Milan Design Week 2023: Everything you need to know about the mecca of design
by STIRworldApr 12, 2023
•make your fridays matter with a well-read weekend
by Pooja Suresh HollannavarPublished on : Apr 22, 2023
The sculptural value of marble has a well-established history, especially in the linear study of European art. Starting from the classical Greek status, which used marble's natural properties to portray the human forms of their Gods in incredible detail. This continued and was further refined by Ancient Rome, and continued up until the Renaissance. The marble atelier on•entropy's presentation during Milan Design Week 2023 revisits this rich history of marble as a material. Curated by Maria Cristina Didero ‘A Future for the Past’ is the first leg of the studio's new adventure. Produced by 5VIE as part of their design week programming, the exhibition will eventually develop and expand into a wider and more diffused project with various exhibitions, talks and workshops in May 2024, on the island of Tinos, Greece.
on•entropy celebrates the Greek marble artisanal legacy, which dates back to the Cyclades islands’ tradition and is particularly strong in the one of Tinos, giving light to a peculiar art recognised globally as a unique form of heritage, also inscribed on the Athens and London, the atelier was set up in 2009 by sisters Niki and Zoe Moskofoglou, an architect and engineer respectively. They focus on metamorphosis and a desire to move from object to space consciousness. Their latest exploration of marble, 'A Future for the Past’ is an attempt to raise awareness about marble craftsmanship adding, “We started our studio as an experiment, an experiment between materiality, senses and space”.
5VIE, Milan is a space for exploration of design that lies between sustainability and aesthetic poetry. ‘A Future for the Past’ takes the theme of ‘Design for Good’ seriously with its installation that highlights ideas of belonging, identity, and social cohesion. Brothers and graduates of the School of Fine Arts & Marble Craftsmanship at Pyrgos, Nikos and Panos Fortomas join hands with the master craftsmen under Niki and Zoe, to create a truly special collection. With childhood visits and a 40-year tradition of working with marble, the designers’ special connection to Tinos is evident. “Playing at the plateau of the quarry has been a favourite pastime since our childhood. The colours, smell, and textures of marble are all tied to our personal experiences, which we want to convey through our designs. Our aim has been to transform marble, from a heavy and rigid material to a light, plastic, and ethereal entity. The intention I guess is to change the flow of consciousness and our automated way of perceiving things”, the duo shares.
The design installation at 5VIE has been created to resemble a temple that is also a ‘cabinet de curiosité’ or a cabinet of curiosities. It showcases two large walls serving as shelves housing a collection of memorabilia, items, photos and videos that narrate the story of marble craftsmanship and its aesthetic evolution with reflections of societal changes over the years.
This story of Tinos and its sculpting practice is experienced by the users as a cleverly crafted immersive and sensorial experience created with lights, sounds (such as tiny bells clinging together as in Orthodox churches, the sound of the sea on the shore) water dripping, and other little discoveries. Through small holes in the two high walls, the visitors look into the hidden wooden shelves to discover different historical and contemporary objects that served as inspirations for the collection.
The main focus of the installation is a large and dramatic sculptural table. Designed to have a minimal footprint on the ground, the marble table is round with three legs. A starkly contemporary piece placed in the temple setting of the installation is the perfect representation of the material it is crafted out of. Marble, despite its strength, is visually, one of the most delicate materials.
The collection takes this delicate and perhaps one of the most traditional sculptural materials in history to create a collectable design that is contemporary in form and spirit. However, its true worth lies in the journey it takes its visitors on. It is not a collection to be quickly looked at or even longingly gazed upon. It tells a story that must be experienced. The sensory envelope is expertly designed to stay after the visitor long after they’ve stepped out of the installation.
STIR’s coverage of Milan Design Week 2023 showcases the best exhibitions, studios, designers, installations, brands, and special projects to look out for. Explore Euroluce 2023 and all the design districts—5Vie Art and Design, Brera Design District, Fuorisalone, Isola Design District, Tortona District, and Milano Design District—with us.
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