In the last few years "democratisation" has become one of the most abused words in the creative industries, in particular in fashion. It obviously resurfaced last week during Milan Design Week, in projects, showcases and products that wondered how to "democratise" design.
The verb was used also during the Design Pride, a project by design brand Seletti, non-profit association Wunderkammer and online lifestyle retailer Yoox.
A parade to celebrate - as you may have already guessed - design, the event also marked the launch of a webpage, designpride.org, advertised as an opportunity for young creatives to showcase their products.
Students from design schools and universities and designers from all over the world were invited for the Design Pride to present their projects made with a traditional artisanal technique of their country of origin and then carried them on their back inside transparent "capsules", metaphorical treasure chests containing their ideas.
The Design Pride parade also boasted (among the others) prankster extraordinaire Maurizio Cattelan (accompanied by Stefano Seletti who also produces a line of interior design object in collaboration with Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari's magazine Toilet Paper).
A reproduction of his L.O.V.E. Sculpture – a middle finger proudly rising in the air (Seletti launched a while back smaller objects such as a snow globe and a music box inspired by the L.O.V.E. sculpture) – was carried on top of a Mini (further vehicles were sponsored by Gufram, Havaianas, and other brands).
Despite its links with commercial partners, the Design Pride seemed to have some good intents, yet for the time being it remains a good idea (and a colourful and fun event - with an edge of fakeness in the carefully printed slogans on cool signs...).
Yoox announced in a press release that the best projects that will be featured on designpride.org (the site is supposed to become a platform to support creativity) will be given the opportunity to be distributed worldwide. Hopefully, rather than focusing on organising temporary parades (the Design Pride parade will be replicated in other countries all over the world) imitating more important pride events revolving around human and gender rights, companies with enough resources will look at ways to invest in new products designed by young creative minds in collaboration with artisans. Now, that would really make some of us "design proud" and genuinely raise one finger against a fake democratisation of culture.