This year’s XXI Triennale di Milano presented a range of new ideas across several city locations. The series, which always features art, design, film and society events, embraced new architecture this year from many angles.
Living in Four Walls
The curators touted the idea that we are indoor creatures. People spend the majority of their time in houses, offices and buildings. We exist in 100 per cent designed spaces. Interior architecture worlds are our reality.
With this in mind, 11 Italy-based independent designers and architectural studios were asked to produce interior living spaces based on the theme of “for today and tomorrow”. However, they were not given complete freedom. Each entry had to consult an influential book written in the last 30 years by critics and theorists. It was hoped that this would create a greater depth of meaning than simply designing without constraints.
Alessandro Mendini created a truly vertigo-inducing, geometrically decorated cell for his installation. Mirrors, unnatural angles and harsh lights produce a disorientating result. The architect and artist admitted that being tied to work or other commitments for a long time led him to think of interior life as being like in a highly designed and ornamental prison.
Fabio Novembre’s take on the brief was to deliver a spherical installation in the form of the inside of a human head. This beautiful but claustrophobic metaphor in many ways reflected Mendini’s thought on the brief.
On a more optimistic note, Carlo Ratti Associati produced the Lift-Bit modular seating system. These stools can be adjusted using only hand gestures to double up or halve in height to suit the user and need. Amazingly, they even get restless and shape shift of their own accord when not in use. Their 3D visualisation of the idea is being heralded as a real game-changer and draws attention to the importance of great visualisation.
Take In The View
In Rooms: Novel Living Concepts, among others, a hollow interior of a head and a geometrically embellished prison are presented as abstract concepts for interior spaces. These 11 concepts might all feature rooms with no views, but most visitors would agree that they still make you stop and stare.