By Nourhane Es Sari

Anniina Koivu alla premiazione di The Lost Graduation Show. Foto di Diego Ravier.
Anniina Koivu presenting The Lost Graduation Show. Courtesy Salone del Mobile.Milano. Photo by Diego Ravier.

After a few years of uncertainty, the long-awaited Supersalone, the 2021 special event of Salone del Mobile took place in Milan in the second week of September. The city ensured a safe environment and hosted more than 420 brands and 60.000 visitors. The number of international buyers and the rush to get the tickets were a clear signal of the “revival of the city and the whole country”, as President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella underlined.

Among the 1.900 projects exhibited at the Supersalone, The Lost Graduation Show was the one that gave space to young designers that graduated during the pandemic, between 2020 and 2021. We interviewed Anniina Koivu, a well-known writer of design and the curator of the exhibition.

Could you please explain to us the project The Lost Graduation Show and why it was born?

The Lost Graduation Show was born out of necessity. For two years we have been detached from young design. So, the idea of doing a large graduation show that brings designers from all around the world onto one stage was quite obvious. Maybe, this is easy to say in retrospect, but it was the immediate idea.

Milan is considered by many the hub of design: what does it mean for a designer to be here?

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The Lost Graduation Show. Courtesy Salone del Mobile.Milano. Photo by Diego Ravier.

It is exciting to walk the aisles of the fair and see new design ideas on such dense pace. Especially after a two-year break. In particular we were excited to be able to exhibit young design in the very heart of the fair and next to companies and renowned designers. That was a unique opportunity.

What opportunities does Milan offer to young designers?

Milan is a showcase but even more importantly a meeting point. Formal and informal meetings are the essence of a week in town. Those meetings can imbue new projects for the next year(s) to come. So, the fair is overwhelming but also exhilarating at the same time.

In your opinion, how did the pandemic change the world of design?

If we consider The Lost Graduation Show, we can see the last two years influence both, the interests of designers as well as their attitude. On one hand there are many projects that speak about the medical sector, well-being and the human body. Other works represent alternatives to production and distribution process. Not having had access to production facilities, many projects propose DIY, self-made factories.

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The Lost Graduation Show. Courtesy Salone del Mobile.Milano. Photo by Diego Ravier.

All together, it is fascinating to see a proactive and positive attitude among the young designers. They take matters into their own hands, without waiting for an invitation. I hope this is the proof of what we have often heard: Disruption can be a positive trigger for change.

What are the future perspectives of design?

If we follow the attitude of the young designers then we will soon see alternatives to the status quo, for example new materials, new production processes, new distribution ideas, and fresh proposals that go beyond good form and function.