Master in Ecodesign: interview with lecturer Alessandro Garlandini


Alessandro Garlandini is designer and co-founder of theVespaionetwork of professionals dealing with ecodesign and sustainabilitydesigning installations, objects and merchandising by reusing production waste from companies and organising projects to raise awareness on environmental issues, educational exhibitions, kits for schools and videos for children on climate change and the circular economy. Among the many initiatives, also murals and works exhibited in prestigious museums, airports, hospitals, schools, or in all places where Design can be enjoyed as a message of social beauty.
Italian Design Institute today has the honour of having among its lecturers the Master in Ecodesign a professional like Garlandini.
We caught up with him to find out more about him and his business.

Eco Design: where are we in Italy? That is, how far has this sector entered the mindset of the customer who buys and the companies that produce?
There is a lot of talk about eco-design and the circular economy, but the most innovative eco-design projects that come to mind are almost all from Northern Europe. Even among my Italian design colleagues, I notice that the environmental impact of their projects is not always given due attention, and more often than not, more importance is given to aesthetic, formal, functional or emotional aspects. This also applies to companies, which often do not consider the entire product life cycle, do not care enough about where materials come from, how suppliers work and what happens to the product after it is sold. The most interesting examples of circular economy come from sectors that we usually don't think about when we talk about product design: food, fashion, app development, mobility.

Teaching Eco Design: where do we start and what is the response of students today?
I think we need to invest a lot in education at every level: schools, universities, training courses for companies. That's why I think a new master's degree in Eco Design is important. When I went to university 15-20 years ago, I rarely heard about sustainability in lectures; when lecturers taught me about design they never started from an overview of the entire life cycle of products/services. I still remember in the campus cafeteria, students admiring household items made of non-recyclable plastic, sofas with metal frames embedded in polyurethane that could not be disassembled, super-polluting fast cars. Fortunately, today's students are much more sensitive to environmental issues, so it is important to provide them with the elements to become careful designers who can help companies think in a circular way.

What is the Vespa? How does it originate? And why this name?
ilVespaio is a network of professionals working on eco-design and environmental awareness. We are a team of creatives, researchers and educators and since 2008 we have been organising projects to raise awareness on environmental issues, events, exhibitions, competitions of ideas and workshops, involving companies, institutions, communities, schools and families. We also design merchandising and displays from production waste and household waste. When we chose the name ilVespaio, we were looking for a name that came from the natural world and expressed movement, dynamism and creative chaos. We therefore thought of wasps, insects considered useless and annoying by man. In reality, they also contribute to pollination, but unlike bees, wasps proudly do not allow themselves to be domesticated and do not work for man, and instead exploit attics and lofts to create their nests.

Tell us about an Eco Design project of yours that you are particularly fond of?
Each project is like a child, we put love, care and responsibility into it. If I really have to choose a project, I would tell you about Taca Lì, which is one of the latest. Taca Lì is a recycled plastic joint that allows you to connect pipes to create modular and circular fittings. The funny thing is that we produce it ourselves, recycling bottle caps collected from schools with the plastic recycling machines we made ourselves, following the Precious Plastic projects.


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Company data

Sviluppo Europa s.r.l.
Via Albricci, 9 - 20122 Milan
P.I. 10282190965
unique code: M5UXCR1
[email protected]

Province Register Office. chamber of commerce Milan Monza Brianza Lodi
Fiscal Code is the VAT number
REA number MI-2519496
Share Capital 10,000

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