Clariant, a focused and innovative specialty chemical company, through its ColorWorks design & technology centers, is joining three Italian companies during Milan Design Week 2019 to help introduce designers and brand owners to the exciting world of color. Every year, Milan Design Week attracts almost half a million visitors to the city to share ideas and explore the new frontiers of design in all markets. This year’s event takes place from 9-14 April.
Materioteca, Milan, Italy, a non-profit organization created to promote, disseminate and develop knowledge of the performance, capabilities and application methods of man-made materials, is the creator of an exhibit in the Zona Tortona, the most dynamic design district in the city. The other partners are: Radicifil, a Synthetic Fibers Company, member of Radici Group, Casnigo, Italy, a global leader in production of synthetic carpet yarns, and Brado, Treviso, Italy, a developer and manufacturer of unique, colorful seating designs, widely exported, many of which are made mostly or entirely of plastics.
In the exhibit, the 8th edition of Fuori di Design, visitors will be invited to an immersive visual experience built around the five colors of ‘care-LESS,’ one of the trend themes from ColorForward 2020, the 14th edition of Clariant’s annual color forecasting guide for plastics.
Diana Castiglione, one of the founders of Materioteca, says, “Milan Design Week is something extraordinary. It allows us to have a fruitful exchange with some of the thousands of creative people attending the fair, inspiring and encouraging them to interpret ColorForward’s trend into plastic products and prototypes.”
Enrico Biasibetti, digital manager for Brado, agrees that Milan Design Week is “the most important design event in Europe.” He expects that participating in the Fuori di Design exhibit will allow his company “to connect with designers, students and artists, who are not our classical customers, and demonstrate that we have a good understanding of color and how to use it.”
Guests entering the exhibit will pass through translucent polycarbonate panels colored in shades of green, yellow, blue and red that characterize the ‘care-LESS’ theme. At the end of this corridor there is a wider space divided into five sections, one for each of the theme colors. The display will feature carpeting made of Radici yarn, furniture by Brado and other artifacts provided by Materioteca and its guest designers – all produced using the five colors.
Everything is positioned so that visitors must zig-zag through the showroom. This colorful chaos is intended to reflect the social trend of ‘care-LESS’, which has to do with how people today come to grips with the ceaseless onslaught of information about disturbing events. As their emotional energy drains, they seek tools to help them ‘stay normal.’ As consumers work at inventing effective coping strategies, ColorForward 2020 predicts they will be drawn to colors like ‘Hug me not,’ a soft, cool cactus light green’ and a darker pearlescent green named ‘Full. Stop.’ A bright yellow called ‘Unshockable’ symbolizes determination. Other colors in this grouping include ‘Sensorial gate,’ a friendly transparent red, and ‘SQUIRREL!,’ a transparent light blue with a sparkle that gives it a frozen look.
Representing Radici’s Performance Yarn Business Area, Marketing Manager Arturo Andreoni explains that his team needs to “keep up with trends in color and design. This is why we appreciate the work Clariant is doing with ColorForward, and it is why we are participating in Fuori di Design. We want to show that we are not passive. We want to engage with designers so we can help carpet producers make good decisions about the yarns we produce.”
“The designers and artists attending Milan Design Week can benefit greatly from a better understanding how color influences the perception of their products,” shares Judith van Vliet, ColorWorks designer and a leader of the ColorForward team. “We hope to make them more aware that there are resources available to them from experts like Clariant and Materioteca, which can help them make better products and be more successful in the marketplace.” ColorWorks and ColorForward are services of the Clariant Masterbatches business unit, which supplies color concentrates for everything from packaging to automotive parts to carpet fibers.