.

Palazzo Litta, Milan

Unfold SkafaldoBowl Belgium Matters 3D Printed Milan Design Week Make it LEO


If you know of another 3D printed project presenting in Milan as part of Design Week, please let us know in the comment section. We will keep posting on interesting events during Milan Design Week.

The Make it LEO team will be in Milan, meeting designers and creative industries using 3D printing. If you would like to meet, a short email will do the trick: