Showcasing innovative design concepts at Milan Design Week 2024

Toyota Material Handling Europe showcases innovative design concepts at Milan Design Week 2024

The material handling manufacturer nestles in the most popular design district of Milan once more, Zona Tortona: Via Tortona 12 (inner courtyard) this time around. In the three exhibit rooms, it’s showing off some of its first-rate machines, discussing the ins and outs of industrial design, where the absolute focus for Toyota is on the user of its products. Form and function are equally important, coming together to create products that people love to use. On display as well, the Toyota Logistic Design Competition – in collaboration with Toyota Motor Europe, Toyota Europe Design Development (ED²), KINTO Europe and Toyota Material Handling Design Center – where selected winners will be revealed in Paris at the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2024.

Capital of design

The 62nd edition of Milan’s annual trade fair, Salone del Mobile, also known as Milan Design Week, returns. Embracing the theme Where Design Evolves/Materia Natura, the fair highlights evolution and innovation as pivotal concepts, providing a compass for the global design industry. Held annually in Milan, it has been a significant event in the design industry for over five decades. Alongside the more formal trade show, Fuorisalone (translated, ‘outside design week’) takes over the entire city, hosting a wide array of interconnected events.

From must-see concepts and pop-up events to talks and exhibitions, Toyota Material Handling will bring the world of material handling – past, present, and future – to Tortona design district. Spread over three rooms, there’s many points of interest. Like the story of the ground-breaking euro pallet and the legendary hand pallet truck, which revolutionised the logistics industry. The pioneers behind the initial ideas worked for a company that eventually became part of what is now Toyota Material Handling Europe. 76 Industrial Graphics will participate in a talk where their co-design and the story created with Toyota will be discussed.

Design collaboration

A great source of inspiration to tackle new challenges – be it environmental or other – is the Toyota Logistic Design Competition (TLDC). The 2024 challenge entitled Every little bit counts generated strong interest with a large number of high-quality submissions.

Student designers were invited to look ahead, to reimagine sustainable design over the next 20 years: how to overcome the challenges logistics and supply chain are facing currently, and what trends they expect to reshape the outline of mobility in society at large.

Some entries are primarily fun ideas, whereas other contributions go deep into social issues. “There’ll be quite a bit for visitors to discover. 952 people from over 50 countries showed their interest in the competition. 160 submitted their design concept and many of them were of a very high quality,” Magnus Oliveira Andersson, Head of Design at Toyota Material Handling Europe proudly explains, “This meant the jury had to do quite a bit of head-scratching before selecting 10 finalists in three categories: in the areas of user interface, transportation & product design, and business innovation design.”

The competition has been running for ten years now and has grown from a small, local Swedish initiative to a global contest that inspires eager designers-to-be around the world. The extensive collaboration efforts with design colleges, students, and partners are essential for the company’s continued growth, and to understand what the world and its customers need. Final winners will be announced at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris this summer.


Through conscious design – rethinking materials, products, and services – Toyota Material Handling wants to be part of the solution, whatever the problem. Centrepiece is three hand pallet trucks, not designed in the traditional way, each telling their own story. With a little AI interference, 3D Metal Srl helped visualise a prototype, a new frontier in industrial design, made of 3D-printed aluminium and nylon-carbon fibre. Taking away all excess materials, another sleek model can be configured entirely without electricity. A more classic hand pallet truck represents the future in that it’s an industry standard that has gotten a complete upgrade. In short, bottom-up supply chain innovation to build efficient and resilient design through advanced collaboration.

That’s what Toyota Material Handling is all about: helping businesses lift products, move goods, shift things around. Logistics is its core business, offering future-sound, complete solutions to support logistics operations, vouching for service excellence and first-rate quality design. Lifting logistics to a higher level, increasing mobility. Toyota is taking to the streets of Milan from April 16th to 21st, 2024, for the world’s largest design event taking over the Italian city.

Strategic Marketing Manager

Lieselotte Everaerts

Toyota Material Handling Europe
Tel: +32 3 302 3245
M: +32 498 69 73 92