There are queues to enter: so to enter see Alcova it is better to know first what you will find. The short answer is: a lot of experimental design.
This is an environment that will appeal to those looking for small but intense projects, sometimes complex and that can be explained through the stories of those who designed them (also due to the curatorial choice of the Grima-Ciuffi which prevents the display of signs for exhibitors).
We have done this exercise for you. And here's what we found in Alcova.
Alcove, the Loggia
The first room you come across is 'la Loggia, where you can see in L1 LaLab by Lindsey Adelman Studio</ strong>.
The lighting series features different materials such as glass, crystals, steel. All in different compositions with harmonious albeit non-symmetrical shapes, formed by spheres that have extensions along the surface, as if something were trying to escape; or they seem to "deflate" like balloons, while remaining trapped in nets and chains.
In short, the various chandeliers transport the observer into an abstract dimension full of emotions, and could be defined as sculptures rather than illuminations.
In room L6, One To One presents the OTO chair, created in collaboration with Ogyre. The product, the first of the brand, as well as a manifesto, is a chair made of recycled plastic with a completely planar mould, so as to use few materials and energy in the production process.
Alcove, the Den
The area 'il Covo is divided into three floors and inside room C9 on the first floor, it seems to walk on the moon thanks to the wallpaper by Fabscarte.
Stardust Sunset is a collection created in collaboration with Martyn Thompson. The wallpaper is entirely painted by hand but it is not only the chiaroscuro that gives it depth; in fact, with the copper and bronze powder it was possible for the brand to give it three-dimensionality, thus creating craters.
The lighting made with the Midnight Moon Dust paper has a fan shape worked in brass and covered with paper that has metallic powders and lacerations of the paper itself, in order to refer to the surface of the moon.
On the ground floor, among the various projects by emerging designers, the surprising collection of Art+Loom in collaboration with Bea Pernia.
The Art of Formation collection shows the duality of materials, some untreated such as the marble that serves as the leg for the chair and the tables or the chandelier itself on which cracks can be glimpsed.
The raw effect contrasts with the worked wood of the various pieces of furniture, but this concept can also be seen in the mirror divided into two hemispheres: one made by hand like the carpets in the room, the other is simply a mirror. The formation and movement of geological plates inspires the entire collection.
In room C3, there is Neo-Vanity by Kiki Goti, which reinterprets the intimate space dedicated to personal care. Generating a new transitional space with exuberant shapes, made of aluminum on which its characteristic foam pieces are applied. The eccentric is highlighted by the colors and designs that refer to the Greek culture of the designer.
The Mexican studio David Pompa is delving into its roots with the installation Stone Archive, which explores the volcanic origin of their new collection in rooms C13-14. The Amber Toba lighting combines the stone, allowing a glimpse of the residues that have formed over time, with the red-colored aluminum. The contrast between porous textures and smooth dark red underlines the philosophy that the studio follows, which consists in juxtaposing something faded and intangible (represented by stone) with something modern, which is the source of light.
During the installation, the search for the origins of this volcanic rock is highlighted, thanks also to the collaboration with the geological department of the National Autonomous University of Mexico "UNAM"; another contribution to the story is due to the photographer Wim van Egmond l, who documented the stones in a series of artistic videos and panoramic photos also with different intensities of light.
In the adjacent rooms, C15-16, the This is Denmark exhibition offers a glimpse into the world of Scandinavian design with a careful selection of 15 objects belonging to different fields, including some have become design icons.
In the basement, the new brand Pulkra by Stormo Studio presents, in C17, through the brutalist aesthetic, its first furniture collection.
The aim is to make known and express the beauty of CFRC cement, a mixture pigmented with fine marble sand, much lighter but at the same time resistant which takes the name of ACRON.
The exhibition is divided into three moments: collection, research and result.
The first is intended to illustrate the design language of Pulkra and innovative material. In the second phase, the engineered mold of the highest quality can be seen, while the final phase shows the projects by Stormo, Finemateria, Martinelli Venezia and Pio&Tito Toso which explore the properties of matter, challenging its limits.
For visual identity, the brand relied on Studio Iknoki, while to create the brutalist atmosphere through the soundscape that accompanies visitors during the exhibition, Wade Black & Francesco Presotto.
In the C20 space, Barbini Specchi Veneziani presents the Back to The Future collection in collaboration with various designers – Rio Kobayashi, Lucia Massari, Laura Satin, Elena Trevisan, Victoria Wilmotte, Bethan Laura Wood – who take on the challenge of reinterpreting the brand's classic mirror.
Each product is a different result from the others, some have a more eccentric and playful look, while others are the result of a more geometric line. At the center of the space there is a room that wants to connect the past, what was once Barbini Specchi Veneziani, with the present that engages in new challenges of evolution not only of the material but also of the form.
In C19 Kate Greenberg's work shows a transformation of the lattice, worked to be thin and appear fragile as well as the lights with sometimes warm and other times cold colors.
Alcove, the Villetta
An atmosphere projected into the near future where everything has changed due to the climatic conditions and the daily reality of domestic life has changed. Another exhibition space is 'la Villetta which is in turn divided into two floors.
On the first floor, in room V5, the new collection by French designer Alexandre Labruyere easily captures the visitor's eye.
Characteristic of the collection are the joints between the various components, which appear imperceptible, as if they had been sculpted in the raw material. The details on the table, as well as the curves that shape the legs of the oak console and the backrest of the seat, change the interior living spaces thanks to the dynamism of nature with which they are impregnated.
In room V7 instead, Studio Rosa presents 'Natura Oscura, whose products are made of ceramic and draw inspiration from the organic world. In addition to the fascination generated by the colors and shapes of the products, one cannot fail to reflect and think of a wild nature that almost appropriates the objects, to the point of making them change in shape. The observer is captured by this 'something' that is far from our common imaginary of chair or lighting, precisely because of this obscure fascination we are kidnapped by it.
On the ground floor, the space of room V3 is populated by the zoomorphic forms of Elisa Uberti French ceramist. Among the new collection of lamps, there are Roubaix and Grindel, made of wicker. Among all, Jeanne stands out, which has wool threads around the lampshade, as if it were a hair.
Despite this design choice, the two materials do not seem to be estranged, indeed the lighting is even more natural.
Alcove, the Remittance
In the Garage, in R0, is the Crafting plastics job Sensibiom II! with Dumolab. The project looks to the future, trying to reconnect man with nature through an interactive material.
Sensibiom II is a biopolymer lattice that shows UVR exposure in real time with the change in the color of its surface.
The goal is to inform people of the toxicity of solar radiation, which has increased due to climate change, and the serious damage it causes to the skin and eyes. Hence the question arises on how to improve the situation and whether the relationship with nature can be remedied through biomaterials.
On a more intimate approach, which goes beyond selling, Les eaux primordiales and DWA present, in the R2 space, Les Experiences Immobiles. It is an interactive installation that allows you to discover different perfumes in two moments: the first through the sculptures created by Natascia Fenoglio, the second instead, allows you to discover Cedre Superfluids of Les aux primordiales.
The discovery of new perfumes takes place thanks to playful mechanisms that the user must activate; in this way it is possible to perceive the contact with nature as if the installation could project the visitor into a forest thanks to the sense of smell. The light wood structure and the various metal arms do not steal the show from the essences present in the ampoules, the undisputed protagonists of the sensory journey.
Alcova Project Space
A very important space is Alcova Project Space, where the founders Joseph Grima and Valentina Ciuffi have grouped various projects in the two R7-8 rooms, which amaze for: aesthetics, communicative impact and use of materials.
Among them we find the lamps of the Brazilians of Estudio Rain, made of resin obtained from castor oil and the sculptures in pigmented resin by Stefano Fusani, which are made using molded negatives of his own body.
The last area of the Alcove is the Slaughterhouse where, in M2, you can see the first injection-moulded, compostable chair that "expires" in 6 months. Prowl studio together with M4 Factory, has designed a chair made of a bioplastic compound and a new hemp-based foam. There are many projects present at Alcova that deserve to be seen precisely because they tell a story, a problem, a solution or an innovation.