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The Fair
April 15, 2024

Connecting students and design professionals has long been a passion of ICFF brand directors—and WantedDesign co-founders—Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat. Through programs such as Launch Pad and the Schools Showcase, the pair have created a platform to not only support young designers as they start their careers, but also help industry leaders such as Bernhardt Design President Jerry Helling and Heller CEO John Edelman discover new ideas. Superstudio art director Giulio Cappellini has been pivotal to this practice.

Hainaut met the Italian legend in 2008, when designer Francois Azambourg brought him to an opening at Gallery R’Pure, her New York space dedicated to collectible design. When Hainaut and Pijoulat started working on the first edition of WantedDesign in 2010, they reached out to Cappellini to be involved in the talks program. “He responded immediately to my email, saying yes” says Hainaut. In the ensuing years, he has created an installation for WantedDesign, served on the jury for the event’s inaugural Launch Pad, and been a speaker on numerous panels. “He has been a great supporter, mentor, and friend,” says Hainaut.

Giulio Cappellini

Giulio Cappellini

This year, Cappellini, Hainaut, and Pijoulat are taking their collaboration to new levels, partnering on a transatlantic, two-part talk. Take placing during Milan Design week, the first installment of “The Role of Education for the Future of Design” will happen April 17 at 11am at Superstudio Più, located in the city’s Tortona section. Featured speakers will include Niklas Jacob, Savannah College of Art and Design, U.S.; Sergio Nava, The School of Design, Italy; Caterina Rivadossi, SDA Bocconi School of Management, Italy; and Victor Strand, Jönköping University, Sweden.

The second part of the discussion will occur May 20 at 1:30pm on the Oasis stage at ICFF. Featured speakers will include Anita Cooney, Pratt Institute, U.S.; Mariana Chávez Moya, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico; Pascale Serck, ENSAAMA, France; and Riccardo Balbo, IED, Italy.

The talks will examine “how design programs are shaped in Europe, as compared to the Americas,” says Hainaut. The panelists will reflect on design’s role in their country, looking at it from cultural and business perspectives. Cappellini will moderate both talks, while Hainaut and Pijoulat will provide introductory remarks for each.

By bringing together design educators from around the world, the trio aim to put front and center issues paramount to preparing the next generation of talent for tomorrow’s challenges. “Our hope is that the talks help enrich the global conversation around the future of design,” says Hainaut.