During Milan Design Week, Capsule Plaza rethinks radical design for the younger generation Hypebeast

2024-04-18 11:00:50

Capsule Plaza, co-curated by Capsule magazine founder and creative director Alessio Ascari and architect Paul Cournet, was a highlight of last year’s Milan Design Week. As part of Milan Design Week 2024, Capsule Plaza takes place at Spazio Maiocchi and 10 Corso Como, former industrial monuments of the Venetian port area.


In the design industry, the word “radical” has a special meaning. “Radical” was the name of a popular movement in Italy in the late 1960s, whose aesthetics and ideology were typically characterized by a resolute rejection of functionalism and a shift in what was generally accepted as “good taste” in architecture and design. Capsule Plaza specifically chose to take inspiration from this period, given that the entire industry was changing and design was moving in different directions.

For Alessio Ascari and Paul Cournet, current radicalism manifests itself in a blurring of creative boundaries. This trend has been around for a while in the art, fashion, music, and food industries, but the design industry has finally woken up to this trend in recent years. Design is the foundation of all creative fields, and this idea is integrated into the core philosophy of Capsule Plaza. Co-founder Paul Cournet said: “All the big brands we talk about, like Tacchini and Iitalla, were created by “radicals” who developed/designed products with very personal characteristics and gradually became mainstream. just.”

During Milan Design Week, Capsule Plaza rethinks radical design for the younger generation


Capsule was born three years ago in the form of an annual magazine. The second issue of the magazine is dedicated to the IRL exhibition and the content is exactly the same as last year’s exhibition at the Spazio Maiocchi showroom. The third issue, launching this week, has a similar feature. This year, however, a second location has been added to the show: 10 Corso Como. Capsule Plaza occupies this iconic Milan address and includes an installation and immersive exhibition created in collaboration with Verpan, a brand created by Danish architect and industrial designer Verner Panton, an exhibition of objects designed by Herzog & De Meuron, the brainchild of the collaboration between Format and Niceworkshop, and an ECCO Leather exhibition.

At Spazio Maiocchi, installations created in collaboration with independent designers including Rimowa, Nike, Tiffany&Co, Iitala, UGG and Ecco Leather are presented.

“Milan Design Week is very busy, but where do you remember it the most?” Indeed, visitors often do not have much time to stay in the installation exhibition and shuttle between the different exhibition spaces, hoping to see as much as possible. However, Capsule Plaza brings together so many things that you come away satisfied.

Paul Cournet tells us: “We can work with these legends while leaving room for a new generation. For us, this is the idea of ​​radical design today.” And Alessio Ascari adds: “For us, this is the idea of ​​radical design today. We see radical concepts in many projects, and although they are very different from each other, what they have in common is that they are. pushing the limits, innovative and disruptive.

Alessio Ascari and Paul Cournet met on Instagram during the COVID-19 pandemic. Alessio Ascari produced the art magazine “Kaleidoscope” and Paul Cournet was an architect at OMA. Alessio Ascari said: “Many of us suddenly found ourselves with little new stuff to consume, so magazines from the 60s, 70s and 80s were a huge source of inspiration for Capsule Plaza. I feel like back then they were much more advanced than today’s edition. industry.”

In addition to the perspective of “looking back,” both men are also increasingly aware of what is happening now. Alessio Ascari said: “We are seeing this change. Many young people are discovering the archives of fashion brands. At the same time, the concept of circular economy is becoming a major topic. This situation is slowly starting to penetrate the design field, and We Witness the wave of younger generations rediscovering design in the same way, the duo has also integrated this perspective into the Capsule Plaza platform, and this year this product category is even more obvious than the previous one. Within the walls of Spazio Maiocchi, the very concept of design is explored through its many aspects and results. Most importantly, bringing together brands and creators from all backgrounds to share a variety of stories, unite a variety of styles, and create a sense of community.

During Milan Design Week, Capsule Plaza rethinks radical design for the younger generation


The format seems to work, and if the number of times an installation has been included in various “Best of Milan Design Week” lists is any indication, these two are definitely on to something and have achieved their goal.

Milan may now be their place of origin and for Alessio Ascari and Paul Cournet, this form has global potential. Alessio Ascari said: “When we thought about bringing Capsule Plaza to the United States or Asia, we knew that it would have the same attitude and philosophy, but that its products would be more suited to where we are. . » Paul Cournet concluded: “In this”. global context In this crazy industry of design events, what we need to do is create a space that has a feeling of community.

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