#IdeaStore/Workshop @ polimi, interiors+product+communication 7-11 June 2021

The change in the significance of goods is a process that, ever since the end of the Industrial Revolution, has triggered far-reaching changes in society as the term has lost any meaning in relation to its purely functional character and increasingly come to represent symbolic and cultural contents.
Idea Store investigates future retail spaces as complex places combining many aspects that go beyond the spatial and functional to include the physical, social, cultural, and economic.
The Practice of Consumption explores what seems today to be one of the distinctive features we can use to describe the social, political and economic phenomenologies which, for better or worse, influence our lives.
Spaces for Goods are experimental and experiential, merging with public spaces, cultural and leisure spaces, exploring the possible relationship between public and business, public and public, product and public: spaces integrating a multitude of spatial and functional aspects in a complex network, crossed by systems of physical, social, cultural and economic.
The Idea Store is a metaphorical realm where products are becoming a system of values, expressions of how we live and imagine our lives, indicators of social and political choices and actions on the world, both
activator and facilitator.

WHAT IS AN IDEA STORE? Students of the Design School of Polimi have designed a spatial device able to foster and support the ideas we really care about. They have created space and campaign for 4 charities – Emergency, Choose Love, Shelter and Mind.

BITTERSWEET for Emergency

Bittersweet is a fictional project in association with EMERGENCY aimed at raising funds by making customers aware of the conditions of those they are helping. It is a temporary shop that sells fortune cookies containing informations about the places where the association operates. The contrast between the sweetness of the cookie and the message in the inside makes the experience bittersweet .

The spatial device of the temporary shop is inspired by the camps of Emergency, it’s a simple and practical tubular structure. There is an area where the packages of cookies are displayed on the stretchers, in another area there are four boxes each containing a type of biscuit. The third area is where you can compose your own packet of cookies with the help of the cashier and then pay.

These fortune cookies hide a message about what happens in the places where EMERGENCY works. The contrast between the sweetness of the cookie and the message on the inside, it makes the experience ‘bittersweet’ . By purchasing them, you become aware of what is happening there and you support their cause to help achieve these goals. Bittersweet is about a common good, simple food that can be of interest for people with different ages and different backgrounds. Aiming to involve people who are not usually interested in charity.

Explore all the details and the different ‘flavours’ of the fortune cookies on the Bittersweet website here and connect with the Bittersweet instagram and twitter campaign.

Bittersweet is a project by Anna Giulia Campiotti (Prodotto), Simone Restifo (Comunicazione), Andrea Ignazio Russo (Prodotto), Alessia Stifano (Prodotto), Kunhao Zhai (Interni)

CHOOSE (SELF) LOVE for Choose Love with Lush and Bloody Good Period

Creating a collaboration with Lush and Bloody Good Period allowed us to merge and amplify these charities’ values, while also creating a new line of products extremely coherent with the already existing ones. With the slogan “Choose Self Love” we wanted to bring the attention to the emerging topic of self care as an act of self love, which as a consequence allows us to better take care of others. Starting from the new line of products we sell, we created three different price categories of different Lush products: a single bath bomb, a bundle of Lush products (a gift box) and a gift card. Each category corresponds to a different donation on the Bloody Good Period end: a box of pads/tampons to refugees in need, a two months supply of menstrual products, sessions of emotional/educational support on period issues by an expert. Our selling space will be a wooden structure shaped like a deconstructed pad, divided into three curves of different lengths. There are 67 wooden boards in total, 30 for each long piece, 7 for the short one. Shelves consist in some of the wooden boards being able to rotate and get fixed at 180 by wooden legs attached to them; they are placed at four different heights and can either rotate on the inside, on the outside or both, thanks to a center pin. The structure itself can easily be placed in narrow places by lifting only the inside wooden boards.

You can find all the details Of the Choose (self) Love project in this mock up website and on the instagram and twitter campaign.

Choose (self) Love is a project by Malab Abuobaida Mohamed Ahmedalneel (Comunicazione), Agnese De Angelis (Prodotto), Francesco De Filpo (Interni), Alessia Francesca (Comunicazione), Serena Gargioni (Prodotto)


With PRINTED ON HOPE, a Shelter special program, we aim to rethink the regular Shelter shops, creating e completely new dynamic experience. The client will have the opportunity of buying premium handcrafted products, directly produced in the shop, together with the chance to learn new skills and participate in social events. Being an experienced team of 5 young professionals from various disciplines and nationalities, from spatial designers to crafty artists, we’ve been able to create a new space and offer quality products and prime activities. Our vision is to expand the model of a flexible space to other existing Shelter shops, helping to maximise the income, modernising the product range and connecting with a larger audience. Nonetheless this is the opportunity to transmit an important hope message. We’ll host events and keep growing trough artists collaborations, aiming to connect with the community and create a strong local identity. The spatial device we designed will be host in an open multifunctional space communicating the Shelter concept through a House-like shape. The storytelling is important and we want to create a deeper connection between the experience/product and the objectives of Shelter Charity.

To know much more about Printed on Hope, check the website and the instagram and facebook campaign.

Printed on Hope is a project by Maria Cruz (Interni), Federico Fanucchi (Prodotto), Antonino Ponzo (Interni), Nuno Gonzales Rabaque (Prodotto), Silvia Sghirinzetti (Comunicazione).


We won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect. We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. This pandemic is not only a physical health crisis, it’s also a mental health one Don’t undervalue the importance of socialisation for your mental health. Now that the lockdown is easing, how are you feeling? A new line of hemp scented herbal tea will be sold in our new shop in Milan. Our double box it’s designed for you to share half of it with a long-time friend, a loved one, or maybe someone met in our store. This is a store that focuses on Mind, is made of wood to enhance a natural feeling to the shop. It is divided into two areas and connected by a seesaw in the middle. The ‘seesaw’ is the hinge between the spaces and the core of the concept and of the communication approach – you need to work with another person to raise your seesaw to reach the tea you want to buy.

To better appreciate Connect Your Mind there is a website (only for mobile!) here and and Instagram campaign here.

Connect Your Mind is is a project by Tianxin Feng (Interni), Yunchuan Gao (Interni), Yuqi Ma (Prodotto), Tomas Morande’ (Prodotto), Andrea Occhetta (Comunicazione), Zhigang Xiao (Prodotto).

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Edible Futures | Final Chapter

To conclude our digital Landscape Design Studio, we asked our students to produce a mini lecture about their work, choosing one aspect of their design to talk about as they were giving a little talk to the design community – this is happening a lot recently and maybe is one of the most interesting things happening over this ‘remote’ working/teaching/learning condition.

Five minutes max is not enough to talk about everything that has been done, so they had to choose carefully which aspect of their project is more interesting to broadcast.

Here’s a selection of the most interesting videos by our young designers:









Click here to watch the complete video playlist on Youtube!

Thanks to Francesca Murialdo, Silvia Girardi, Agnese Rebaglio, Francesco Garofalo, Margherita Rasio, Alice Zingales, Ludovica Barcucci and all the international students from the 1st year MSc Interior and Spatial Design – Landscape @PoliMi

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Edible Futures @Fuorisalone.tv

We never thought that digital could replace what happens in Milan during the Design Week. There are things that will never be virtualized. However, the 2020 digital edition is a starting point.

During the dates which were supposed to host the event, FuoriSalone.it decided to create an online platform broadcasting design videos and talks, by moving out of its official spaces, becoming accessible to all through the use of custom tools and services.

The Edible Futures team has been selected to present the London low-line and the amazing research of the young designers!

Click here to watch the full Edible Futures video on FuoriSalone.tv

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Edibile Futures | Design Portfolio

The Edible Futures Design Studio comes to the end and we are celebrating it sharing the great results reached by the Politecnico di Milano students.

During the exam they will present a collection of all the work done to develop and to communicate their projects, including some amazing videos. 

We are pleased to share a preview before the final presentation happening next Friday – come back to have more!

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Edible Futures | Design Development Exhibition

The aim of the Design Development Review is to demonstrate how the young designers are interpreting their brief in connection to the context they are working with, as to test how their ideas fit in the chosen existing space.

The Design Development makes sure that the narrative, user and actions/behaviours, which were the focus of the brief, are translated into spatial solutions, developing the architectural programme in the details at the same time.

In order to exploit the site potential, the key to understand the interventions is the storyboard that communicates how the building is used: the narrative, sequence of space and hierarchy can be tested through diagrams, orthographic drawings and 3D models.

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Edible Futures Ideas Review

The aim of the Ideas Review is to demonstrate the design tactics and approach to the brief and site, testing a strategy of intervention for the chosen building and beginning to explore form and programme.

Starting from a defined brief, focusing on the actions/functions, users and context, the Ideas Review helps our young designers to make sure that the narrative, user and actions/behaviors defined in the brief, are beginning to translate into spatial solutions.

They worked with diagrams and simple models first and contextualizing these within the building envelope, then with a range of materials that allowed them to manipulate form and articulate the relationship between old and new that you want to establish.

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Edible Futures Ideas in progress

Scrolling through the first ideas review, some amazing diagrams, concepts and visualizations presented for the Edible Futures Lowline design projects by Politecnico di Milano students.

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Edible Models

Some frames from the clips of the edible models prepared by our quarantined designers in their kitchens to present the spatial and material qualities of their researches and ideas for #ediblefutures – hope one day we will taste the final models of the #lowline redesign!

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Edible Futures | coronavirus + research

Despite the Coronavirus spreading in Italy, we thought to make a start anyway recording few videos to start working on our schedule and trying to make the most of our time by letting our young designers starting working at the individual research part of the course.

To prompt the design decisions, the students needed to research what Edible Future might mean, exploring three different main research streams:

A/ Food Politics

B/ Food Cultures 

C/ Food Futures 

From the research they gathered information to underpin the ideas for their design project in order to start investigating the given site, producing evidence of these investigations. 

Both the site analysis and the thematic research aim at providing the framework for the design proposal. The students are working towards the production of a series of outcomes that explore narratives, qualities and materiality in relation to their research, also identifying case studies of Edible Futures spaces.

At the same time, the Adaptive Reuse aspect of a continuous reinvention has been investigated, challenging the existing architectural fabric and context, in order to come up with new ideas to re-use existing spaces and to put forward the students’ interpretation to meet the user’s needs and desires – going through tools and strategies for adapting buildings. 

See the students’ works here

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Edible Futures

Edible Futures / Landscape and Interior – Spatial Design Studio 2 @Polimi 

–  Food Politics, Food Cultures and Food Futures  –

‘Food is entering a period of radical technological reinvention that some predict will be as world-changing as the agricultural and industrial revolutions. The potential for technology to disrupt how we grow, distribute and experience food is catalyzing global conversations about the needs, values and aspirations embedded in our food systems.’¹

Food, its production and consumption is obviously fundamental to our biology, but the invisible infrastructure that feeds us is overlaid with what Dan Barber describes as ‘a web of relationships’ where our health, social status and cultural heritage intersect with both local and global politics. 

According to Catherine Flood and May Rosenthal Sloan, in their introduction to Food: Bigger Than the Plate, food ‘shines a light onto social inequality and difference, while acting as the ultimate equalizer.’²  Food can bring us together and it can set us apart. It facilitates social interaction, bonds families and communities, and provides an income to many. Yet it also highlights the gap between rich and poor. Access to good quality food is also a growing concern, for where there is food poverty there is also a plethora of related health problems largely linked to obesity – really cheap food is bad for us and increases the likelihood of ill health and even early death. 

Food creates waste. Food packaging is also a huge concern, especially where this includes non-reusable plastics. It is clear that as individual consumers we need to interrogate the choices that we make with regards to what we consume and how. 

As designers we have also been concerned with the relationship between food and pleasure. Eating is as much a sensorial experience as it is a biological need, and the environments within which we enjoy food have the capacity to transform our complex relationship to it – ‘any vision for the future of food needs to account for deliciousness and pleasure (for all), both as a goal in its own right and because pleasure is a powerful motivational force for change.’³

activity + typology of use + topic

The intention of the Design Studio is to arrive at a set of design proposals that intersect the production, trade, preparation and/ or consumption of food as well as its waste products, exploring the typologies of Food Politics, Food Cultures and Food Futures.

Read the Brief Intro here

¹ Catherine Flood and May Rosenthal Sloan, eds., Food: Bigger Than the Plate (V&A Publishing, 2019), p.11.
² Flood and Rosenthal Sloan, ibid, p.21.
³ ibid, p.25.
Edible Futures is a design brief that has been devised and written by Francesca Murialdo and Naomi House for the Interior Architecture programme at Middlesex University. The brief, in its different versions, according to the context and year group, has been used so far for year 2 and year 3 student and translated and adopted at Hong Kong University Space  and ICS College of Arts in Tokio.
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