Subject on Vacation: The Independent Design Festival Takes Its Eighth Edition to Tropea, Italy.

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Materia Design Festival, known for its annual event in Cataranzo, ventured to the picturesque village of Tropea in Calabria, Italy for its eighth edition. From September 27 to 30, 2023, design enthusiasts were treated to Materia on Vacation, an independent design festival exploring the world of creativity inspired by travel and tourism.

Organized by Officine AD and under the artistic direction of renowned Calabrian designer Antonio Aricò, Materia on Vacation featured a range of exhibitions, talks, and special guests. The festival kicked off with an opening speech by Birgit Lohmann, founder of designboom.

One of the festival’s highlights was a mesmerizing inflatable installation titled La GIGA Tropeana, located in the Belvedere of Piazza del Cannone. Created by Antonio Aricò, the installation added a striking visual element to the festival. Aricò also showcased his inflatable swim rings, as well as other works from his Magna Graecia and Bronzi di Riace collections.

The festival welcomed international guests who participated in talks and exhibitions. Among them were Emma Bruschi, a designer based in Marseille, and Bethan Laura Wood, a London-based designer known for her laminate work for Nilufar.

In addition to the exhibitions and talks, the festival also featured an exhibition of products designed by young designers from around the world who participated in the “Materia in Vacanza” CALL. The layout of this exhibition was curated by designer Natalia Carere, and it showcased the works of artistic director Antonio Aricò within Villa Paola.

The young designers who participated in the “Materia in Vacanza” CALL had the opportunity to compete for the prestigious “Guglielmo Papaleo” Award from Guglielmo spa. Among the selected participants were established Festival followers like Sapiens Design Studio with their project “Pirò” and Marlisa Marasco with “Essentia,” as well as new participants like Formapensiero-Laruffa Rovere Architetti with “La pietra e la luce” and Danae Dasyra and Joe Bradford with “Cobralily.”

Materia Design Festival’s venture to Tropea provided a unique platform for designers to showcase their creativity and foster collaborations, creating an important impact on the Mediterranean area’s creative and craftsmanship industries. With its focus on travel and tourism, this edition of the festival introduced a captivating narrative that celebrated the charm of design in a vacation setting.

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