The winning projects of the NABA Design Award 2023 show the attention of new generations towards a meaningful design, attentive to the most burning current issues

As befits a design award from a training school from which the creatives of the future traditionally emerge, the NABA Design Award 2023 highlighted where international talent is heading. And the direction is that of commitment.

Commitment to narrating the world, its contradictions (the winning project underlines the problems of a city like Milan on the issue of housing rights) and its challenges (the jury prize went to a research work that brings sustainable solutions to the ground).

Now in its fifth edition, the NABA Design Award was born from the desire of Claudio Larcher, design area leader of the Academy, to give feedback to young designers on the works created during the academic year.

An idea that pushes students to give their best not only from a design and research point of view but also from a communicative point of view: presenting one's project in a clear, immediate way but at the same time providing the possibility of deepening the themes is in fact a fundamental skill for future designers.

Naba Design Award 2023: the winner is a project on Giambellino

The Best Project of the Year is "Niente da vede" by Chethra Iotti, Matilde Martegani and Andrea Motta.

The project stems from the need to highlight a contradiction present in Milan, in the Giambellino district: empty houses and housing urgency. The intervention consists in highlighting the bricked up/laminated windows: various installations positioned in key points, in fact, make them visible. The project has the ambition to signal and give hope, intriguing and stimulating full awareness of the political and social value of the situation.

Naba Design Award 2023: the jury's prize for a do-it-yourself light kit

The Jury Prize, aimed at enhancing the design approach of research, goes to "UP" by Lucrezia Bellandi, Niccolò Binotto and Giuseppe Caputo. The project starts from the study of the balloon as a tool that offers numerous possibilities of use thanks to its elastic, plastic and sustainability qualities. UP is a kit which, thanks to a simple technique, makes it possible to compose a light fixture whose shapes are partly random, as they are given by the inflation of a balloon and by a joint that links it to the light source: a colorful and always different lamp.

The winners of all categories, one by one

The winners of all the other categories, who distinguished themselves for executive quality and skills demonstrated in the interpretation of the chosen theme, are:

Three-year Interior Project

"Artists Escape" by Jude Badih and Nino Digiuseppe who have designed a temporary artistic residence, a refuge immersed in Latvian nature, for two families, one of which is a painter, conceived with the aim of offering the two families inspirational spaces for working, other intimate spaces for privacy and, finally, those for sharing and relating.

Three-year Product Project

“Co-Being” by Dana Berro, Cagla Enginer and Maria Vittoria Zini. A lamp as a physical symbol of reflection, connection and sensuality, designed to be easily installed in any space and adjusted to any ceiling height.

Biennium Interior Project

“Reversed theatre” by Olga Garanina and Elise Walseth Krogenes. Inspired by the history of piazzas as theaters and cinemas, the project creates a new way of experiencing the performing arts, proposing an external environment treated as an internal environment and transformed into a space. A theater in reverse, a project capable of transforming Piazza Liberty in Milan into something completely different.

Biennium Product and Service Project

“Jam” by Melda Çevikel, Thanat Juengprasert, Sofia Monchieri and Junrao Wang. A modular sofa made up of assembled components designed by imagining different scenarios: a couple who want furniture that grows with them, professionals who need to transform their home into an office, and vice versa, and students who live in small spaces and are looking for flexible solutions.

Social Biennium Project

"Meteorological System" by Martina Petiti and Marta Prati. Starting from a critique of energy consumerism, the open source project that uses renewable sources to sustain itself is an attempt to realign the symbiotic relationship between man and nature. A condominium model inscribed in a bookcase, a future vision in which people exchange renewable energies according to their needs and possibilities.


“MDW: Milano Design Week 2022 Report” by Michelangelo Carraretto, Sofia D’Andrea, Paolo De Castiglioni, Gjergji Gjoka, Alessandro Luciani, Brinda Sharma and Oliwia Syroczynska. MDW 2022 is an online magazine that collects all the articles created by the students of the Design Area during the History of Design II course of the A.Y. 2021/22. A project coordinated by Massimo Martignoni.


“Portrait from an algorithm” by Gianni Iraci. “Make me a portrait of you”. The affirmation was performed by artificial intelligence and the elaborate displayed following the optics and human thought, but through a computer gaze, of the Gephi software. It is not just intelligence understood as the ability to calculate or know abstract data, but an organism capable of understanding and deciding the actions to be performed in a vision in which machines and men coexist.

Technique, Materials and Innovation

“Marsiglia wood” by Fenia Capobianco, Francesco Pio Carpentiere and Debora Di Pinto. The project is the result of a search for sustainable and workable materials by subtraction in the laboratories, and was born from mixing Marseille soap and wood dust derived from processing waste. Depending on the relationship between the two materials, it therefore has different characteristics. The compound is malleable and strong, allowing you to create quite defined prototypes and samples. At the end of its life, the material can be remelted and reworked a very large number of times.

Interior Bachelor Thesis

“SEAM Sea Memory Museum” by Giulia Colombo. SEAM is an open, widespread museum-memorial that makes us reflect on the open wound witnessed by the Mediterranean: the deaths linked to the migratory phenomenon. Hypothesized in a structure born from a project by Matt+Fiona, the ritual flexibility of the interiors becomes capable of welcoming the testimonies of contemporary tragedy.

Product Three-year Thesis

"LAUR" by Martina Locatelli. LAUR aims to preserve the fresh cut of meat, isolating it from possible condensation liquids, also indicating to the user the state of freshness of the product. LAUR, thanks to a pH tag, is able to detect any gaseous impurities, which alter the initial color, communicating the non-edibility of the preserved meat.

Thesis Interior Biennium

"A new life for the former Colonia Marina di Cagliari" by Laura Usai. The project aims to give new life to the Cagliari building and bring it back to the origins of its use as a Marina Colony. Starting from a historical, architectural, landscape as well as pedagogical investigation, the structure of the building is reinterpreted in order to re-accommodate its function.

Thesis Product and Service Biennium

"Peso, the consequence" by Michela Panizza. The project seeks to make people aware of the "weight" that we are leaving on our planet due to the pandemic. In fact, 1,550 billion is the number of disposable masks that we have used in just one year. They are 95% made of PP, a recyclable thermoplastic. cycle.

Designed by Claudio Larcher, the trophy presented to the winners was created in the laboratories of the Area Design under the supervision of Carmelo Zocco, NABA Design Laboratory Manager.

The object is made of solid wood and recycled PLA sheets from 3D printing waste, in line with NABA's commitment to sustainability and circular design principles. The ceremony was attended by: Claudio Larcher, Germana De Michelis, Course Leader of the Bachelor's Degree in Design, and Luca Poncellini, Design and Applied Arts Department Head. The main partner of the fifth edition of the NABA Design Award is HONOR, which honored the winners with a selection of prizes.

Also this year the finalist projects, born from the creativity and training experience of the best students of the Academy, have been collected in a catalog edited by Claudio Larcher with graphic design by Atto, which collects free and open reflections on the many aspects of contemporary design and perspectives for future scenarios.

The jury of the NABA Design Award 2023

The winners of each of the categories were selected by a jury made up of industry professionals, including Luciana Maiorano (Head - Archiproducts Milano), Laura Traldi (journalist, curator of and NABA teacher) and Lorenzo Damiani (Founder and Designer - Lorenzo Damiani Design Studio).