A two-year course (competition, workshop, exhibition) to relaunch a new design culture in the contemporary world

Conceived by Fondazione Franco Albini and Franco Albini Academy, promoted and developed with Rubner Haus in collaboration with Studio Albini Associati, Scuola del Design del Politecnico di Milano and Scuola di Architettura Urbanistica Ingegneria delle Costruzioni (AUIC) Politecnico di Milano, "Progettare futuri possibili" is a two-year course that was created to relaunch a new design culture in the contemporary world, experiment innovative construction solutions in wood and offer a platform for visibility to young talents.

A competition, a workshop, a prototype

Three stages: a competition for the design of a light, innovative, sustainable, recyclable wooden structure with a strong design that enhances the constructive performance of wood, and at the same time, transformable, versatile and modular; a week-long workshop at Casa Albini in Sardinia where the three winners of the competition will be led to explore a new approach to design through interdisciplinary techniques and the Albini Method that will lead them to break down individual projects into parts, search for the essence of each one and recompose them into a single collective project born of co-creation; the last stage a prototype of the wooden structure born in co-creation, realised by Rubner Haus and exhibited during Design Week 2024 to then find its permanent location at Casa Albini.

Innovation and sustainability

"Casa Albini was born out of the need to open up horizons in Covid time, to create a place where we can come together again inspired by the culture of the project and the boundless horizons of the Sardinian skies," explains Paola Albini, president of Fondazione Franco Albini and founder of Franco Albini Academy. "It is a bit of a dream come true, a home for projects that reflect on the theme of innovation and sustainability, providing answers to contemporary needs and visibility for young talent. This project, this meeting with Rubner Haus, the Milan Polytechnic, the Sassari Order of Architects and other institutional partners (Associazione per il Design Industriale, Salone del Mobile.Milano and with the support of Triennale Milano), has allowed the format to come to life to leave a mark of what could become a citadel of innovation immersed in nature available to the community. A concrete manifestation of projects that involve cultural, academic, corporate and media institutions and are the outcome of the field application of Franco Albini's Method. A Method that is an orientation signpost for design that stems from the ability to collaborate and co-create solutions."

Designing meeting places

Aimed at young architects under 35 and students in their final year of the School of Design of the Milan Polytechnic and the School of Architecture Urban Planning Construction Engineering (AUIC) Milan Polytechnic, the competition challenges participants to design a multifunctional place that encourages encounters and is able to host interdisciplinary activities for the integration of body and mind, cultural activities with educational and entertainment purposes, and small commercial businesses. By the first week of June 2023, the three most deserving projects will be selected and will receive their awards at a public ceremony at Triennale Milano on 15 June.

A collective co-creation project

Casa Albini is a place of inspiration and beauty immersed in the setting of Gallura in Sardinia and a house museum furnished with furniture designed by Franco Albini re-edited. Here the three winners will spend seven intense days in which Franco Albini Accademy, with the technical support of Rubner Haus engineers, will accompany them in an experiential and interdisciplinary workshop to bring to life, through a process of decomposition, search for the essence, recomposition, verification and social responsibility, a single collective co-creation project. The experience will be documented in a VideoSeries showing the evolution of thought throughout the process.

On display during Design Week 2024

The collective project born in co-creation will then be realised by Rubner Haus and the installation will be exhibited in one of the locations of the Milan Design Week 2024. After the exhibition, in line with the Rubner Haus and Franco Albini philosophy of durability and reuse, the installation will be placed at Casa Albini, a showcase of visibility and fulcrum of design actions and artistic events scheduled from next autumn. For updates and more information click here.

The three winning projects

Wunderkammer: where wood has its soul by Guillermo Sanchez Cardenas: the idea is inspired by the Wunderkammer or Cabinet of Curiosities, referring to the historical period when private collections were opened to the public, making 'wonders' accessible to all. In this case, people are the 'wonders' of architecture, it is they who give meaning to the space through the activities they perform.

On Stage by Carlo Farina: an architecture that follows the poetics of subtraction, pushed to the minimum necessary, to the essence of its function. But at the same time it guarantees a streamlined and impactful construction logic, devoted to the modularity and versatility of space. Space that, whether circumscribed or ideally determined, is to be considered "alive" especially when encounters and interactions take place within it.

The kit view, like a space to be composed that opens its gaze outwards by Veronica Pesenti Rossi: modules conceived free of a compositional scheme, except for the base to which they are to be fixed. The main idea is that they are without walls, without boundaries, but the possibility of interlocking panels to define an enclosed space was nevertheless considered. Without walls because the module itself is the wall, the boundary. Only one is designed closed, to contain the services.

The second phase of the route kicks off

Once the competition is over and three young talents have been selected, the second phase of the course kicks off: Carlo Farina, Veronica Pesenti Rossi and Guillermo Sanchez Cardenas, the winners of the competition, will spend an intensive experiential and interdisciplinary week together at Casa Albini in the nature of Gallura in Sardinia. Starting from their projects, they will be invited to explore the Albini Method which, in a process of decomposition, search for the essence, recomposition, verification and social responsibility, will lead them to create a single collective co-creation project.

A true format

"This Casa Albini pilot project is a true format that will be repeated every year, calling together companies, universities and institutions to make a tangible contribution to the development of innovation, collaboration and social responsibility. A home for projects that reflect on innovation and sustainabilitỳ. A project that in time could become a citadel of innovation immersed in the nature of Aglientu, available to the communitỳ. A concrete manifestation of projects that involve cultural, academic, corporate and media institutions and are the outcome of the field application of the Franco Albini Method,' explains Paola Albini, President of the Franco Albini Foundation and founder Franco Albini Academy.

The reality of creativity

The experience will be documented on social profiles (Instagram and Facebook) and on the Franco Albini Foundation website and made available online to share content of educational, creative and innovative value that can involve and inspire a wider audience. The social channels will be constantly updated in a sort of Reality of Creativity through the creation of contributions, photos, videos and interviews, to live together with the protagonists a unique experience of team building, discussions with experts, inspirations in nature, meetings with artisans.

The Inspiration Corner

A fixed appointment not to be missed every day between 6.30 pm and 7.00 pm will be the column The Inspiration Corner designed to raise awareness on current topics related to design: 22 September "Le affinità tra il Metodo Albini e il Design Thinking" - Francesco Zurlo, dean of the School of Design at Milan Polytechnic; 23 September "L'arte del dettaglio: Decomposing and recomposing in architecture' - Francesco Albini, architect at Studio Albini Associati; 24 September 'Where inspiration comes from' - Ico Migliore, co-founder Migliore + Servetto and professor at Milan Polytechnic; 25 September 'The soul of wood' - Claudia Dei, engineer at Rubner Haus; 26 September 'History as a design component' - Giampiero Bosoni, professor at Milan Polytechnic; 27 September 'What is sustainability in architecture' - Ilaria Valente, professor at Milan Polytechnic.

A new generation of architects

"We want to continue the conversation started before the summer about the incredible capabilities of wood as a building material and bring the new generation of architects into the limelight by giving them the opportunity to experience a unique approach to design and to emerge," emphasises Martin Oberhofer, Managing Director of Rubner Haus.

Towards 2024

The last stage of the project is scheduled for 2024 with three important appointments. Firstly, the screening of the Docufilm of the experience, supported by Cassina and Codice Icona, to tell how the Albini Method, combined with the ingredients of the natural context, the coexistence of a group in the name of creativity and empowerment, and co-designing, can effectively enhance talent. Secondly, the exhibition of the prototype of the wooden structure born in co-creation, which will bè built by Rubner Haus itself and brought on display during Milan Design Week 2024 at one of the most iconic locations of the Fuorisalone. Lastly, the installation will be permanently located on the grounds of Casa Albini in Sardinia, where it will continue to perform its function of welcoming and bringing together meetings, projects and experiences.