Those Milan Design Week visitors brave enough to venture north of Garibaldi Station, yes there is civilisation up there, will be rewarded by an exhibition that demonstrates just how easily architecture, art and design can co-exist without threatening one another’s integrity.
Design, architecture and art combined in a borderless display of unity, tolerance and respect. Which sounds like a nice response to the current political situation in Italy. It isn’t meant as such, but….
Magic Moments Inside at Galleria Viafarini combines the talents of students form Burg Giebichenstein Halle and ALAD Laboratories, an experimental design studio and research-unit based at the Politecnico di Milano, and is presented as being an exhibition featuring works of design, photography, architecture, applied arts and video by students of both institutions.
And there doesn’t appear to be any other link between the objects on display. No common thread to guide you round the room. No “theme”
Just the objects.
Consequently, as an exhibition Magic Moments Inside does place an awful lot of responsibility on the visitor in terms of investigating the background to the works, the context of their creation, even the names of the responsible creatives.
But as with so much in life: the more effort you apply, the greater the ultimate satisfaction.
Burg Giebichenstein are presenting a mix of new works and some, almost, historical artefacts; works such as Jecket by Ilja Oelschlägel or Comfy Cargo Chair by Stephan Schulz appear to have been around almost as long as we have. Don’t get us wrong we’re not complaining, far from it. Comfy Cargo Chair for example, is a product we believe in as much now as we ever did. Similarly Jecket. And we’re delighted to see them in Milan, not least because it means their creators have not given up on them. Or at least the curatorial team behind the exhibition haven’t.
Among the, for us, newer works those that particularly caught our attention included SWEDG by Lisa Maria Wandel, just the cheekiest way to transform your Eames side chair into a RAR, or indeed any chair into a rocker, and Ninetynine by Till Ronacher - a collection of 99 paper toasters. And as such an inescapable criticism on the modern consumer product industry. And so by extrapolation an inescapable criticism of Milan Design Week.
ALAD is an abbreviation of Architecture and Land Ambient Design, the works from the students are however not as strictly limited as the institutes title implies and in addition to presentations of architectural concepts and models there are also a wonderful series of grotesque, miniature scenographies.
Grotesque as in eerie, perverse, sureal, delightful, captivating.
If we’re honest we didn’t note any of the names. Apologies. Our fault.
However as soon as we have them we will let you all know.
Or if you are in Milan go and visit for yourself.
In addition to the exhibition the organisers have conceived a fairly exhaustive fringe programme featuring food, music and every day at 5pm: a nice cuppa tea.
Magic Moments Inside isn’t the only exhibition in Milan offering a daily tea break, a much more established, genre defining, international conglomerate has had a similar idea.
Magic Moments Inside is however the more sympathetic location. And in our view the only one of the two worth visiting.
You will discover something new.
Which, as we all know, isn’t always the case in Milan.
Magic Moments Inside can be viewed at Galleria Viafarini, via Carlo Farini 35, Milan, from 11am to 9pm until Sunday April 14th 2013.
Full(ish) details can be found at http://aladlabs.tumblr.com