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Monday, April 15, 2013

Milan Furniture Fair 2013 – Selective Glimpses

By Team IAnD
Photography: Courtesy iSaloni 2013 & Park Associati

Milan Furniture Fair 2013
iSaloni at Milan
The iSaloni in its 52nd edition has just concluded yesterday on 14th April, 2013 at Milan Fairgrounds, Rho, breathing new life into its current theme “innovation”…

Yet again, Salone Internazionale del Mobile consolidates its role as a global ambassador for style, art and innovation as well as culture. Featuring powerful synergies between technical and formal innovation, together with quality and creativity, the massive fair along with its various arms delighted the audiences with the sheer power of creativity and underlying sensitivities of design.

Team IAnD brings its readers a selection of the choicest glimpses from the Fair.
iSalone 2013 - Selective Glimpses
iSalone 2013 - Selective Glimpses

We also highlight just 2 of the many thought-provoking installations at the Fair: French architect Jean Nouvel’s exploration of enjoyment in office living with a project titled “Office for Living” and “Shining Surface”, a project by Italian architects Park Associati, curated by Cloe Piccoli.
Pritzker Prize 2008 winner Nouvel’s project explored the tremendous changes that have marked our living and working spaces over the last few years. “‘Project: office for living’ is intended to illustrate ‘the concept of taking pleasure in life’; working is an integral part of living and we often spend more time in our offices than we do at home”, said Nouvel. “No matter where an office is situated, it has to have a space it can call its own, identifiable, alterable, on a human scale, with its own history and objects, an enjoyable environment, basically,” he continued.

Within a dedicated 1,200 m2 area inside Salone Ufficio’s, the “office for living” exhibit adopted the form of a small city – showcasing unique and unusual work scenarios that represented ordinary situations, often existing ones, exploring contemporary building concepts informed by a rejection of cloned, alienating, standardized and serially repetitive spaces, inspiring exhibitors and visitors with different ways of achieving alternative aggregation formulas.

Five groundbreaking work situations were freely grouped around to show just how outdated today’s attitudes to the workplace really are.

Jean Nouvel's 'Project: office for living' at isalone 2013
Jean Nouvel's "Office for Living"

  1. ‘Classic city-centre apartment’, left intact, used for both work and entertaining. The spaces are comfortable, individual and original.
  2. ‘Working from home’, where ‘habitation’ and ‘office’ become interwoven; lines between office and home furniture blur, objects have a dual existence.
  3. ‘An open space’, where atypical and unexpected objects, mark out an irregular and astonishing cityscape containing pieces of industrial furniture that can be stacked, taken apart and reassembled, breaking away from the totalitarian, repetitious character of today’s offices.  
  4.  ‘Warehouse’ - a basic steel container, where often-empty cubes make for free-range furnishing. Their particular spatial quality affords each and every form of appropriation and differentiation.
  5. ‘Rationalism’ provided the theme for the final space: a high-tech, open-plan office system which, while conforming to normality and to rational standardization, is geared to transformation.
Masters was a small homage to Nouvel’s heroes - extraordinary designs of the past that are still tremendously contemporary.  

With the Cosmit and the Municipality of Milan giving free public access to all the city museums for the duration of the Fair, Park Associati, founded by Filippo Pagliani and Michele Rossi, looked at Inside Art, the Saporiti Italia project at the Museo del Novecento.

Working on ‘Shining Surface’ - a 'human scale' architectural installation; an iridescent and translucent surface, made of modular steel tiles, which can be composed in different sizes and inclinations, to fragment, reflect and multiply the space, at the same time creating a series of new and different pathways inside Sala Fontana, the architects addressed long standing issues of  context, environment, routes, landscapes and views held in juxtaposition of historical knowledge and contemporary vision.

Inside Art, the Saporiti Italia project at the Museo del Novecento by Park Associati
"Shining Surface" by Park Associati

Shining Surface was an architecture lying on the floor, the best location in this context to create a dialogue with the people and the site with everything that is inside and out, which evolves depending on the light, the atmosphere, the movement of the people. And while it makes you think of certain architectures, it recalls also some artistic experiences by the conceptual and kinetics neo avant-gardes of the Sixties and Seventies, and of some of the designers of those time, particularly appreciated by Park. The idea of a changing surface is one of Park’s recurring themes.

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