Material Immaterial, the theme chosen by Interni, is an invitation to explore the dual spirit of design: on the one hand, the universe of materials, the physical, concrete essence of design; on the other, the immaterial dimension of creation, starting with the thinking of designers, increasingly aided by digital technologies and influenced by virtual reality.
Photos by Matteo Cirenei and Saverio Lombardi Vallauri.
Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog
“The Material Immaterial theme captures the essence of architecture: the art and science of making immaterial ideas take material form. Temporary installations, fast and of great impact, give you the chance to experiment, and then remain only in memory. The pangram in our installation sets out to demonstrate the infinite possibilities of variation of the Alphabet of Light system by Artemide: an entire alphabet made of just two elements. It is a lamp to which everyone can give his or her own form, not just that of letters. So you can make a new installation every time. The collaboration with Artemide has been a very fertile one. We are planning other occasions in which to explore and stretch the limits of what can be done with light.”
“Intervening in the courtyard of the Ca’ Granda means establishing a relationship with history, interfacing the classical world of the Renaissance with universal values. The meaning of the installations of Interni is to contribute to the present concept of the temporary that puts together permanence and the future. The role of the architect is to create visions; that of the companies is to acquire technological expertise. Ferragamo Parfums has brought value to the Material Immaterial theme, to the idea of perception. Because perfume is not seen. Working with Moretti has permitted the use and consumption of wood, a material that can always be reutilized.”
“Material Immaterial is a pairing of mutually defining words. The use of material is not resolved only in technical requirements, but also has a forceful evocative impact. In Augmented Surface we used the geometric quality of the Cortile della Farmacia to create an illusion. The large mirror panels and the material by Marazzi bring out the characteristics of the context. It is meta-design, the corporate mission, that drives the work of the designer. Our task is to be open and curious, also to visions that are not specific to the discipline. This is an obligation to make the project function in the cultural and social complexity of the present.”
“The concepts material and immaterial serve to understand architecture, in which normally material is what surrounds us, while immaterial is what we believe our architecture is in relation to the context. City DNA arises in reference to the material and historic presence of the courtyard. It is a game of digital screens and reflecting surfaces, in relation to the surroundings. The screens address the theme of speed and of the physical image that blurs into abstraction. Velko Group was the ideal partner for this type of project due to the quality and precision of the details, and the short implementation times.”
“In a historical context like the State University in Milan, I was faced with a space full of elements, with a ruin at the center that was the conceptual trigger of the project. I built a mini-architecture around it, with cladding made from the material that forms the basis of Mediterranean architecture: ceramics. The panel covering the structure has one ceramic side and more reflecting side, generating unusual views that change with the angle of the lighting. So I made a work of architecture composed of matter and light. This type of installation provides an opportunity to develop materials and techniques in different application contexts.”
The exhibition Matrix explored human existence and the role of design in the information age. Yang Dongjiang narrated (through a labyrinthine landscape of towers made with packing crates and large monitors showing video images of projects, visions, spaces and forms of Chinese design) the idea that the contrast between material and immaterial does not exist. And that Chinese design today has to meet multiple challenges, because urban growth and mass information raise fundamental issues about human existence.
Too Good to Waste
“We invented a story about how a seldom considered kind of wood can be transformed into something wonderful. These temporary works let architects conduct research, because their role increasingly lies in experimentation with different areas of design, putting together knowledge from a wide range of sectors. For example, to construct an imperfect piece of furniture – a characteristic of the installation – was a big challenge for Benchmark. The imperfection becomes even more interesting because it is contrasted with the perfection of the architecture of Filarete. In the installation there are pieces of furniture that can be moved, or on which to sit to relax a while. It is a new gathering place and an original work of architecture.”
“Both the container I made for illy, and the installation Spyre in Cor-ten, pay tribute to coffee as a raw material, simply water and powder. The meaning of design lies in the materials. We reach for ideals, but our task is to make the material be used correctly in terms of form and function, without harming the environment and the users. As for Spyre, while normally we look at sculpture, in this case it looks at us. With a personal vision of the world. The visitors came up with many associations: from a flamenco dancer to an elephant’s trunk.”
“In the relationship between material and immaterial, there is the dilemma of human actions and, specifically, of design. Elegant Living is a company active in China, Malaysia and Southeast Asia, in the field of transformation of cultivated wood. The relationship with Italian designers is important for them. In the installation we have tried to shed light on how their product can be used. A flooring material, rooted to the ground with blocks and steps, rises upward towards batons and festoons, becoming spirit.”
“With our project we wanted to question digitalization, the sense of speed and urgency, where materials are seen as disposable. We started with the idea of giving a material of the tradition, terracotta, a new meaning. Thanks to the production technique and the cutting process, we made over 1600 blocks with about 800 different profiles, showing how the material is sensitive to change. The work is open to the sky, and though it is not physically entered it is mentally experienced. For us this was an opportunity to take technology to its limits, and to experiment.”
“In an iconic and museum-like installation, materials like plastic and metals narrate immaterial stories. Stories of architecture and investigations on new materials that open up new possible horizons. In the complex, hybrid world in which we live the interaction between those who design and those who make is fundamental. If a fusion of visions and intentions exists, the two forms of expertise can lead to extraordinary opportunities. The collaboration with Valsir to was essential to make the installation. I worked on the plate of the bath fixtures, transforming it into an interactive artwork, in constant and dynamic relation to the audience.”
Kaleido Studded Kiss
“When Sephora asked me to take part in the project I was enthusiastic, because art and design have much in common. And I am not only a tattoo artist, but also a creative person who makes things with her hands, from drawings to music. The installation deconstructs a useful, domestic, everyday object, but one that is full of projections in the immaterial dimension. Lipstick is an iconic figure, the classic symbol of femininity. I like to shift from the very small to the very large, and here I have expressed this concept with a very lively project that also serves to engage my followers, asked to create images with the project and share them with me.”
“The value of installations like this one lies in the inspiration that comes from the company, interpreting its language from your own perspective. Fortina produces aluminium sections covered with innovative materials that suggest wood, metals, marble. They are ecological and interesting for a range of applications. I have managed to transmit the transparency and elegance of these materials with a large structure that materializes or dematerializes depending on the vantage point and the interaction with light. Ephemeral, but concrete at the same time.”
Brazil S/A – Be Brasil
“The theme Material Immaterial is perfect to describe Brazilian design, because it lets you demonstrate the great variety of typical Brazilian materials and their immaterial values. Brazilian design is variegated because our country is very large. But there is one common characteristic: that natural beauty of materials like stone, wood and fibers, used in a pure way. There is also one personality that represents us: Oscar Niemeyer, the great architect and master of Brazilian design, who designed our capital, Brasilia. The aim of the exhibition is to shed light on Brazilian companies and to promote them thanks to the support of Apex-Brasil, the agency for the promotion of Brazilian exports”.
“Design starts from the dream of new technologies and materials, taking concrete form thanks to the implementation of technological processes. The installation for the press office, Immaterial Dream, narrates this evolution. In the design phase I make use of immaterial elements like light, virtual reality based on 3D graphics, and reflected images which I transport into real geometric forms, like my modular furnishings, the Tapa ottoman and the Tauko table (for Nowy Styl Group). The exhibition-event of Interni is actually a design hub that permits, each year, the integration of the immaterial dream of design with industry that is 100% material, triggering technological growth.”
Urban Up Milan Virtual Experience
Urban Up – Unipol Projects Cities took part in the FuoriSalone with two initiatives that were presented in the context of Interni Material Immaterial: Urban Up – Milan Virtual Experience and Live the City. The first, at Ca’ Litta (Via Pantano 26), offered an evocative virtual reality experience to allow visitors to enter five major real estate projects of Gruppo Unipol in progress in Milan. One of the projects is the Torre GalFa, the historic Milanese skyscraper from the 1950s, now undergoing an ambitious renovation project. The second initiative, Live the City, took place at De Castillia 23, the building owned by Gruppo Unipol at Porta Nuova, whose renovation has been done by Progetto CMR. The building came alive in the evening during the FuoriSalone thanks to a giant scree, 26×19 m, displaying the video Live the City, specially prepared by Urban Up in collaboration with Interni. The video narrated the Material Immaterial theme and the Urban Up projects.
Flat Bambu Shimane
“Bamboo has always been used. It grows fast and straight, is very strong, a natural resource of great material and immaterial potential. Nature combined with technology can generate a material with which to improve everyday life with functional quality, safety and respect for the environment, looking towards the future. The task of the designer is to bring out the value of the specific history and culture of a company, understanding and respecting its identity, enhancing the style of its products. The Interni event offers dreams and hopes to many people, and in the future it will continue to play an important role in the evolution of design.”
A house is not a home, a home is not a house
“The installation narrates the foundation act of architecture. It is a tent inside a basic house, a sort of Noah’s ark. It is made with old wooden beams found in a warehouse and sheets of reflecting steel perforated by hand with a laser, used like a sort of big pencil. MR is a place where material is processed: wood and steel. The first ‘technology’ to demand of a company is whether it respects environmental regulations, not just those of humans but also those of the inanimate tectonic world, which is the territory in which we live. Because the big task of architecture is to underwrite a new contract between all life forms.”
Fabric-Action, Valnerina Experience
“Fabric-Action is part of the project Valnerina Experience, which promotes activities of research and development on the economic future of the areas recently damaged by the earthquake, through very concrete projects of material experimentation. Fabric-Action gives a traditional material like hemp new meanings in relation to advanced digital fabrication and the world of makerspaces and open innovation.
Developed by Polifactory with Museo della Canapa di Sant’Anatolia di Narco and Ghénos Communication – Supported by Regione Umbria, Fondazione Politecnico di Milano
Design Lab System – Department of Design of the Milan Polytechnic, and CMF Greentech
Ego Black All
“The dichotomy between material and immaterial, tangible and abstract, is the most evident characteristic of the human being. In recent years a new dimension, that of virtual reality, which is almost an oxymoron, has come into play. Our project rebels against this condition. It is a representation of the dualism between private and non-private, personal and public. The egg is the perfect synthesis of the tangibility of the object and the immaterial nature of the content: information, DNA. Ego is the safest material place in which to protect the information. And the metal frame, the cage of the installation, protects the egg.”
“Material Immaterial was an opportunity for designers to give their ideas material form, leaving room for observers to interpret them in their own way. The Giantesses are four large garments on a sculpture in polystyrene; they take the place of the pilaster strips of the arcades, putting the accent on the classical origin of the architectural space that contains them.”
Project by Ludovica Diligu, Michelangelo Mazzari and Simona Stortone
The theme Material Immaterial fits perfectly with our laboratory that focuses on the immaterial qualities of objects. Acquapura is the result of the third research project on the tropical vernacular, seeking simple solutions and discovering the local tradition. It is a clay filter, made by hand, with a background in the culture of the native populations of South America. It keeps water fresh, purifying it, and thanks to contact with the clay the qualities of pure spring water are restored. This project goes against the trend of entire automation in industry 4.0, and recovers the immaterial values intrinsic to design products.”
Project by Ricardo Antonio with Pleasure-Lab
Sole di notte
“We thought about something very heavy, a blue marble that looks like the sky, in contrast with a hot-air balloon that symbolically raises the block. The designer can have the role of a critic, also through irony, of the society, proposing new concepts with virtuous or transgressive attitudes, as long as fun and beauty are part of the equation.”
Small design installations enhanced the courtyard of Università degli Studi and embellished the exhibition-event.
Small design installations enhanced the courtyard of Università degli Studi and embellished the exhibition-event.