The design industry has just returned from its annual migration to Milan Design Week to find out what’s hot and what not in the world of products and furniture. In amongst the concepts, prototypes and Instagramable installations, we’ve routed out five products with the potential to change the way we live.

Pollution-absorbing textiles by Dassault Systèmes and Kengo Kuma

Kengo Kuma and Dassault Systemes' 'Breath/ng' installation at Milan Design Week
Photography: Luke Hayes

As we urbanise, so air quality becomes an increasing concern. Dassault Systèmes and Kengo Kuma and Associates collaborated on ‘Breath/ng’, a striking installation made from 175 sqm of a fabric called ‘the breath technology’ that can absorb up to 90,000 cars worth of pollution. Developed by Anemotech, the fabric captures the pollution and cleans the particles. The aim of the installation was to inspire architects to consider the potential of such fabrics that can be used inside and out and even printed on.

Living pods by Studiomama and MINI Living

Studiomama's MINI Living installation at Milan Design Week
Photography: MINI Living

By 2050, 66% of the world’s population will live in cities. In search of a solution to the space crisis, MINI Living’s Built By All installation designed by Studiomama took over a disused warehouse, filling it with communal spaces and personal ‘living pods’ with a footprint of just a few square metres each, designed for different personality types. Every pod can be customised by its inhabitants. A real-life version of this co-living community, housing 50 micro-apartments, is slated for completion in Shanghai in April 2019.

‘Bloom’ bench and loom hybrid by Nikobo Design

Bloom bench by Nikobo at Milan Design Week
Courtesy of Nikobo

Nikobo’s Bloom bench with integrated loom encourages us to ‘weave while we wait’ and is evidence of the growing return of craft (seen across Milan Design Week, from the Mindcraft exhibition to the Wallpaper* Handmade showcase), as both object and pastime. The benefits of craft to wellbeing are set to transform leisure time, moving us away from screens towards more creative and productive pursuits.

‘PS’ sculpture by Théophile Blandet

Photography: Ronald Smits

Mutant Matter was an exhibition exploring the material potential of waste streams by Dutch Invertuals and FranklinTill. Theophile Blandet‘s ‘PS’ sculpture, fetishises non-reusable plastic waste such as polystyrene, in the belief that plastic production will soon be banned, giving the material the value and allure of ivory – all of which asks the question, can we live without plastic?

‘Discover the Joy of Discipline’ healing set by Le Gramme and Lobmeyr

'Discover the joy of discipline' by Le Gramme and Lobmeyr for Wallpaper* Handmade
Courtesy of Wallpaper*

The healing set ‘Discover the Joy of Discipline’, designed by Le Gramme and made by Lobmeyr for Wallpaper* Handmade’s Wellness + Wonder exhibition, was conceived to encourage a ‘meditative start to the day’ reflecting current wellbeing trends. A lava stone tray and five glass vessels encourage a morning ritual including everything from daily vitamins to drinking water and eating fruit. Just the way to kickstart your day.

Read next: ‘Furniture Pimp’ Jim Walrod’s personal collection is heading for auction



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