Designed by Motosuke Mandai of Mandai Architects, Soundscape reveals new possibilities of glass as a material. Photo Akihide Mishima
In yet another argument for the loudness of silence, Panasonic celebrates its 100th anniversary with a brand statement that’s as esoteric as it is impactful. A bubble of clean, pure atmosphere, Transitions offers a ‘water-drop pavilion’ of wellbeing that transcends products and visible technology. Indeed, interfaces evolve so quickly that timeless design necessitates their absence. In Sony Design’s Hidden Senses exhibition, technology is so seamlessly integrated into the interactive objects that the impression is that human capabilities have been enriched.
Transitions marks the Panasonic’s transition towards a creative philosophy that transcends products to address emotions, the environment, and wellbeing.
Light is drawn to objects as though by gravity, and responds to the direction of a pointed finger in Sony Design’s experiential Hidden Senses exhibition.
While almost every Milan Design Week installation touts its site-specificity, such claims may only be recognized if the inherent nature of the installation would be altered by its context. Harnessing the Milanese sky and architecture, the Open Sky installation by Phillip K. Smith III for Cos is site-specific in a technical sense. ‘Open Sky prompts a re-examination of the environment, offering a moment of reflection and calm,’ says Cos creative director Karin Gustafsson.
Merging Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate (better known as the Chicago Bean) with the angular sky reflections of skyscraper façades, the Cos Open Sky installation by Phillip K. Smith III is comparatively analogue yet striking in its minimalism. Photo Andrew Meredith
However, with regards to true interaction with the local context and community, Not For Sale by Design Academy Eindhoven is beyond compare. So embedded in its urban setting is Not For Sale’s exploration of culture, religion, wellbeing and the meaning of value, that bourgeois Milanese locals – typically uninterested in Design Week and its shenanigans – have actually interacted with the market to buy the goods that are for sale. Could a real and meaningful dialogue with the local and the Milan Design Week communities be the new measure of success? To anyone that hates the blasé impertinence of tourists, the answer might be yes.
An experiment on the meaning of value and the value of design by the students of Design Academy Eindhoven, Not For Sale engages the people of Milan in real interaction.
For more insights to the concept and process behind Milan Design Week 2018, check out the produced in collaboration with Weltevree.