The London design courses for upcoming talent

With unmissable events and connections to key industry contacts, Istituto Marangoni is opening doors (real and virtual) for its talented student body

the outside of the istituto marangoni building in shoreditch
Luca Nizzoli Toetti

Located in the heart of the Shoreditch Design Triangle, Istituto Marangoni London has been offering some of the UK’s most promising talent an education in fashion for more than 20 years. But in recent times, the school has evolved its vision, bridging fashion and design with the introduction of Interior Design, Product Design, Jewellery Design and Visual Design courses.

With sister institutions in the likes of Milan, Shanghai and Mumbai, Istituto Marangoni London combines world-class teaching from industry heavyweights with unparalleled access to a global network of contacts. From the outset, students are empowered with the skills and contacts needed to pave their way in an often-competitive industry.

This year, it’s taking its commitment to innovation one step further with a leap into the metaverse. In doing so Instituto Marangoni has become the first fashion school to enter this new world. Entitled ‘The Talent District’, its virtual presence will make students’ projects more visible to a wider audience, as well as acting as a digital venue for hosting talks, fashion, design and art shows and collaborations with brands. Plus, thanks to a partnership with Igoodi, the first Italian company specialising in photorealistic avatars of real people, students and visitors to the school’s metaverse campus can create their own accurate likeness.

More than just teaching

Beyond the classroom, students are invited to join an impressive schedule of design events throughout the academic year. In 2018, the school hosted a series of thought-provoking talks during the London Design Festival, bringing design editor Roddy Clarke into conversation with the likes of designer and architect (and Istituto Marangoni alumnus) Térence Coton and Wallpaper* editor-at-large Henrietta Thompson.

speakers from the i made talk at london design festival 2018
I-Made Talk. Left to right: Terence Coton, Rossana Orlandi, Bethan Laura Wood, Giulio Cappellini, Roddy Clarke, Mark Anderson.
Piers Cunliffe

Continuing to leverage its talented pool of alumni, in 2019 Istituto Marangoni joined forces with respected design curator Rossana Orlandi to launch the Guiltless Plastic project in the UK, an initiative to drive sustainability within design. The project was a call to action, with the ‘Ro Plastic Prize’ inviting entrants to present creative research for how to process plastic waste in a more cost, time, and energy-efficient way. With over 300 entries, a panel of judges, which included Istituto Marangoni ambassador Giulio Cappellini, chose a selection of winning projects to be exhibited within the school.

For 2020, Istituto Marangoni has launched 'Enhancing the Future', a series of virtual talks on the future of design and creativity after Covid-19. World-famous designers, such as Humberto Campana and Tom Dixon, plus design studios Neri & Huin Shanghai and Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, will discuss how our everyday spaces are likely to be redesigned and reimagined as we adjust to a changing way of life.

Later this year, the school will be launching a new Masters course in Digital Design for Immersive Experiences – a move inspired by its cutting-edge foray into the metaverse. It’s a growing market that Instituto Marangoni has already made significant steps to embrace, presenting several projects during this year’s Salone del Mobile. These include, says Stefania Valenti, Istituto Marangoni’s Managing Director, ‘Expanded Beauty for NFT pieces designed in collaboration with Cappellini and the Alessi Dream House project, developed as part of the Masters in Digital Art Direction. The latter addressed metaverse-related issues for brand communication purposes and placed Alessi’s iconic objects between physical and digital dimensions thanks to augmented reality.’

The place to be

Regular virtual open days allow budding students the chance to discover the wide range of courses on offer, meeting lecturers and industry partners and discovering the work of current students. From BA Interior Design students’ responses to a brief for ‘the work retreat of a leading internet influencer’ – think disruptive, Banksy-inspired projects – to MA Product Design students’ investigations into the work of influential architect Zaha Hadid, the virtual open day allows prospective students to dive into the culture of the school.

a piece from rossana orlandi 'guiltless plastic’ showcase at istituto marangoni london
Rossana Orlandi ’Guiltless Plastic’ showcase at Istituto Marangoni London
Piers Cunliffe

Julie Ross, programme leader of BA Interior and Product Design, explains why Istituto Marangoni London continues to attract some of the very best talent from around the globe.

‘Istituto Marangoni is an incredible place to be and to work. We have a fantastic pool of staff and tutors with expertise in academic backgrounds, but also industry backgrounds.

‘However, our students are key to the success of these programmes. Creative processes are essential to capture how this generation is going to impact the world. We provide a blank canvas for students to succeed.’

For School Director Charlotte Gorse, the location of the school is one of its greatest strengths: ‘London is a vibrant city that reinvents traditional boundaries everyday and our courses encourage an agile approach, combining digital production with beautifully craftwork. It’s London meets Milan.’ Discover more about Istituto Marangoni London

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