Two large twin installations for the Salone del Mobile: curator Antonio Monda explains how the project was born

David Lynch at the Salone del Mobile with Interiors. A Thinking Room. A strange combination of passions and encounters, of dissonances and unexpected affinities. A bit like in his films, the American director brings a unsettling project to Milan, to which he can confidently give himself to enter, physically, the place of dreams and the unconscious .

The installation, reproduced in two different spaces of pavilions 5 and 7 of the Rho Fair, was intended to be "double" to avoid overcrowding: the project is in fact intended to be a symbolic door to the experience of the Salone del Mobile 2024.

And after all, it is difficult to imagine being able to immerse yourself in Lynch's world in a crowded place, where there are no physical conditions to enjoy the emotions and alienating thoughts aroused by anything David Lynch produces.

Antonio Monda: “I met Lynch as a carpentry enthusiast”

The link between the design week and the director was Antonio Monda, who was asked to interview a director with an affinity or interest in design to design an installation. “When I spoke with friends about the Salone del Mobile I remembered a meeting with Lynch in his house in Los Angeles.

I thought we were going to talk about the lineup for the Rome Film Festival's Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony.

Instead he welcomed me into his studio, with a plane in hand, surrounded by artefacts he produced. For Lynch, carpentry is more than a hobby, it is a real passion.

When I proposed to him to create a project for the Salone del Mobile, he was immediately enthusiastic. After a month of work the drawings began to arrive. We entrusted the creation to the Piccolo Teatro in Milan: it was a long dialogue via zoom that led to the maquettes and, finally, to the actual installation."

What will we see in David Lynch's Thinking Room?

The Thinking Room by David Lynch is a space dominated by an enormous wooden seat surrounded by brass tubes and a blue velvet curtain >. Antonio Monda's contribution to the definition of the project is an approach made by about a dozen screens with clips from his films that explain how the director uses the sets and furniture on the set and in the plots of his stories.

“Objects and environments are living elements, like the actors, in Lynch's films. They are not elements of decoration or furniture, but characters.

They contribute to creating that disturbing dialogue that displaces the spectator, leaves him confused and estranged until he finds the way to his own dream world and allows himself to be seduced by cinema and by an unconscious world that manages to be universally understood, which never fails to stir completely incomprehensible emotions."

Displacement and seduction: Lynch's language for the Salone del Mobile

It is difficult to say whether the Salone's Thinking Room will have the same effect: Antonio Monda avoids any spoilers. He says it will be a surprise. “But I am sure that the first reaction will be one of disorientation, and only then comes the seduction.

As long as you have the patience to let the shocking moment pass and let yourself be led exactly where David Lynch wants. There you understand everything: what he wants to say, what he wants to make us see first-hand."

Given the director's well-known passion for transcendental meditation, of which he is an enthusiastic ambassador when he has the opportunity, one might imagine that the Thinking Room will be a room designed for contemplation.

“I immediately thought the same thing, but Lynch insisted on calling it theThought Room. Even though he practices meditation and talks about it often, I had the impression that his different worlds should remain autonomous, separate. It is a precise choice of his."

“In a parallel way, our design path has intertwined in many points, but we essentially have two different visions. I aim to tell and share a little-known part of Lynch, his passion for carpentry. For him, however, it is a more spontaneous exercise, a collateral passion."

Vision, or the ability to move from dream to reality

Lynch's vision also finds space in this project which reveals the director in his role as creator of designers and makers. The atmospheres that Monda defines as strident and welcoming at the same time, the self-quotations such as the blue velvet curtain, the smiling wink, little said and much shown, which is his language.

Monda comments: “I believe it is part of what Americans call vision, I explain it well in my article for Repubblica which announces an essay to be published during the Salone.

The ability to imagine something and then make the fantasy become concrete, have a form in the three-dimensional world made of the stuff dreams are made of."

Cover photo: Interiors by David Lynch. A Thinking Room. Credits: Lombardini22