From the 31st of May to the 27th of July, innovation and digital culture inhabited the spaces of Milan’s Triennale with the special programme of Future Ways of Living, created in collaboration with Meet the Media Guru.
The conference cycle – even though it might be reductive to call it so – centred on the future of design and brought to Milan some of the most interesting interpreters of the global scene, inviting them to reflect, together with the public, on the subject of the Triennale exhibition Design After Design.
The special guests that livened up the meetings were the Kenyan Mugendi K. M’Rithaa, president of the World Design Organization, activist and university professor in Cape Town and strong promoter of African design, Jonathan Woetzel, manager of McKinsey China, John Thackara, journalist and design theorist, and Luigi Ferrara, architect and director of the George Brown College Institute without Boundaries of Toronto. Prestigious names of the cultural panorama, all of which had in common the capacity of envisioning and the originality of their research perspectives.
The closing event of this fascinating journey was entrusted to a particularly interesting guest, Arjun Appadurai, American anthropologist of Indian origins, author of The Future as a Cultural Fact and among the greatest experts of post-colonial studies and globalization. Appadurai, who is also Goddard Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University, closed the 2016 edition talking about the future from a particular perspective; that of the ethnography of aspiration, a cryptical term that encloses a fascinating idea. In other words, the design of a community’s future depends on a system of values linked to the local dimension in which that very same community is located, on its history and its language. In this perspective, the future becomes a project and not simply “fate”. The awareness of human beings is crucial; by imagining the future, the possibilities of intervention are directly determined.
To scrutinize Appadurai’s thought on “diffused modernity”, on urbanization and the impact of media in developing countries, on migratory fluxes and a lot of other key themes of the contemporary debate, we advise you to read this article on Ceasfire Magazine. An occasion to imagine a possible future, starting from the current situation, discovering unexpected resources even in a present teeming with conflicts and challenges.