Sandra Diaz-Velasco’s Favorite Sustainable Finds: EuroCucina – NKBA


Sandra Diaz-Velasco’s Favorite Sustainable Finds: EuroCucina

The designer shared her top picks from the innovative kitchen products event.

By Elisa Fernández-Arias

As part of NKBA | KBIS’ trip to EuroCucina 2024 and partner event FTK (Technology for the Kitchen) held in Milan, Italy, April 16 – 21, the association asked select designers in attendance about their preferred brands and products. Sandra P. Diaz-Velasco R.A., Principal Architect, Eolo A&I Design, shared her favorite products from the show that focused on sustainability, along with her top five eco-friendly brands and products.

“My experience every year at Milan Design Week is a testament to the evolving landscape of sustainable luxury in the kitchen and bath industry. It’s not just about materials achieving a circular economy, but about achieving well-being for both nature and humanity,” said Diaz-Velasco. “By embracing a holistic approach to design, from the general to the particular, and considering the ‘why’ before the ‘what’ and ‘how,’ I’m able to navigate through the myriad of solutions showcased at EuroCucina and/or Euroluce, where technology and materials converge to address the challenge and opportunity of sustainability.”

“This year,” she continued, “besides the abundant and beautiful installations at Fuorisalone, there were two immersive installations at Salone del Mobile that focused on sustainability. These included ‘All You Have Ever Wanted to Know About Food Design in Six Performances” and “UNDER THE SURFACE,’ which provided captivating insights into food design and humanity’s relationship with water. They reminded us of the boundless inspiration found in every corner at Milan Design Week and fueled our passion for design exploration, artistic expression. These installations also served as invaluable inspiration and reminded us of resources that can be used to advance towards a more sustainable future.”

The designer’s top sustainable picks ranged from cooktops, to ovens and hoods, to inventive vacuum technology.

1. Lhov from ELICA

Image courtesy of Sandra Diaz-Velasco.

Diaz-Velasco chose ELICA’s Lhov as a sustainability focused find for its innovative approach to kitchen appliances, which she said combined exceptional aesthetics with unparalleled functionality. “One fascinating feature I learned about is that Lhov’s unique design reshapes the space by seamlessly integrating a cooktop, oven and hood into one standard-sized appliance, maximizing efficiency and enhancing kitchen aesthetics,” she explained. “Additionally, its revolutionary extraction system, which not only captures vapors and odors from the hob but also from the oven, sets a new standard in kitchen ventilation.”

The designer admired both installations by the brand: the one at Salone by Calvi Brambilla Studio and the STRAORDINARIA installation by WE+ At Palazzo Litta.

2. PET Lamp

Image courtesy of Sandra Diaz-Velasco.

Another highlighted brand was PET Lamp, which Diaz Velasco admired for its inventive repurposing of plastic waste, while supporting traditional craftsmanship and cultural heritage.

“One fascinating product I learned about is the PET Lamp Gurunsi, made in Ghana’s vibrant city of Bolgatanga, which combines recycled PET bottles with natural straw and elephant grass, showcasing the collaborative effort between artisans and designers to create functional art pieces that celebrate sustainability and community,” she said. “This product is astonishing! I love everything about it, and the story behind it is remarkable.”


Image courtesy of GESSI.

GESSI’s aim for multifunctionality, along with its celebration of Italian lifestyle rituals, which aligns with the values of sustainability and community, always earns a special place in my favorite selections,” said Diaz-Velasco. “Additionally, their design is so out of the box.”

Diaz-Velasco highlighted a specific product available from GESSI: its Vita Gessi Caffè system, which integrates coffee dispensing into the kitchen faucet, “promoting efficiency and reducing the need for additional appliances, thus contributing to a more sustainable lifestyle.”

4. Cosentino

Image courtesy of Sandra Diaz-Velasco.

Cosentino earns its place in my top 5 sustainability-focused finds at Milano Design Week for its groundbreaking collaboration with Formafantasma in the creation of EARTHIC LAB, an installation that emphasizes ethical production processes and the innovative use of unconventional and reclaimed materials in surface design.” said the designer.

“One fascinating aspect I learned is how EARTHIC LAB embodies Cosentino’s vision and values, merging sustainability with cutting-edge design to inspire awareness and appreciation for environmentally conscious practices in the design industry,” she continued. “Their leadership by example sets a standard for others to follow in prioritizing sustainability in design.”

5. econitWood

Image courtesy of Sandra Diaz-Velasco.

Diaz-Velasco spotlighted econitWood for its “groundbreaking” combination of ecological responsibility and digital design through the use of 3D printing technology.

“econitWood enables waste free production of complex and large scale wood shapes, setting a new standard for environmentally conscious manufacturing in the construction industry,” the designer explained. “This new material represents a quantum leap in eco-friendly design and sustainable architecture.”


Image courtesy of BORA.

Another favorite of Diaz-Velasco was the BORA brand, for its “commitment to fresh air and clear views while effectively filtering cooking odors and grease particles at the source.” She added, “One fascinating feature I discovered is their QVac system, which has integrated vacuum technology that both preserves food and drinks and also speeds up the marinating process, reducing waste in the kitchen while offering more versatility and ease while cooking.”

Sandra P. Diaz-Velasco R.A. holds Florida Licenses in Architecture and Interior. An AIA, IIDA and ASID member, with a LEED certification in Sustainable Design and a Degree in Architecture from Universidad del Valle in Colombia, she launched her award-winning firm, Eolo A&I Design, in 2008 after relocating to Miami. The recipient of AIA Miami’s 2021 and 2017 Merit Award for Interior Architecture, she has won additional awards including in the ASID Design Excellence Awards, IIDA Bragg awards for Interior Architecture and Design, the Luxe Magazine Red Awards, and NKBA | KIBS Kitchen & Bath Design + Industry Awards. Since 2016, her firm has been a consecutive Gold Winner of the KBDN Design Awards, and it was selected as Design Center of the Americas’ “Star on the Rise” in 2015.