Bla Bla and Milano Makers


This post is part of the project: “The Social Impact of Milan Design Week 2013″

Bla Bla is an exhibition of the “Non-Serial” Independent Design by MIMA-Milano Makers. It was held in the Cathedral of the Fabbrica del Vapore. Alessandro Mendini was the curator and Duilio Forte the exhibition designer.

MIMA – Milano Makers

Milano Makers is a non-profit cultural association. It aims to promote, support and consolidate social, civil and cultural activities that focus on autonomous production also known as independent production, which is considered as a moment of social affirmation of its authors.

The exhibition

The exhibition main aim is to support and enhance the value of “Non-Serial” autonomous production in design. It was divided in two sections:

Section one: Bla Bla. Virtual Discussion

A video installation that reproduces on a big screen a selection of personnel declarations and opinions of selected international designers.

Section two: Bla Bla. Examples

A selection of small exhibitions of examples, concepts and experimental products by independent designers:

ARKIZOIC BELLUM, curator Duilio Forte

DESIGN AL TOMBOLO. PROGETTO DI UN INTRECCIO, curator Ethnography and Social History Archive, AESS – Lombardia Region, E.CH.I. Project responsible Ilaria Guglielmetti

DUETTO, curator Anna Gili

EXTRACCESSORIES, curator Nuala Goodman

ISHINOMAKI LABORATORY, curator Rossella Menegazzo & Yuko Noguchi

MANO E TERRACOTTA, curator Maria Christina Hamel

MATERIAPRIMA, curator Alessandro Marelli

M.M.M. MILANO MAKERS MUSIC, curator Caroline Tallone

NATURAL DESIGN EXHIBITION, curator Maurizio Corrado

PLAY COMMUNS, curator Ultra Ordinaire

RECESSION DESIGN, curator Recession Design

NUOVE RESINE, curator Carmine Deganello with FabLab from Amesterdam

TERRA CRUDA, curator Mina Bardiani, Claudia Mendini, Alessandro Ranavolo

Ulaola, The first online boutique of autonomous Italian design, developed the Milano Makers e-shop. it made it also possible, during the exhibition, to visualize and buy all the exhibited items through a QR Code.


The Swart Contest by, a web platform that promotes quality Italian hand made products, selected the best-exhibited products. Umberto Dattola was the winner for his “MACNI” product. Two mentions were given to “TALI” of Iskra Sguera, and “REGGILUCE” of Luigi Fumagalli.

Economic, Social & Environmental Impacts

Economic empowerment: the exhibition supported, promoted and enhanced the value of independent designers work. It also offered an e-shop service during the exhibition through a QR Code, and a permanent e-shop platform to hep them promote and sell their unique products.

Social / Cultural empowerment: The exhibition supported and promoted several hand made techniques and production processes, and therefore it contributed to safeguard the related “intangible cultural heritage”.

Eco-friendly production: The production techniques and processes of the exhibited products were eco-friendly, mainly made by hand and with machines that have no impact on the environment during their use.

Photos: courtesy of,,

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