'Shaped by Water': Lachlan Turczan and Google Design Studio's sensorial installation
by Daria KravchukApr 25, 2023
•make your fridays matter with a well-read weekend
by Pooja Suresh HollannavarPublished on : Apr 18, 2023
The seventh edition of 'Masterly – The Dutch in Milano' at Milan Design Week 2023, is celebrating the best of Dutch designers, artists, and companies in the heart of Milan, Italy, at its new headquarters overlooking the iconic Duomo. This is the biggest Dutch design event of the Milan Design Week where Masterly’s participants this year range from digital creators to furniture designers. Finding itself a new location at Palazzo dei Giureconsulti from April 2023 onwards, Masterly continues to grow as an important hotspot. The late Renaissance building was commissioned by Giovanni Angelo Medici in 1562. With a 500-year-old history, the palazzo’s spatial experience is juxtaposed with an exhibition that is digitally inspired and consists of future-looking technology. Take for instance, Austin-based Jonas Peterson, a digital artist skilled in storytelling through a blend of photography and computer-generated imagery, who is currently exploring classical themes in art. Recently, he gained viral recognition for his digital art series, Youth Is Wasted On The Young.
A few standouts amongst the varied installations this year include the interactive Nature Building Kit. The installation showcases modular buildings with bio-based materials. Visitors will have the chance to truly experience the materials by seeing, touching and even smelling the materials, as a narrator present on-site answers their questions. The idea of the installation is to create a tactile learning environment that allows people with different levels of knowledge, from varied backgrounds and ages, to learn more about building a greener world. Curated once again by Nicole Uniquole, the exhibition has a beautiful balance of designers, businesses, colleges, and galleries, the perfect mix of all things that make up Milan Design Week, representing Dutch design and craftsmanship in a multisensory and synergetic symphony of presentations.
Playing with ceramics, Amsterdam-based Pierluigi Pompei and Adam Foxwell from Studio Vocum take centre stage. While Pompei is a ceramic artist, Foxwell is an acoustician. Their collaborative efforts connect form, sound, and colour to create the Vocum series. A high-fidelity loudspeaker and a design object in one, Vocum is crafted in custom-glazed porcelain and stoneware. The colours chosen are deliberate and meant to show what Pompei sees on account of his synaesthesia. The work allows viewers to experience how he ‘sees’ music as colours.
Ground floor - Technology
The ground floor is dedicated to technology projects, in which the beauty and perfection of the projects speak of advanced technologies and innovative materials. Various site-specific installations such as Lucas Zito’s ethereal luminous creation designed for the hall of the grand staircase, which is 3D printed using recycled products mainly plastic. This is also where Jonas Peterson’s work can be found. Three Dutch companies that apply constant technological research to product development are also displayed in this section. This includes VBH, a leader in ultra-luxury yachts, who are launching an invisible screen that can be integrated into any type of material at Masterly. Desso brings a collection of carpets designed by Patricia Urquiola. Vonn Jansen is a furniture design studio run by the brother-sister duo Nick and Sophie. As well-travelled individuals, they create timeless pieces of furniture inspired by the world and crafted out of the best materials. The pieces are chic, contemporary, and often surprising—like the elongated platform bed from the Impala collection, which is inspired by the dune lines of the Middle East.
First floor - Collectible Design & Masterly Collaborations
On the first floor, there are two thematic areas. One is dedicated to Collectible Design, that is, pieces between art and design, one-of-a-kind pieces, or in limited series. The other, in the large Sala Donzelli in the right wing of the building, is dedicated to a choral presentation on the future of living. Among the exhibitors in the rooms dedicated to the first theme, we find familiar names that are appreciated by the Masterly public, such as Workingbert (home textiles), Royal Delft (ceramics), the Sodalime collective (objects in dichroic glass), REM Atelier (furniture related to sensory perception) and Karel Bodegom.
Celebrating their first time at Masterly are Sebastiaan Brajkovic, the Galleria Spazio Nobile with A Forest of Collision and Raku, works by Kiki van Eijk & Joost van Bleiswijk, furniture designer and entrepreneur Nancy Torreele, and ØDE Design’s collection of furniture inspired by Japan. Vision on Future Housing & Living, is located in the Sala Donzelli where Uniquole is bringing together distinct dimensions of the Dutch panorama, united by the common desire to overcome traditional production logic and ultimately, lifestyles that are no longer sustainable.
Second floor - Inspirational Design
The two rooms on the top floor welcome two immersive installations created to attract attention to the projects on display, but also to involve and inspire the visitor. Five young students who graduated this year from the Amsterdam and Rotterdam branches of the Wood & Furniture College (HMC) will demonstrate with their work that they have really learned the trade. MONDiLAB returns to Masterly with an installation by five Dutch designers. They consist of high-quality printed textiles with beautiful textures and are the result of the urge to experiment and innovate in combination with extensive expertise in the craft.
Aser Ortega, the Associate Director of MVRDV, is one of the key collaborators of this iteration of Masterly. Ortega is set to deliver a lecture on ‘The Future of Design’ on April 21, where he will share his vision, in accordance with the international architectural firm MVRDV. In addition to the exhibition and the lecture by Ortega, Masterly will host a series of events as a part of its agenda. This will include the Opening Cocktail on April 18, the Architects' Breakfast, Spazio Nobile's Artist Talk, and three book presentations and signing sessions across three days. Masterly will conclude with a ‘Traditional Flowers Hand Out’ as its closing event scheduled for April 23, Sunday, at 2 pm. Uniquole together with Orchids Netherlands will donate flowers that will embellish Palazzo Giureconsulti.
The Strange yet Beautiful show, thus, uses the platform of the Milan Design Week to exhibit design and artworks that not only showcase experiments in processes and forms but also materials and technology.
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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