Today technological innovation allows us to reinvent space. For example, we can imagine and ‘experience’ places where we are still not able to live, like the bottom of the sea or the highest mountaintops.

If we combine the typically Japanese way of thinking about space, inserted in the notion of time, with this experience, the result is Kukan – The Invention of Space, an installation produced by Panasonic during Milan Design Week, inside the “Rimessa dei Fiori” on Via San Carpoforo

A setting composed of 140 55-inch monitors arrayed on seven columns to transmit images, sounds, lights and colors in constant motion, taken from classic works of Japanese art and typical landscapes, at times combined with scenes and imagery connected with the various historical phases of that country. Walking around the columns, visitors could imagine, create and experience their own space, different each time, based on the perspective and the angle of perception of the sounds and images.

The designer Shuichi Furumi, creator of the installation together with the video specialist Masao Ochiai, explained the meaning of the project: “It comes from the concept of freedom. I thought about breaking down and reassembling space by adding the dimension of time. When I approached the theme of the invention of space I though it would be very important to connect it to the meaning of this concept in Japan. A concept that is lived on both an intellectual and an emotional level. Kukan is a sort of visual simulation of this feeling.”

In the vision of the designers, the seven columns correspond to the Seven Dimensions of Japanese culture, expressing its worldview based on deep symbiosis with nature, and the sense of aesthetics that forms the basis for the country’s artistic tradition.

“The columns,” Maso Ochiai explains, “represent the boundaries between sky and earth, between us and others. People begin to recognize the space in which they live precisely when they find its boundaries, from which they can then draw inspiration to invent new spaces. The creative idea of Kukan –The Invention of Space comes precisely from this premise.”

Furumi concludes: “The boundaries of freedom have been extended. Dwellings change and people have the possibility of living anywhere, from the polar regions to the most remote islands. All this becomes possible through the reinvention of space and environments, thanks to technological innovation. These seven theatrical columns create an unknown and unexplored environment that surprises visitors and makes their imagination soar, through the perspective of Japanese culture.”

The installation presented by Panasonic won the People’s Choice Award, as the most popular project of FuoriSalone 2016.

Text by Maddalena Padovani

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Seven columns composed of 140 displays for the installation "Kukan – The Invention of Space" presented by Panasonic at the “Rimessa dei Fiori” on Via San Carpoforo.
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The fusion of sounds and moving images based on the history and worldview of Japanese culture triggered a dynamic, personal perception of the space, changing with the shifting vantage point of the visitor.
gallery gallery
"Kukan – The Invention of Space"
gallery gallery
"Kukan – The Invention of Space"
gallery gallery
"Kukan – The Invention of Space"
gallery gallery
"Kukan – The Invention of Space"
gallery gallery
"Kukan – The Invention of Space"
gallery gallery
"Kukan – The Invention of Space"