2015 MADE Expo

The event included numerous discussions and presentations.

The sun shines on seventh international architectural exhibition in Milan.

Milano Architecttura Design Edilizia (MADE) 2015 has developed into a significant international architectural exhibition. It is full of products and services needed by architects and designers, interlaced with architectural forums where project descriptions, design comments and various discussions took place on March 18-21 at the Fiera Milano Rho on the outskirts of Milan. The complex is at the end of Milan Metro Line 1 (the red line), so transport links are good.

Vertical-transportation companies exhibited a good selection of products, including a completely glazed installation with an eyecatching glass cab and enclosure. There were several home lifts and modernization products, which are particularly relevant to Italian manufacturers.

Though there is not a buoyant new-lift market in Italy at the moment, there is growing activity in the low- to mid-rise sector, and equipment that addresses this could be seen. At present, the most active part of the Italian market is the modernization sector, where an estimated 150,000 units need updating.

Universal design and accessibility – along with sustainability, neutral-impact buildings and energy consumption – were among topics discussed, and attendees heard a number of different views over lunch and around the coffee bars that give this Milan fairground so much character.

As the new European directives affecting the lift and escalator industry are now being enforced, there is a need for building owners and operators to ensure their installations are fully compliant and that they understand the legal requirements and regulations. These legal requirements affect the accessibility and use of the building and are in place to help ensure the safety of both the building population and workers who use, install or maintain the equipment. The European Lift Association has been proactive in publicizing code changes. It has produced a “road map” to help all parties understand what is required.

Event’s Scope, Prestige Grows

While lift and escalator companies certainly had a presence at this year’s MADE, the scope of the event was much wider. As its importance has grown, so has the presence of many senior politicians, association presidents, architects, company executives and end users. This year, Giovanni de Ponti, CEO of MADE, welcomed Maurizio Lupi, Italian minister of Infrastructure and Transport, along with other notable guests, to the opening of the expo. As witnessed by your author, the scramble for interviews and photos, which is such an important part of any major trade exhibition, quickly commenced.

The exhibition complex Fiera Milano Rho, on the outskirts of Milan, is a modern, stylish facility with numerous halls and conference rooms located on either side of a glazed central walkway. This layout results in good connections among different halls, which this year housed four major exhibitions: Building Envelope and Windows; Construction and Materials; Interiors and Finishes; and Software, Technologies and Services.

The number of activities and exhibits makes planning one’s visit extremely important. This includes getting to and from the venue and navigating internally around the halls and seminar locations.

MADE 2015 was a landmark expo, as it was the seventh such event held under the MADE banner. Organizers have expressed their commitment to continuing to grow the event and realize a truly significant international architectural expo based in Milan. With this in mind, six key focus events were included as an integral part of the program and branded under the MADE expo identity: MADE in Concrete, MADE Hotel, MADE Retail, B(uild)Smart, Lab Forum and the EXO Outdoor Excellence Consortium.

Your author could not see everything, which is always a challenge when so much is offered. However, it was fascinating to see extra-large, 3D printers producing large, twisting columns. This was in the High Tech Lab, organized in part by the Polytechnic University of Milan. The lab allowed participants to experience a number of the university’s research projects. This particular technology could be useful when custom pieces are needed in architectural restoration work. Also in this area, professionals had the opportunity to try out Google Glass eyewear, as it has design-tool potential, and talk about using drones to help perform tasks such as site inspection.

Topic of Universal Design Creates Buzz

Universal design is no small matter, and architects and designers are being encouraged by the European Union Commission to embrace universal accessibility issues promoted by such bodies as the European Network for Accessible Tourism. Universal design and accessibility – along with sustainability, neutral-impact buildings and energy consumption – were among topics discussed, and attendees heard a number of different views over lunch and around the coffee bars that give this Milan fairground so much character.

The EXPO Milan 2015 in May-October will provide an opportunity to see if these issues are being embraced. This event will be a good test to see how much of an effect accessibility design initiatives and material sustainability are having when it comes to professional design ambitions. The theme of the Milan EXPO is “Feeding the Planet and Energy for Life,” and this slogan could be seen on publicity materials and displays in all languages.

Complete Lift Systems and How They Fit In

It should be noted that MADE is a biannual event and will always clash with key lift exhibitions such as Asansör Istanbul and Interlift. However, these two exhibitions are primarily targeted to lift specialists, where installation companies and component suppliers meet and see the different products the industry requires, whereas MADE focuses on architectural and project development where complete lift systems and solutions are the main interests for design professionals and building owners.

The possibilities for the future are clear as a greater crossover among different sector technologies becomes ever more important. MADE Expo 2015 organizers identified a number of relevant themes, and your author is among those who look forward to seeing how these topics are taken up by the architectural sector as a whole. Your author hopes international readers will get a feel for the event from this article and looks forward to 2017 and the next MADE Expo.

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