Milan Design Week returns in effect for its 60th anniversary.

Designers and brands, both established and emerging, embraced the many faces of craftsmanship from different cultures.

“I feel that every time there is a big change in culture and technology, crafts and local means of production resurface in a very important way,” said Ms. Antonelli, “a kind of slow design similar to the idea of slow food, of course we still have the industrial means of production, but now we have in a sense reevaluated and valued the modes of production that are not necessarily industrial.”

An exhibition highlighting craft, identity and stories was ‘This Is America’, which featured a diverse selection of independent American designers. The curators, Jenny Nguyen, Liz Wert and Alma Lopez, focused on broad talent and intimate, sometimes poignant dimensions of independent color designers. One work that personally moved Ms. Lopez was by Monica Curiel, a Mexican-American designer whose artistic use of plaster was a meaningful nod to her immigrant father, a construction worker, elevating the modest material.

Audrey Range, a designer based in Rotterdam, demonstrated the evolving lead of hybridized handicrafts with her “Emissive Chandelier”, the latest in her ongoing series of works created by a combination of digital rendering and 3D printing processes – a personal “digital sculpting technique”, such as she described it. The resulting work was an iridescent lavender, pale green and silver and with a whimsical, glossy surface visually reminiscent of brocade. Meanwhile, famed designer Martino Gamper presented “Innesto (rubbing on the wrong tree),” in which he applied the plant transplant analogy to upcycle a set of damaged vintage Cox furniture from the 1930s by inserting segments of furniture legs and surface details. to create a visual mash-up of old and new. “Sometimes you don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” said Mr. Gamper, “maybe just a detail or a certain connection, as with trees.”

One thing that hadn’t changed was the fusion of the fashion and furniture worlds, which have become increasingly close bedfellows over the past decade, with luxury brands like Dior, Hermès and Louis Vuitton investing heavily in their presence. Loewe’s presentation, ‘Weave, Restore, Renew’, shed light on regenerative craft practices from Spain, Galicia and Korea that emphasize the beauty of old age and repair; each has a collection of four new woven bag designs made from straw, leather and paper with drawstring.

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