Installations and designers: the key figures of Interni Design Re-Evolution
The great INTERNI exhibition event was created with the aim of initiating and multiplying connections and relationships: a virtuous system between creatives, businesses, distribution networks who have the fundamental need to connect people and ideas from different cultures and backgrounds. In collaboration with businesses, multinationals, start-ups and institutions, there are more than 40 designers who have made over 40 creative projects (installations, displays, design islands, micro-architecture and macro-objects, all site-specific) to explore the theme of this year’s exhibition.
The spaces of the University of Milan provide the setting for a series of impressive installations.
In the Cortile della Farmacia, Amazon presents The Amazing Playground: an interactive immersive space featuring Swing, an installation designed by Stefano Boeri Interiors. It takes the form of a special swing inspired by early twentieth-century Spanish Surrealism and the Circo Americano in Madrid, and offers a playful counterpoint to the abstract rhetoric around sustainability. Swing supports Parco Italia, a national urban forestation project promoted with Amazon Italia by Stefano Boeri Architetti and AlberItalia, founded to improve and implement Italy’s natural capital and its biodiversity. In addition to interacting with the installation, the public can also discover a selection of certified Climate Pledge Friendly products available on Amazon.it and displayed around the courtyard.
In the Cortile del ‘700, The Impossible Machine, a metal sculpture designed by Piero Lissoni for Sanlorenzo, combines high technology with skilled workmanship, giving physical form to the theme of sustainable yachting. It presents a large mechanism whose parts move thanks to the new hydrogen system that Sanlorenzo is developing to power its craft, in partnership with Siemens Energy. The backlit platform on which the metal installation rests highlights the mechanism’s propellers and cogs, while the fine vapour surrounding it reproduces the effect of a turbine powered by a fuel cell system.
A number of different projects have been created in the Cortile d’Onore. These include A Theatre to Save the Planet, an itinerant theatre created by Andrea Boschetti in collaboration with Ana Lazovic from Metrogramma studio with Mirage designed to promote the values of sustainability, solidarity and responsible innovation. It consists of containers recovered from the ocean, which become a place of meditation and participation, hosting events each day dedicated to the theme of sustainability (partners of the Save the Planet project).
A modern Cabinet of Curiosities, by Annabel Karim Kassar, is an interactive installation which invites the visitor to reimagine their place in the natural order and to go beyond mere viewing, exploring how architecture can change our emotional balance and the intimate human experience.
The Oasis. Microarchitecture by Massimo Iosa Ghini, enveloping and protective, demonstrates an approach to design inspired by plant organisms, resulting in a space with a beating heart which places man and nature in dialogue through natural light and materials, the movement of the air, and sensory perception.
Berlin studio Topotek 1 – in collaboration with the Landscape Festival of Bergamo – Masters of Landscape – with Grow together, Grow green / 10k+ has designed an experience to be lived and shared, a collective action divided into three concepts: deconstruction, activation and green growth. The structure, which can be dismantled and reused, acts as a pick-up point for a collection of plants that visitors are invited to take home and look after. The Nutura pavilion, by Benedetta Tagliabue – EMBT Architects, built in collaboration with Roca, is made from wood and ceramic and offers a multisensory exploration of nature and Mediterranean architecture, with lattices and shutters creating shadow effects, material textures, and changing views. The pathway leads to a plaza in which to relax and enjoy the view of the Cortile: in keeping with the Re-Evolution theme and the value of sustainability, all the materials used will be disassembled, recovered and used for other projects.
The Loggiato Est hosts Discover(y) lightning by Mario Cucinella with Artemide: a bright and heartfelt tribute to Ernesto Gismondi, founder of Artemide, achieved through a series of pendant lights which cloak the Cortile del Filarete in red, shaping its spaces and framing details. The work enhances the quality of the spaces through the use of Integralis, a patented lighting technology which sanitises and inhibits the growth of bacteria on the surfaces it lights.
Also in the Cortile d’Onore, English artist Ian Berry presents The greatest story ever worn, a tribute to 150 years of the iconic Levi’s 501s; Stone Pavilion by Brazilian architect Vivian Coser showcases the country’s stone production with a focus on eco-friendly processes and materials, in collaboration with It’s Natural, Centrorochas, ApexBrasil.
Fidenza Village presents MOAI sculptures by street artist duo Urbansolid, offering a reflection on modern times by reinterpreting ancestral history through the contemporary language of street art. Operae by Gianni Lucchesi for Giannoni&Santoni and the Hangar gallery is a stone sculpture of a life-sized seated figure overlooking the Cortile d’Onore from the top of a 13-metre totem made up of modular cubes in lightweight concrete.
Symbolising the perfection of architecture, standing on the central lawn is an enormous cube in reflective strips – Momentum – by Ma Yansong and Andrea d’Antrassi/ MAD Architects produced in collaboration with AXA IM Alts.
Lastly, two totems, one created from layers of construction materials and the other formed from a slim metal frame – Tangibile & Intangibile – presented by One Works with Mapei and Ica, aims to find a balance between architectural know-how, through the reuse of materials, and the discovery of new languages to express design, such as virtual reality and the Metaverse.
Temporal, the presentation organised by ApexBrasil, is two-fold: a spherical, cocoon-like installation 6 metres in diameter covered in real moss, in the Cortile d’Onore; and an exhibition of products curated by Bruno Simões, displayed along the Portico Richini and Portico San Nazaro. It represents the vitality of contemporary Brazilian design in its various forms, regions and characteristics, and reflects on production driven by sustainability and a focus on the environment and nature.
As a long-standing advocate for his ideas on architecture and design, in the Cortile dei Bagni Simone Micheli presents Free.Dom, a metaphor for time and the approaches we can take to life. Through companies, who are exploring new interpretive possibilities thanks to his work, Micheli created three large structures representing “cages” in a large mesh. Two of these house a stylised bird, while the third is empty. Next to it is the bird which has flown out. The meaning is that only those who truly wish and choose to free themselves from stereotyped patterns, from system crises, from content stalemate, from clichés and conservatism, can do so.
There are also numerous installations in the portico of the Cortile d’Onore: Seating Experiments With Spanish Tiles by Tomás Alonso Studio for Tile of Spain, Metamorphosys by Roberto Banfi with Studeo group for Itelyum, and Farfalle by Ludovica Diligu with Labo.Art, as well as Flow by Francesco Forcellini with Besenzoni, Studio Nomade d’Artista by Sergio Fiorentino – Studio Gum, New Horizons by Mandalaki for Halo Edition, Sit on the wor(l)d by Marco Nereo Rotelli for Ever In Art and Giardino Segreto, which is the exhibition of the results of the 4th edition of the contest “Design. A journey through Italy and Spain”, curated by Carmelo Zappulla of External Reference for the Italian Embassy in Madrid.
In the Aula Magna great hall, Time After Time by Gianluigi Colin with Galleria De Ambrogi presents an installation consisting of hundreds of metres of fabric used to clean newspaper printing presses; authentic objets trouvés, secular shrouds, loaded with the memory of endless erased stories, hanging eleven metres high. This work prompts us to question the quality of the information system, collective memory and its dissolution. A secular temple of knowledge, the University is the natural home for a project such as this because, as Aldo Colonetti says, “like architecture, design must never forget that art is the foundation of every design-related discipline”.
Material textures are the focus of Acrylic Skyline by Jacopo Foggini with Dr. Gallina, a polychrome skyline as a “tribute to Alessandro Mendini” on display along the Loggiato Ovest. The visitor is guided by the light filtering through the multiwall polycarbonate sheets in a rainbow of colours, chosen to offer an impression of fluidity. Foggini invites us to reflect on the materials of the future and prompts positive thinking on the “eternal” nature of plastic.
With L’arte del colore by Francesca Grassi of Studio Italo Rota with Boero, the Portale Hall Aula Magna becomes a modern interpretation of the rainbow, achieved using the colours of the new Boero colour system, 1831 – Il colore italiano.
The North and South doorways of the University host the installation Re-Connection: Alberto Caliri, creative director of Missoni Home Collection, offers a series of small rabbits designed to prompt our memories and reconnect us with emotions and imagination.
CaberlonCaroppi studio with Pedrali, Zambaiti Parati for Concreta explore the theme of Design Re-Evolution with Liminal, by furnishing the exhibition’s press room with unique furniture customised for the occasion, while Urban Stage by Parisotto + Formenton Architetti with Cimento offers a concrete look for outdoor relaxing with an urban feel with Outdoor Lounges.
Worth noting is that many of the installations in the exhibition were created with the idea of being reused, whether fully (such as the Amazon swing, linked to biodiversity, or the containers of Mirage, with Save the Planet), or partially, to create new settings and objects. INTERNI participates in the Urban Economy, Fashion and Design Project by the City of Milan, which transforms the exhibits of Milan Design Week into a concrete possibility of regeneration and reuse, in line with the principles of the circular economy.