Rooms (Stanze): Novel Living Concepts at La Triennale di Milano | #MILANTRACE2016
Milantrace-2016-Sponsor-Footer
Stanze-Riva-Photo-Andrea-Martiradonna-Milantrace2016-25
Entry to Stanze (Rooms) at La Triennale di Milano. Photo © Andrea Martiradonna.

Rooms (Stanze): Novel Living Concepts at La Triennale di Milano, Photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace | #MILANTRACE2016
‘Stories of Other Rooms’ showed a selection of 50 Italian interiors from the 1920s until present day. Photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Rooms (Stanze): Novel Living Concepts at La Triennale di Milano, Photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace | #MILANTRACE2016
‘Stories of Other Rooms’. Photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Rooms (Stanze): Novel Living Concepts at La Triennale di Milano, Photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace | #MILANTRACE2016Stanze, Filindeu. Photo by Andrea Martiradonna | #Milantrace2016

‘Stories of Other Rooms’. Left photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace. Right photo © Andrea Martiradonna.

 

One of my personal favourite experiences during Milan Design Week came in the form of an exhibition curated by Beppe Finessi titled – ROOMS. Novel Living Concepts at the amazing La Triennale di Milano. Eleven architects, haling from differing generations, design vocabularies and approaches to design, were invited to each conceive their interpretation of a ‘Room’ as a primary living space for today and tomorrow.

Finessi frames the premise of the exhibition with an explanation which states that, of the many design practices, interior architecture is still the primary field of exploration, study and reflection, given its direct impact on people’s everyday lives. We all live in houses, and much of our life is spent inside these spaces. We live there with our families, rest and recharge our batteries, entertain our friends and, increasingly work there. “Interior architecture has this truly particular remit: to define the spaces and rooms in which we will live out our lives, designing the ‘primary’ world around us. As a discipline, it has always been an important field of professional practice, often providing emerging designers with their first commissions and their first vehicles for expression. It is a major part of creating architecture, involving great skills and significant economies, but there have been few occasions for historical research and critical reflection.” Amen to that!

The exhibition opens with an introductory space titled Stories of Other Rooms, which sets the historical scene by showcasing 50 Italian interiors ranging from the 1920s to the present day. The projects feature the work of the great masters like Gio Ponti, Franco Albini, Carlo Mollino, Ettore Sottsass & Carlo Scarpa amongst others, including interiors by contemporary designers like Antonino Cardillo’s House Of Dust in Rome.

ROOMS. Novel Living Concepts runs until 12th September 2016 at La Triennale di Milano. Below is sn in-depth overview of the 11 individual spaces on show (with plenty more images & sketches in the gallery at the bottom of the post).

 

 

Stanze, Terragni. Photo by Andrea Martiradonna | #Milantrace2016
‘Putting Things Into Perspective’ by Elisabetta Terragni. Photo © Andrea Martiradonna.

Stanze, Terragni. Photo by Andrea Martiradonna | #Milantrace2016
‘Putting Things Into Perspective’ by Elisabetta Terragni. Photo © Andrea Martiradonna.

Rooms (Stanze): Novel Living Concepts at La Triennale di Milano, Photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace | #MILANTRACE2016
‘Putting Things Into Perspective’ by Elisabetta Terragni. Photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

Putting Things Into Perspective by Elisabetta Terragni, literally plays with the viewers perspective through a clever use of tilting planes, cunning openings and captivating anamorphic illusions.

“A design for a room like a microcosm for living and thinking in, into which everything is slowly filtered and distilled. A room that will never be lived in, but which declares its intimacy in the form of absence, of emptiness.

A more or less closed paralleliped; inside the spaces hide and gently mutate in two perspectives: one along the visual axis of the entrance, almost inevitable, the other more private, unwinding along the transverse axis. The perspectival deformation creates a different perception of space, almost imperceptible and at times more marked, sufficiently to make us think. Occupying the resulting spaces between the interior and exterior walls, margins and gaps open and close in a ever-changing perspectival play, generated by light and the movements of the observer. An ethereal image fragments against the walls and becomes whole again from one single viewpoint that the observer can only find by moving around. Fragments of light and space can be glimpsed by peeping through the windows, but can only be reconstructed by going inside. Ideally, two individuals inhabit it, they are close, but can also not see each other, almost miss each other, although they can communicate with and hear each other.”

 

 

Stanze, De Giorgi. Photo by Andrea Martiradonna | #Milantrace2016
‘Round and Round’ by Manolo De Giorgi. Photo © Andrea Martiradonna.

Rooms (Stanze): Novel Living Concepts at La Triennale di Milano, Photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace | #MILANTRACE2016Rooms (Stanze): Novel Living Concepts at La Triennale di Milano, Photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace | #MILANTRACE2016

‘Round and Round’ by Manolo De Giorgi. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

Round and Round by Manolo De Giorgi – rooms that explore the idea of a continuous, fluid space, rather than a more traditional segregated approach.

“Room equals being present, but are we sure about all this being present? Are we still convinced that this, more than any other dimension, represents living? Or wouldn’t a potential new melange be more realistic, combining being present + utilising services + moving about, all in more or less identical proportions? I thought about habitation as guided by the spaces dedicated to movement, strips lined up against each other to form an environment dictated by ‘ongoing operations’. A summation of corridors that ought to produce a continuous, fluid space, dispensing with the rigid, tile-like juxtaposition of rooms. It is not the room that ‘contains’ the functions, but the distribution of spaces that ‘serve’ the functions.”

 

 

Stanze, Laudani Romanelli. Photo by Andrea Martiradonna | #Milantrace2016
The Absence of Presence (L’assena della presenza) by Marta Laudani & Marco Romanelli. Photo © Andrea Martiradonna.

Stanze, Laudani Romanelli. Photo by Andrea Martiradonna | #Milantrace2016
The Absence of Presence (L’assena della presenza) by Marta Laudani & Marco Romanelli. Photo © Andrea Martiradonna.

Rooms (Stanze): Novel Living Concepts at La Triennale di Milano, Photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace | #MILANTRACE2016Rooms (Stanze): Novel Living Concepts at La Triennale di Milano, Photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace | #MILANTRACE2016

The Absence of Presence (L’assena della presenza) by Marta Laudani & Marco Romanelli. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

The Absence of Presence (L’assena della presenza) by Marta Laudani & Marco Romanelli – a beautiful project that highlights the relationship between concealing and revealing.

“When organising internal spaces our time is spent debating alternative dichotomies between revealing and concealing, or rather between presence and absence, and between ‘gymnasium’ and ‘stage set’. Homes are not merely machines à habiter, but stages for our daily lives to play out. This duality conceals the ‘raw nerve’ of 21st century design. Machines à habiter actually make for perfect distribution, carefully evaluated climate conditions and generous fixed furnishing systems.

‘Stages for daily life’ serve to show off objects and materials that testify how far we have come financially and culturally: from large screen televisions to original paintings, from large amounts of books to elegant drawing rooms still protected with plastic, from hydromassage tubs to brass-effect finishings, from hyper-technological kitchens to mega sofas. People throughout the ages have attributed specific ‘powers of representation’ to different and particular objects. This therefore means that when tackling a design for a ‘novel living concept’, the value of ‘absences’ needs to be analysed.
It is no longer simply a matter of modifying the ‘presences’ in terms of taste and culture, but of building a room to be lived as an ‘absence’ (an empty space for coming and going and contemplating works of art). The ‘presence’ will return, transformed into experiences for ‘lone’ activation within well-defined areas, earmarked for individual human activities: reading a book, getting undressed or eating.”

 

 

Stanze, Librizzi. Photo by Andrea Martiradonna | #Milantrace2016
D1 by Francesco Librizzi. Photo © Andrea Martiradonna.

Rooms (Stanze): Novel Living Concepts at La Triennale di Milano, Photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace | #MILANTRACE2016Rooms (Stanze): Novel Living Concepts at La Triennale di Milano, Photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace | #MILANTRACE2016

D1 by Francesco Librizzi. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

D1 by Francesco Librizzi was a personal favourite. This project describes a void – an open space that creates an outline and generates a field.

“D1 is a room that spells out the discovery of the domestic space. In an elliptical space formed by concentric rows of coloured narrow metal columns, the viewer gradually sees the threshold between interior and exterior become defined and include the role of the architecture in the mediation between landscape, domestic space and objects. The concept is drawn from a fascinating experience of hospitality in several private interior spaces in Beirut and illustrates a timeless way of living, rooted in the collective memory of the entire Mediterranean basin. An empty space positioned in the centre that acts as the cornerstone for a series of satellite spaces orbiting around it: the home and the city we can all remember or imagine. D1 leverages the mythical imagination of an original moment in which, for the first time, a person has paused because they are fascinated by the quality of a place and decides to stay there.”

 

 

Rooms (Stanze): Novel Living Concepts at La Triennale di Milano, Photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace | #MILANTRACE2016Rooms (Stanze): Novel Living Concepts at La Triennale di Milano, Photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace | #MILANTRACE2016

My Prisons by Alessandro Mendini. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

My Prisons by Alessandro Mendini – an introverted room where Mendini serves a life sentence for the crime of ‘ornamentation’

“For a long time, forever in fact, I have felt as though I were living shut inside a prison. Serving a life sentence for the crime of ‘ornamentation’. I find myself in an introverted room, a blockaded perimeter, an insurmountable mental space. Small yet also enormous, completely confined, in any event. My ideas, my style, my atmosphere, my mirage: everything is in there. It is the isolation cell inside a romantic and privileged Alcatraz. Imprisoned by nightmares, by torture, by hallucinations, by the abyss of decoration.

It’s like the methodical self-building of walls and surfaces destined to deny me my freedom. I often think about ABET laminate. It was the first material I fell in love with. Cold, flat, high-tech, geometrical, amorphous yet erotic, up for anything, prepared to lose and make me lose our purity. My conventions, my desires have smoothed it, painted it, stroked it, illuminated it, polished it and softened it. Laminate seduced me so completely that it must have been the source of the decorative obsession with infinite signs, styles and colours that wrapped me ever more firmly inside the cocoon of my sins, my terrible thirst for ornamentation. If I try to locate the true, distant beginning of my design life sentence, of my prisons, I find it in the emptiness of the drawings produced by hand or on the computer, above the superficiality of the surfaces, not in the depth of space and form.”

 

 

Stanze, Novembre. Photo by Andrea Martiradonna | #Milantrace2016
INTRO by Fabio Novembre. Photo © Andrea Martiradonna.

Rooms (Stanze): Novel Living Concepts at La Triennale di Milano, Photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace | #MILANTRACE2016Rooms (Stanze): Novel Living Concepts at La Triennale di Milano, Photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace | #MILANTRACE2016

INTRO by Fabio Novembre. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

INTRO by Fabio Novembre – a room that ironically draws a parallel between architecture and the human body.

“If you think about it, an egg is like a solidified uterus. If we then tried to plunder our remotest amniotic memories, it would be easy to demonstrate that our first perception of space occurred while we were floating about in the warm hollow of an ovoid form and that every concept of domesticity is geared to recreating that condition.

Mankind has always been fascinated by its shape, art has celebrated its iconic value, and architecture – especially when endeavouring to predict the future – has seen its ovoid shape as the perfect formal synthesis. My design is for a room in which to dream, made of leather with high-end saddlery fittings inside a spherical shell, the outside of which is completely covered with mirrors, as if it were an enormous ballroom. Its spherical shape and reflective power are selling points, but then, welcomed by two golden vestal virgins, the colour and warmth of the leather literally engulf the visitor, who finds himself inside himself, looking at himself from within. Free thoughts drawn from Fellini’s ‘8 1/2’ and from my book “The design explained to my mother” reverberate in the hollow of the great head, like scattered drops of consciousness that surface while we drowse.”

 

 

Rooms (Stanze): Novel Living Concepts at La Triennale di Milano, Photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace | #MILANTRACE2016Rooms (Stanze): Novel Living Concepts at La Triennale di Milano, Photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace | #MILANTRACE2016

‘URSUS’ by Duilio Forte. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Stanze, Forte. Photo by Andrea Martiradonna | #Milantrace2016
‘URSUS’ by Duilio Forte. Photo © Andrea Martiradonna.

 

URSUS by Duilio Forte – a minimal habitative experience set inside a zoomorphic shape inspired by giant bears.

“The bear is an animal associated with northern nature, where he lives in the forest of on sheets of Arctic ice. The monumental size of the structure means that every single part of the work is inhabitable. The head/ entrance consists of a sauna. The purification of the mind and body make way for the main room, the body. The first part to the inside of the body is split into two levels, two small bathrooms below, and a bed above. The central space, full height, is the convivial area. A long table in the centre, a kitchen. The interior is colonised by a great many objects, sculptures, nooks and pictures connected with the Scandinavian world, mythology and travel.”

 

 

Stanze, Anastasio. Photo by Andrea Martiradonna | #Milantrace2016
‘Resonances’ by Andrea Anastasio. Photo © Andrea Martiradonna.

 

Resonances by Andrea Anastasio – a conceptual refection of a living space that explores multiple dualities.

“The design for the room was triggered by reflecting on living spaces as places in which the many relational potentials for human beings coexist on a daily basis – the opportunities to affirm or deny the dimension of listening to oneself, to others and to the world, in particular. The project is intended to give shape to a combination of polarities, identified by this reflection on the domestic space. Internal-external; microcosm-macrocosm; isolation-relationship; closed-open; dialogue-indifference; health-illness, etc. The furnishing elements essential to daily life were identified – table-bed-container – and then arranged inside the room so as to mark out two virtual axes, suggesting the intersection of two rooms. A semi-transparent curtain was hung across them, chopping them in half. While substantially altering the furniture, splitting it did not preclude its functionality, while sharpening its symbolic/narrative properties.”

 

 

Stanze, Lazzarini Pickering. Photo by Andrea Martiradonna | #Milantrace2016
‘La vie en rose’ by Claudio Lazzarini & Carl Pickering of Lazzarini Pickering. Photo © Andrea Martiradonna.

 

La vie en rose by Claudio Lazzarini & Carl Pickering of Lazzarini Pickering – a loggia/greenhouse occurring between the interior and exterior, informed by the possibilities of new solar technologies.

“Sheets of glass ranging from pink to claret define the walls of a minimalist habitative cell that explores the technical, aesthetic and ethical possibilities thrown up by the new solar technologies. Surfaces screen-printed with special pink, organic and hybrid photovoltaic ink produce energy when exposed to direct, indirect and artificial light sources, triggering a virtuous circle of energy consumption and production. Thirty-three internal square metres and twelve metres of loggia/greenhouse encompass all the residential functions required by a couple looking from the contemporary to the future, bringing elements of memory with them. The loggia/greenhouse, a mediation space between the interior and exterior, controls the air conditioning and energy production and hosts plants and domestic utilities. A central plan, covered by a vault, is enclosed by a perimeter of server spaces and solar panels, which open as required, altering the space like theatrical scenery. The furnishings meld with the fixtures, the fixtures become furnishings and everything becomes transformed. The habitative cells duplicate and join together to generate architecture and landscapes that aspire to energy self-sufficiency.”

 

 

Stanze, CRA. Photo by Andrea Martiradonna | #Milantrace2016

Lift-Bit by Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA). Photo © Andrea Martiradonna.

 

Lift-Bit by Carlo Ratti Associati – the world’s first Internet-connected sofa

“The design, put together with the support of Vitra, consists of an upholstered modular and reconfigurable seat, which leverages Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology, making for a new living experience. The Lift-Bit prototype is built on a combination of a series of individual stools, each of which contains a linear drive that enables the seats to be raised or lowered. Remotely controlled by an app, each stool can double or halve in height, reconfiguring the space in a potentially infinite number of new combinations. A homage to Cedric Price’s Generator Project, Lift-Bit’s responsive module adapts to suit the user’s requirements, becoming an armchair, a bed, an orderly sitting room, a small auditorium or a domestic landscape.”

 

 

Stanze, Riva. Photo by Andrea Martiradonna | #Milantrace2016
‘La Petite Chambre’ by Umberto Riva. Photo © Andrea Martiradonna.

Stanze, Riva. Photo by Andrea Martiradonna | #Milantrace2016
‘La Petite Chambre’ by Umberto Riva. Photo © Andrea Martiradonna.

 

La Petite Chambre by Umberto Riva – a timber cabin inspired by the work of Le Corbusier

“The idea of rethinking the Cabanon, the bolt hole built by Le Corbusier on the Côte d’Azur 1952, becomes a pretext for a reflection on the amount of space man effectively needs. A long way from the sea, this is a long-distance dialogue, respectful yet also critical: while Corb designed it according to the Modulor, Riva relies on the safety of logic, opting for an empirical interrogation of the ‘primordial’ elements of the domestic environment. This Milanese chambre also measures approximately 16sqm and is rectangular, but its regularity is disrupted by two ‘branchiae’ that contrive an unexpected interchange with the outdoors. In order to avoid the promiscuity of the Cabanon – where the WC is near the bed – the bathroom is in an independent, organically shaped unit. The furnishings are in birch, made to measure: the bed replicates that of Corb with the headboard, the tables accentuate the diagonality of the space and the lamps were designed by Riva in the 1970s. It is completely encompassed by a wooden structure, covered with cedar shingles.”

 

Related Post: Highlights from Milan Design Week 2016.

 

 


[Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace and Andrea Martiradonna as noted.]

 

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor
Google+

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

Leave a Reply