MILAN — The sophomore edition of Prada Frames, a symposium conceived by Milan and Rotterdam, Netherlands-based design studio Formafantasma and backed by Prada to explore the complex relationship between the natural environment and design, will be two-pronged.

The event will be held in Hong Kong and Milan and centered on the theme “Materials in Flux.” The fashion brand said it will analyze the notion of waste as an ever-evolving material.

The first leg of the symposium is to take place March 21 and 22 in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon district inside the Herzog & de Meuron-designed M+ museum, devoted to Asian visual arts, design, architecture and motion pictures across the 20th and 21th centuries.

The two-day conference cycle kicks off with a lecture by architect Jacques Herzog, tasked with introducing the topic, which stemmed from the work of British anthropologist Tim Ingold. It will be followed by keynotes and panels hosted by local and international professionals such as Ute Meta Bauer, LAAB Architects, Lisa Reihana, Charles Lim and Formafantasma, selected by M+.

The second leg of the 2023 edition of Prada Frames is scheduled in tandem with Salone del Mobile and Design Week. It will be held at a still-undisclosed location in Milan on April 17 to 19 with a different roster of speakers and lecturers compared to the Hong Kong leg.

They include Tim Ingold, Elizabeth Povinelli, Beatriz Colomina, Mark Wigley, Sophie Chao, Veena Sahajwalla and Hans Ulrich Obrist. 

The symposium, which was introduced last year during Salone del Mobile and Design Week in June, is defined by a “scientific, educational and didactic approach,” according to Prada. Last year it centered on the interconnections between the forest ecosystems and the wood industry and how design and science can spur change.

Prada has strong links with design and architecture, as well as the arts. Miuccia Prada’s and Patrizio Bertelli’s patronage of the arts is best exemplified by the Fondazione Prada art space, established in 1993, which counts headquarters in Milan and Venice.

The designer is known for surrounding herself with a close-knit group of friends, artists, directors and architects, including Rem Koolhaas, who develops backdrops for the luxury brand’s fashion shows.

In recent years the fashion company’s commitment to education came to the fore; for example, the conferences “Shaping a Future” it held in Milan, New York and Venice centered on different sustainability-linked topics including creativity, society, digitization and multilateralism.

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