Lidewij Edelkoort, often called Li, is an iconic Dutch trend forecaster, curator publisher and educator who “lives in the future.” She focuses on the links between art, fashion, design and consumer culture, Edelkoort pioneered trend forecasting as a profession, providing design and lifestyle analysis for the world’s leading brands. Since 1992, her magazines have been highly influential throughout creative industries.
What are you looking forward to seeing at Milan Design Week?
I always love seeing who’s exhibiting at Rossana Orlandi’s space and Formafantasma’s guest collaboration with Fabbrica is something I’ve been looking forward to this year. I’m also curious to see Droog, who is doing something interesting about the beauty of hardware.
Where will you definitely dine while in Milan?
I always like the old school trattorias, such as Rigolo and Trattoria Milanese. But I may have to succumb to an emergency avocado tempura at Nobu!
Best place for an espresso/quick bite?
Rossana Orlandi’s courtyard is a great place to eat because the atmosphere is festive and the proceeds go to a Catholic charity supporting the rehabilitation of troubled youth.
What are some of the highlights of Design Week, in your opinion?
I’m of course looking forward to presenting GATHERING, the exhibition we have curated in Ventura Lambrate’s LAP space, since it brings together furniture by Anthon Alvarez, Kiki! van Eijk, Floris Wubben, Nendo, Patricia Urquiola and Tokujin Yoshioka among others. There are also avant-garde fashion garments, including 132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE and Barbara i Gongini. In other parts of town, schools such as ECAL and Design Academy Eindhoven will surely present inspiring recent graduate works.
Which particular events will you be attending during Design Week?
I’m planning to go to Vitra’s “The Global Shift: Who shapes the future of design?” symposium at Palazzo Clerici. The influence of design coming from the southern hemisphere is definitely an emerging trend.
WHERE WILL YOU BE STAYING? OR WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE HOTEL IN MILAN?
The Grand Hotel never lets you down if you’re looking for an authentic grand hotel experience with reliable bar food, especially when you can’t get a table elsewhere.
ONE PIECE OF ADVICE FOR A FIRST TIME GOER.
If you have the budget, get a driver for a day so you can zip around to all the shows you want to see that are dispersed all over town. Book restaurants at 10 PM so that you have time to go to openings while still having dinner reservations lined up. Don’t waste time at the beginning of the week when you’re getting warmed up since by Thursday you will realise that the list of to-do things is impossibly long. Skip Tortona.
FAVORITE DESIGN MOVEMENT OR TREND AT THE MOMENT?
GATHERING illustrates how some designers are creating hybrids that bring together man and machine, innovating industrial processes for serial production that is sill part of the craft movement. Big questions on everyone’s minds at the moment are how can producers reinvent design retailing and how can design appeal to people who want to consume less? On the eve of this year’s Salone, Hella Jongerius and Louise Schouwenberg released a manifesto against our unjust need for newness; this statement reflects the bigger social picture that will challenge design, fashion and consumption in the decades to come.