5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019

Posted By Gudy Herder / April 17, 2019 / 0 Comments

This is post is already a classic here on Eclectic Trends because you do not travel to the Milan Design Week to see the latest in furniture and design trends but get all excited about the 5 Top Installations the city has to offer, often placed in courtyards and palazzos open on that occasion only.

This year I will highlight 5 events and give you a bit more info about The Why we are featuring them.

The first installation will be the one I had the chance to visit at the beginning on day one. Blown away by the beauty and concept behind, I thought this could be one my absolute highlight of this years’ edition and I wasn’t wrong.

1// Les Arcanistes by Studiopepe

Why they made it into our Top 5:

  • Visually speaking, this was a very beautiful installation.
  • The basement was a true surprise. And I have a soft spot for diviners:)
  • On-spot performances by a dancer and diviner.
  • Extremely well-researched concept behind. Probably rather abstract for many yet fascinating.

Studiopepe’s Manifesto Project Les Arcanistes unfolds inside a large industrial space which was used in the 1900’s for the manufacturing of gold – the quintessential matter of the alchemists. And alchemy is all what this installation is about.

These previously unseen spaces housed an investigation into the strong interconnection between matter and the archetypal power of symbols. The word ‘matter’ derives from the latin Mater (Mother), the primary substance from which all other substances are formed. The archetype of the Mother represents the ability to give life. Matter is a fundamental element of the alchemic process.

The studio has designed a journey on two floors multiples installation spaces including performances, in which this bond between matter, archetypes and the power of symbolism are examined in-depth. The Alchemic Laboratory, The Library of Matter and the Fountain of Water open up into a vast hall in which the pieces designed by Studiopepe are hosted.

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 Studiopepe|Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 Studiopepe|Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 Studiopepe|Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 Studiopepe|Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 Studiopepe|Eclectic Trends

The Fountain Of Water

This room houses the water fountain. Water generates every form and every substance. It represents rebirth and regeneration. Water is also a career of information. Thanks to its intrinsic properties and ability to be absorbed, thus entering and becoming an intimate part of diverse substances, water is the element of the ‘communication’ of information. Hydrogen and Oxygen have induced the formation of all metals and metalloids. Water nourishes and forges Matter. The performer you see below would pour rose-infused water in triangle-shaped containers offered at the entrance for all visitors.

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 Studiopepe|Eclectic Trends

Image courtesy by Federico Bacci

 

The Library of Matter

where materials research showed many kind of elements and substances. Human beings have always left their mark by manipulating matter and interacting with it. Matter is a fundamental element of the alchemic process.

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 Studiopepe|Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 Studiopepe|Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 Studiopepe|Eclectic Trends

The Alchemic Laboratory

is the room in which the alchemic water is distilled. The lab represents the possibility to enter into contact with the essences of the spirit in its diverse realities. It is the place where alchemic products are prepared. The alchemic process of destination and refining is a metaphor for professed personal growth.

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 Studiopepe|Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 Studiopepe|Eclectic Trends

 

The heart of Les Arcanistes is a secret, subterranean space containing Divining Tables (you ask yourself a question, roll a metal ball and mine stopped at ‘Do it asap’:) and dominated by the color white as a symbol of the passage from one state to another, from unawareness to awareness, and salt as a symbol of purity.

In alchemy, salt is the element that stabilizes the experience and allows for personal growth. This experiential zone is accessible to only a few visitors at a time to participate in a personal divination experience hold by a diviner who would sit at a back table.

 

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 Studiopepe|Eclectic Trends

 

One of quotes that inspired Studiopepe within the deep investigation for the project has been:

There are two types of people in the world, those who want to know, and those who want to believe.”

- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

 

2// Conifera by COS by Mamou-Mani

Why they made it into our Top 5:

  • Huge companies such as COS are influencers; showcasing sustainable materials will have always have a bigger impact reaching a wider audience than small design studios. We believe they have a moral responsibility, too.
  • The 3D printer in the courtyard was a great first contact for many people.
  • COS succeeds year after year to come up with a totally different installation always having a powerful message behind – not everybody takes the time to ask for the idea behind it but it is actually very worth it.

I had seen images before visiting the installation and was not sure if the impact was as strong as in previous years. And stopping over on a rainy at the Palazzo Isimbardi day wasn’t too auspicious either, sure, it looked great but honestly, I wasn’t too impressed.

But that all changed when seeing the 3D printer and talking to one of the architects of the Mamou-Mani firm who was ‘operating’ the device. As usual, the more you learn about the concept and process behind, the more you get to value the outcome.

To give you an idea about the huge undertake of the project, it took four month printing these blocks with 3d printers running 16-20 hours/day. The bricks belong to the what we call circular economy.


We looked at the life cycle of corn starch, from the plant’s growth to the way is structured in networks, and we considered how to reflect this in our own work as designers.”

- Arthur Mamou-Mani

 

 

The translucent bricks are made from a biodegradable plastic made out of corn starch, wood pulp has been added to the brown ones, and the white elements carry a pigment.

All 700 individual bioplastic bricks were fabricated in four different labs in the Uk and Italy and then sealed together under heat piece by piece to build a three-part construction. According to the architect I spoke to for a while, Conifera was quite a labor-intensive project.

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 |Eclectic Trends

Image courtesy by Mamou-Mani and COS

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 |Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 |Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 |Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 |Eclectic Trends

Since the 3D printer was actually working, I lined-up to ask for a mini piece of the structure. What you see below took 15 minutes to print and it’s made out of the same material as the big pieces. I thought it was a nice ‘souvenir’ of this years’ edition.

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 |Eclectic Trends

3// At work – The evolution of Workspace by DWA Design Studio for

Elle Decor Italia

DWA Design Studio (exhibition design), Akqa (interaction design) and Marco Bay (landscape design) teamed up to create At Work – The Evolution of Workspace for Elle Decor Italia.

Why they made it into our Top 5:

  •  we are currently producing a trend report to be published later this year where we refer to a similar core message and I could relate very much

  • the installation tackles the issue of a change in society and I hope many companies got inspired to address working facilities for their employees in a different way

  • it’s been a huge concept, nine stories within are a lot to tell and they were all designed with much care

The rapid and multi-faceted evolution of workspaces allows for much investigation due to its complexity and variety of changes taking place in the office world.


The technological revolution of recent decades has not only introduced new working tools, collaboration interfaces and ways to share. Its main role has been to turn work from a repetitive, predictable operation into an experiential, changeable process, thereby requiring the adaptation of the areas dedicated to it. In a scenario in which individual autonomy and a sense of a shared culture has become key factors, we have observed the progressive configuration of offices as diversified, flexible containers in which to experiment with different spatial options in order to isolate oneself or work together, accumulate or share knowledge. Furthermore, we have learned about the progressive aggregation of functions related to wellbeing, leisure and retail, increasingly blurring the boundaries between the professional and private sphere, from both a spatial and temporal point of view.”

- Livia Peraldo Matton, editor-in-chief Elle Decor Italia

 

 

In the setting of Palazzo Bovara, they have created an immersive installation with cultural and social flexibility features. Nine environments are designed to tell a story of digital and interactive experiences, all aiming to share a forward-looking working place vision. The Gate starts with an interactive installation, the visitor is entertained from the very beginning and can influence by his own movement the design on the wall. The Hub is the area for shared work, a modern co-working with a focus on biophillic design by Marco Bay since we already know how much happiness plants give on the workspace. A few of the plants were even chosen to reduce CO2 emission. The Exchange invites to meetings, from informal settings to standing stations and a virtual meeting room with advanced systems for conference calls. The Theatre, rather looking as a movie theatre has been designed with three huge screens for video interviews. A Nap Room can’t be missed today in any modern corporate environment with curvy walls and micro spaces to relax and allow for some me-time. The Studio represents the concept of work environments the achieve their purpose with solutions for temporary living featuring a complete micro apartment. The Archive is the place of memory, a sort of library to get inspired by the past and making use of older design, elements, icons to be readapted to today’s requirements. The Restaurant is a place where eating meals plays a key role, from both a spatial and a relational point of view. It’s beautifully outlined and invites not only to eat but to spend time talking and meeting. The Orchard, the courtyard at the end of the route, is designed with a system of outdoor rooms surrounded by bamboo, exotic species and flowering wild peach trees, to be used for recharging body and spirit.

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

Image courtesy of DWA Design Studio

Different personalities need different chairs, this a co-working adapting to individual needs. Round shapes stand for community and a softer come-together at working stations.

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

These are interactive stations with hanging projectors allowing to draw on tables with fingertips. The standing stations are meant to interact by oneself or in a team, getting creative and hands-on.

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

Image courtesy of DWA Design Studio

The micro studio integrated for short-term stays.

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

Image courtesy of DWA Design Studio

The me-time areas. They were actual very comfy and had a great sound system.

Image courtesy of DWA Design Studio

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

The eating area. Who wouldn’t even like to live like that? Since we spend so many hours away from home, it makes so much sense to work in a space where you feel probably not exactly at home but more at ease.

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

 

4// Formations by Note Design for Tarkett

Why they made it into our Top 5:

  •  There is basically one specific reason: I loved the manifesto on the walls (see quote no.2)! I thought it was genius to call it as it is: stubborn perceptions about vinyl flooring.
  • What you see is a surface material that can be continuously recycled.

Stockholm-based Note Design Studio worked with Swedish flooring manufacturer Tarkett to design the colors and patterns of  iQ, a new surface material designed in collaboration with the design studio.


We are deeply convinced that there is an urgency to shift models to preserve the world’s finite natural resources and capital. Hence our commitment to develop a circular economy, in which materials are reused. To that end, integrating recycled materials instead of virgin materials is a core part of that approach.”

- Myriam Tryjefaczka, director of sustainability for Tarkett

 

 

IQ Surface is a durable material that can cover angular and curved forms. It is produced using recycled materials, and can be recycled by Tarkett when it is no longer in use.

Challenging the building’s architecture, space and volumes are 24 columns in assorted sizes – the largest towering at 5m. Formations take archetypes of design principles and transform them into oversized shapes and flowing forms that dress the different spaces of the historic Circolo Filologico Milanese. Visitors are free to weave in and out of the space and forge their own paths and perceptions.


The installation uses iQ surfaces in the way that aims to shift even the most stubborn of preconceptions about the possibilities of vinyl, raising its profile as a design material with its own identity.”

- Tarkett

 

 

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

 

5// Tides by Wang & Söderström

 

Why they made it into our Top 5:

  • Softer color proposals were missing at Ventura Centrale this year, this one was very necessary.
  • Nobody achieve such a seamless transition between the digital and physical world as Wang & Söderström does. You can’t even tell where starts/end art and begin design.

This installation was a major surprise for me. Being used to see their digital explorations on the net, I didn’t know Wang & Söderström was translating their exact signature style into the physical world including a complete set design. In their words, the studio wants to throw out pre-existing conventions regarding the digital, emphasising the emotional and tactile side of materials, objects and textures to give the digital a more human, relatable quality and create more meaningful connections.

The vaults at Ventura Centrale were housing the most visual, colorful and dreamy exhibit this year with Tides. The exhibition takes inspiration from the layers of time, pulse and temporalities in the universe that we cannot easily feel or sense. Part of this interconnected cosmos is the complex dance of gravity between the Moon, Earth and Sun that gives us Tides here on Earth. During a low tide, the water pulls away and reveals a mysteriously hidden landscape, reflecting puddles and curious shapes.

It was rather misty in there, this is why the images look like they have a blurry filter on.

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

Image 2 and 3 by Andrea Martiradonna

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

5 Top Installations Milan Design Week 2019 | Eclectic Trends

Tides showcases 100 modular stools designed by Kwangho Lee from The Moment of Eclipse series. Each eclipse shaped stool creates a union with the next stool forming chains of endlessly intriguing variations. Along with Kwanhgo Lee’s stools Wang & Söderström present their coral inspired sculptural vessels inspired by corals and sea anemones, the collection represents the kind of things that appear when the ocean is pulled away during a low tide. Created by 3D printing and molding techniques the vessels are made of jesmonite and 4 editions in rubber.

 

Not included this year are Dimore, Marni and Mindcraft – usual candidates of the Top 5 during past years. I didn’t see the point of Dimore’s furniture collection this year (and we have been huge fans for many years already), did not visit Marni because the images wouldn’t convince me and it is quite a trip out to their showroom, and finally, Mindcraft unfortunately did not take part this year. I hope you get a bit the feeling of the Design Week through this post if you were not able to attend. G,x

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