From micro to macro, from theory to practice. Feeling the energy, the installation by Plenitude (Eni) present at the Brera Botanical Garden from 6 to 13 June, is an invitation to discover the different forms of sustainable energy

Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rota designed the installation Feeling the energy to be a physical experience, a multisensory experience in which the energy that surrounds us can be perceived in different ways through the 5 senses. During the installation, energy is revealed in various forms: from sound, to light, to wind, everything produces energy that we benefit from every day in our lives.

Through doing, which is the high road of understanding and memory. It is the right choice to show a fact: the ecological transition has begun and technology is its main engine. Together with the individual choices.

There is an obvious risk when it comes to sustainability: not knowing where to start. The themes are very complex, the awareness of the infinite relationships between environment and people risks taking away meaning from individual gestures. The measurement of the impact that each action has on the natural balance seems to remove power and possibilities from collective choices, rather than building a different future.

Sustainability is a virtuous network

"Feeling the Energy is an energy park located in the center of Milan. Made up of an antibacterial copper tube, with a total length of almost 500 meters, it winds through the paths of the Orto Botanico di Brera. Through over six stages along the route, Feeling the Energy creates an interactive and multisensory experience", says Carlo Ratti.

Insisting on the concept of interdependence, which from a symbolic point of view also explains the dynamics of energy distribution and the possibilities of making choices that truly change the future.

For the better. "Feeling the energy is in fact a small-scale reproduction of city energy networks - or even national and continental ones - made up of a self-sufficient energy infrastructure, with the various points of the route connected in a micro-network", adds Carlo Ratti.

Understanding by doing

Going through doing to deeply understand and above all remember, is a typical process of Italian thought, on which much experiential and self-determined pedagogy of the twentieth century is based. As well as a lot of artistic and creative work by Bruno Munari with children.

Learning by doing has another big advantage: it's fun. It transversally activates a playful dimension, even in adults. Carlo Ratti: "The Plenitude installation was designed to allow visitors to" feel the energy ", facilitating reflection on highly topical issues".

How concretely? "Playing a special xylophone, touching the steam, walking through an orchestra in nature, moving a pinwheel. These are simple actions that can however become as many ways to discover the many forms of production and consumption of sustainable energy".

Starting with Resources

Feeling the energy is from all points of view a project that aims to induce curiosity, joy and fun within a natural setting, in the middle of a big city. Each part of the exhibition has a symbolic meaning and at the same time responds to criteria of rational sustainability.

The location, the Brera Botanical Garden, is an ideal space, which tells of the possibility of integrating nature into the city and vice versa. The choice of using a single material, copper, in an uninterrupted path of activity and experimentation, demonstrates how the design discipline fits in with sensible choices even in complex, albeit playful contexts. Carlo Ratti explains: "The copper tube, made by KME, has antibacterial properties.

For such an interactive installation, inserted in a frame like that of Milan Design Week, allowing safe tactile contacts was a fundamental element. "In a frame of attention to individual actions, there is also the desire not to waste, to use raw materials in a conscious way. "We wanted the material to have the possibility of being reused at the end of the event, with a view to design circular", concludes Carlo Ratti.