An exhibition event “INTERNI Creative Connections” celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Fuorisalone

From 4 to 19 September at the University of Milan, the Orto Botanico in Brera and Via della Spiga, 26

The magazine has involved both Italian and international designers, in collaboration with prestigious companies, start-ups and institutions

INTERNI Creative Connections is the title of the much-anticipated exhibition event, conceived by the Mondadori Group interiors and contemporary design brand, that is taking place from 4 to 19 September in the courtyards of the University of Milan, at the Orto Botanico in Brera and, for the first time, at Via della Spiga, 26.

With the patronage of the City of Milan, INTERNI Creative Connections will also be an occasion to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the FuoriSalone, first launched in 1990 – on the initiative of Gilda Bojardi, editor of the magazine – and widely recognised as the event of reference for international architecture and design.

“The real vocation of the FuoriSalone is to propose a cultural, spectacular and market-based model, which is translated on the ground as performance, installations, exhibitions and, in an entirely natural way, in experimental expressions which over the years have become part of a spontaneous process of design education and training,” explained Gilda Bojardi, editor of INTERNI. “The results of the recent FuoriSalone events make it possible to see it historically as a collaborative effort in which INTERNI is one of the leading protagonists. A phenomenon that is wholly complementary to the historic Salone del Mobile, for which the city is the location for the spread of a culture in which design offers an opportunity for reflection, development and encounter. A model much imitated around the world but still unrivalled that this year celebrates its thirtieth edition. And, to mark this milestone, also Palazzo Niemeyer, the headquarters of Mondadori, will be illuminated in red, green and yellow, the colours of our exhibition.”

INTERNI Creative Connections was created with the intention of activating and multiplying connections and relationships: a virtuous system among the protagonists of creativity, designers, companies, distribution networks that have a fundamental need to connect people, ideas and projects from different places and cultures. In collaboration with companies, multinationals, start-ups and institutions, almost thirty site-specific installations, design islands, micro-architectures and macro-objects have been created, which develop three important themes: ‘Care’, in design, in production processes, in the use of materials and in the subsequent application of the circular economy, ‘Sustainability’ in the sense of being conscious and as an indication of method, a creative and productive attitude that is fundamental for those who design, do business, invent and experiment; and finally ‘Mobility/ Speed’, in both a real and metaphorical sense, and referred to peoples, thought, space, means of transport and technology

Installations and designers

Among the installations on show in the spaces of the University of Milan are, in the Cortile della Farmacia, an installation designed by Mario Cucinella which accompanies visitors through a visual narration dedicated to the world of Ernesto Gismondi, the brilliant entrepreneur and founder of the world-famous Milanese company Artemide, who passed away in 2020. Meanwhile, connecting natural and technological materials with sounds is the focus of Bamboo ring: Weaving a Symphony of Lightness and Form by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, created by Oppo in partnership with the London Design Festival.

Sharing-Connection-Conviviality is the title of the micro-architecture tower – which anticipates the large installation by Whirlpool for the FuoriSalone in April 2022 – which consists of a symbol that looks to the future and invites us to question ourselves about the meaning of human existence in the world of tomorrow. The designer Michele De Lucchi with AMDL CIRCLE has created a metaphorical tower in the Cortile d’Onore that encourages the eye to look up and at the same time the mind to reflect on who we are and who we will be. In the Cortile dell Settecento we’ll find Falso autentico, a project for Glo by Marco Nereo Rotelli who defines it as “the house of the languages we have lost”: you enter an architecture made of raw earth using an ancient African technique and go out into the future, a digital and immersive space.

Two impressive installations are placed inside the Cortile d’Onore. The first one is called Freedom – designed by MAD Architects with the support of the Rome-based European office of the Chinese studio: it represents a seagull with its head turned upwards looking at the sky, as if it were about to take flight for distant lands. The metaphor is clear and is naturally connected to the post-pandemic world that is shaping our current situation, but which wants to represent a tangible symbol of optimism, a desire for rebirth and renewal that is both social and private at the same time. The lawn meanwhile hosts Survival, a project by Stefano Giovannoni, designer and owner of the Qeeboo brand. The idea comes from the desire to represent this epochal moment through the biblical story of the rescue of mankind and animal species on an ark, represented here by a 10×6 metre platform which brings together, using mechanical elevators of about 7 metres, about forty animals, some of them life-sized.

In the Aula Magna (the Great Hall of the University) the Folded line installation, for the exhibition L’archivio si racconta – I libri della Fondazione Renzo Piano (The archive speaks – The books of the Renzo Piano Foundation) with the eleven volumes published by the Renzo Piano Foundation, each dedicated to a single project. In the Loggiato Ovest there are installations in homage to Nanda Vigo and Alessandro Mendini, as well as the installation by the Fabio Novembre Studio for Perdormire

The main sponsors: AUDI and Eni

There are two co-producers of INTERNI Creative Connections: Audi, a premium brand that is wholly committed to becoming a conscious mobility provider with the widest range of electric cars in the world, and Eni, an integrated energy company with over 30,000 employees in 68 countries around the world. Each of the main sponsors presents a high impact installation conceived by architects of international standing: the Marcel Wanders Studio for Audi at the Audi City Lab in Via della Spiga 26, and Eni with Carlo Ratti Associati with the contribution of Italo Rota (Creative Lead) and the scientific research of Alessio Fini, from the Department Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Milan at the Orto Botanico di Brera.

The Audi City Lab is dedicated to research and experimentation in the field of mobility, a hub that will host stories and personalities that embody the idea of Audi’s progress to celebrate new perspectives and ideas about the future. To transform the unfinished space of Via della Spiga 26, the Marcel Wanders Studio, as part of the INTERNI Creative Connections exhibition-event, with the installation Enlightening the future which offers an emotional representation of the new frontiers of Audi research thanks to an immersive experience based on light as a means of connection and narration of its innovation projects. The exhibition focuses on the presentation of two new cars from the company, the Audi RS e-tron GT and the Audi A6 e-tron concept, and, as the basis for inspiration, the various expressive and design forms with which the German brand develops the issue of lighting. Through different lighting scenarios, the visitor is guided through an experiential path that begins with a ‘sensorial’ tunnel, where the walls, covered with a soft fabric, emanate a diffused light that encourages visitors to touch and interact with the space. The corridor leads to the exhibition space for the two new models, where the light ‘explodes’ in a dynamic game of reflections and refractions, and takes on the architectural function of an immaterial wall that protects the cars, like a glass case protects works of art in a museum, but which the visitor is invited to pass through. To examine how innovation and evolution intersect, the Audi Inspired by progress talk will take place on 6 September, during which ideas and interpretations that anticipate the future will take shape generating unprecedented connections.

Moving to the Orto Botanico di Brera, a suggestive oasis of greenery squeezed between the buildings in the centre of Milan, Natural Capital, the installation, designed by Studio Carlo Ratti Associati for Eni, aims to increase visitors’ awareness of the role of forests in the fight against climate change. Natural Capital, which extends over 500 square metres, shows the CO2 captured and accumulated by the different species present in the Orto Botanico di Brera and the risks deriving from deforestation, among the main causes of the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere. Visitors will be able to admire the installation immersed in the garden of the Orto Botanico di Brera and experience a different point of view of the fight against climate change thanks to design, a universal language capable of stimulating collective reflection on the issue of decarbonisation. The theme of forest conservation fits perfectly into the context of the INTERNI Creative Connections exhibition, as it speaks, through design, about the connections between human beings and nature and the use of various forms of creativity to identify effective solutions to important new needs, such as global warming.

The INTERNI system

INTERNI’s integrated communication system continues to expand and reaffirm its role as the main source of information for the world of design. In fact, thanks to two print titles (INTERNI and the FuoriSalone Guide) and two digital publications (INTERNI King Size and the FuoriSalone Guide), a major event (INTERNI Creative Connections), INTERNI online (website and social networks) and Interni Design Journal with background and videos conveyed through a system of newsletters, providing the tools to allow user to keep up to date in real time on trends, news and previews in design.

An authentic vademecum for all those who want to find out about and find their way around the increasingly rich range of Milan Design Week events, the print and digital versions of the FuoriSalone Guide (also accessible on tablets and smartphones) are a must, with a day by day agenda of events involving the companies, designers and architects taking part in the FuoriSalone.

The brand’s strength is also clearly visible on the ground: a big street advertising campaign is planned for Creative Connections which includes 15 banners positioned in the main entrances of Milan and in the historic centre, 1,000 flags at the locations of the events in the Fuorisalone Guide, as well as 60 digital systems in the busiest areas, 10 retro shuttle buses, customised newsstands in the city centre, shop windows and LED walls (the Megastore Mondadori in Piazza del Duomo and the Rizzoli Store in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele).

With an event that gives Milan unique and exceptional visibility, INTERNI confirms its absolute leadership in the professional living segment, but also in the communication of the design system, transforming from specialist to a mass media publication.

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