L’esperienza del design e il design dell’esperienza

Siamo nati come fogli bianchi, ma i casi della vita ci trasformano in caotici misteri. Diventiamo ibridi, interessanti, innovativi, inconsistenti, fragili; insomma siamo storie, tante, complesse e singolari. Siamo una fusione di momenti che plasmano la nostra alterità. Il design segue in qualche modo la metafora della vita: confuso, ambiguo e pieno di storie da raccontare.

Dalla grande trama del Salone del Mobile abbiamo scelto alcuni racconti che ci sono parsi, ognuno a suo modo, originali.

Lasvit, un brand leader nella produzione del vetro, ha trasformato l’affascinante Teatro Gerolamo nel Monster Cabinet, dove acrobati, ballerini e attori hanno presentato i prodotti del marchio ceco. I prodotti sono diventati i protagonisti dell’opera teatrale, gli attori di una messa in scena che non si è limitata all’informazione tecnica della collezione, ma l’ha resa viva e memorabile.

Il design è un processo, un processo di svelamento. Il pezzo d’arredo, il prodotto sono un’estensione dell’essere umano. E come questo, vitale, sensato e invitante.

In piazza del Duomo il padiglione Living Nature. La Natura dell’Abitare dello studio Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) ha riproposto le quattro stagioni con tutti gli elementi visuali e sensoriali propri di ognuna. Lo spazio condiviso dalle quattro stagioni ha riprodotto i quattro microcosmi naturali e climatici grazie a una tecnologia per il controllo climatico sostenibile, basata sull’impiego di celle fotovoltaiche e accumulatori energetici dalle ampie potenzialità per future applicazioni.

I prodotti spesso trascendono dalla loro forma, si trasformano in qualcosa di più, mettono alla prova la nostra creatività e bussano alla porta delle emozioni. Breath of Light di Preciosa Lightning è un perfetto esempio di immaterialità. La luce qui si respira in un’installazione interattiva che lega il visitatore all’illuminazione e agli altri visitatori.

Concludiamo ritornando al principio, al principio dell’essere umano. L’umanità si è evoluta in forme diverse, ma un elemento è rimasto costante: l’ostinata ricerca di connessioni, di relazioni emozionali. E il design emerso in questa edizione del Salone del Mobile sembra tornare anch’esso al principio, riportando al centro il rapporto tra essere umano e design, utilizzando strumenti diversi – natura, tecnologia, teatro – ma sempre rimanendo umano, molto umano.


Experiencing Design, in Designed Experiences

We are born white slates and after life’s occurrences we turn into chaotic mysteries. We become hybrid, interesting, innovating, inconsistent, touched. Making it simple, we are all walking, talking, breathing stories.. A fusion of moments that shape us and mold into our distinctiveness. Just like life, design is very much alike: messy, ambiguous and full of stories. Introducing Lasvit, a brand at the forefront of glass processing techniques that has transformed the Teatro Gerolamo into the ‘Monster Cabaret’ story line where acrobats, dancers, and actors show case the products exactly the same way an actor performs a play, a dancer a composition, an acrobat a routine.. The vases, and glass ornaments are then converted from products in an exhibition space into the protagonists of a theater play allowing visitors to not only learn about the product line of the brand, but be part of a theater appreciation as well. In this case, Lasvit has optimized the use of art and the connection of the theater to entice and intrigue visitors to be part of such an experience, which in turn only serves as an advantage to the brand, where the visitor becomes the indirect advertising agent to other people. As people leave Teatro Gerolamo, not only will they remember the originality of the brand in show casing a collection of glass products, but also will be left with a sensorial memory in which they are part of an exclusive experience that they will be eager to share with anyone and everyone.

It is well known that designing is a process; a process of revealing our character, our misfortunes, and our chaos. Not only is a piece of furniture or product like life, but it is also an embodiment of us humans, an extension. It should be full of life, meaning, vital and inviting. In this case what is more inviting than nature itself?! In the Duomo Square rested a grand pavilion that holds in its core an incarnation of the four seasons in all their visual and sensory aspects called Living Nature. The space is divided into four equal enclosed compartments resembling each of the seasons. As a visitor, one starts his journey from the cold winter with all its harsh winds, picturesque white filled scenery, and basically the feeling of Christmas. The next step is autumn, where the leaves have fallen, the color brown is prominent, and the feeling of something ending is in the air. Arriving into spring, flowers have bloomed, the air is clearer, and feeling of youth and renewal are evident. Lastly, going into summer; the sun is out, the tans are in, and the temperature is basically a hundred degrees. As this play by play of the journey, comes to an end; Mr. Carlo Ratti the creator of this pavilion ensured the coexisting of the four seasons portray how nature succeeds in integrating itself in our cities, homes and life so easily. Living this experience is a perfect example of how nature affects the human being and his feelings, and how the actions of the human being in return affects nature. This exhibition stands today because of an innovative energy management system for climate control, but there was no representative standing in a hall to explain all of that, just a real depiction of nature and every sensorial feeling it offers.

There is something to be said about how products transcend from being just a simple 4D object into something much more. When a product tests our creativity and knocks on the doors of our feelings, and comfort this is when it surpasses the nature of being a product. Breath of Light of Preciosa is perfect expression of this transcendence, as they allow their visitors to become one with their lighting product. As one breathes into the bulb not only does it light up, but in its way; lights up a series of other bulbs creating a play with light that is literally a breath taker. As far as experiences go, Preciosa has converted its exhibition space into an interaction where one leaves his imprint on the bulb and feels that he himself has become a creator or a catalyst to some distinct movement.

Let’s wrap up together, and let’s go back to the basics, basics of the human race, the basics of design. The human race has evolved and transformed drastically from day one to where we are today, but the only one thing has remained constant: their relentless exploration for connections whether emotional or otherwise. Design however, only seems to have changed; other than the need for the products, the ultimate core of design as a tool for self-expression has remained one of the most important reasons why man really design. See, after all this time and after everything, Salone Del Mobile 2018, has showed a tremendous shift back to the basics¬¬, where experience and perception trump product and where enabling connections between man and man and between man and design will forever prevail. Salone has portrayed a huge variety in the types of experiences that can be used in enhancing the connection between brands and people, some which are using nature, technology, and theater.

Experience is the only thing one cannot cheat, as everything has a lesson, moral, feeling and most importantly memory in it. Take a second, and see that the things you hold dearest to your heart are not really ‘materialistic things’ , but a fleeting kiss perhaps, maybe an encounter with an old friend, or a good book … : an experience.


Reeta Haykal

Cynthia Srour


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