Insights May 25, 2020

Creatives responding to a world in lockdown: Milan Design Week goes digital

Living Word
By Living Word

With traditional design exhibitions all on hold, an innovative design collective from Denmark has taken a hands-on approach to define what it means to be adaptive and ready to lead the way when design and technology merge in a post-coronavirus world.

When news of the coronavirus broke, few could immediately foresee the extent of the disruption it would cause – including to the design industry. With all traditional exhibitions, fairs and biennales now on hold until next year, many labels and brands have been left in limbo without a trusted channel to showcase the latest innovation in design.

Not so for the Danish brands that form a part of the Mindcraft Project 2020. Instead of the traditional – physical – exhibitions during Milan Design Week, the collective of Danish furniture and design brands is going fully digital this year. And the concept is due to launch already in June, meaning it’s taken just a few short months to adapt.

Where digital and physical merge

Indeed, the Mindcraft Project 2020 looks set to emerge as one of the pioneers leading the way to the future. In managing to transform and go digital so quickly, the organiser, Copenhagen Design Agency, has taken a proactive, hands-on role, defining what it will take to succeed going forward. Fittingly, this year’s project is built around exploration of the connections between the digital and the physical.

The fact that the collective has been able to transform into a fully digital format within just a few months is, however, perhaps no coincidence. Already in December 2019, it was announced that the Mindcraft Project 2020 would be designed by Wang & Söderström, a Copenhagen-based studio known for its pioneering work in fusing together digital and physical aspects of design, and looking at how they fit with the way we will lead our lives going forward.

The role of creative agencies in a post-lockdown world

A lot of things may be up in the air at the moment, but this digital exhibition, by a collective that has participated in Milan Design Week since 2008, gives an indication of what the role of the design industry might be in a post-lockdown world. We’re excited to see what other design hubs and creative agencies will come up with.