Need to Know
13 : 04 : 18

13.04.2018 Design : Architecture : Salone Del Mobile

In today's daily digest, we profile five standout installations to see at this year's Milan Salone Internazionale.

1. Sony develops emotionally driven interfaces

Hidden Senses by Sony

Exhibiting at Milan Salone for the first time in 8 years, Sony has created a sensorial exhibition designed to ‘challenge the constraints between technology and human behaviour’. Across five experimental areas, Hidden Senses shows possible interactions between people, objects and spaces and emphasises the value in electronic objects that can contribute to an emotionally richer environment.

Visitors are encouraged to interact with apparent everyday objects that provide surprising tactile and audio feedback when used. ‘Sony design is not only a matter of lines and shapes, but also, and even more, a way to explore new innovative ways to integrate technologies into everyday life, making the ordinary into extraordinary’, the brand explains.

The exhibition journey concludes with a domestic setting that showcases how Sony’s innovative yet discreet interfaces could be effortlessly embedded into future homes.

Hidden Senses will run 17 to 22 April at Spazio Zegna, via Savona 56/A

2. MINI thinks home design should be more participatory

Built by All by MINI Living Built by All by MINI Living

Scarcity of living space within our growing cities has resulted in a rise of standardised housing that does not fulfil individual inhabitants needs. In response to this, MINI LIVING has collaborated with London architectural firm Studiomama and created Built by All, an installation that encourages residents to shape and contribute to the development of their future micro-neighbourhoods.

‘Built by All turns people into active creators and puts them back at the heart of the design process. We believe the quality of a living space is determined by how well the residents identify with their home,’ explains Oke Hauser, Lead Creative at MINI LIVING.

Four separate living propositions that reflect the different residents will be centred around public zones that include a kitchen, gym and cinema. An adjoining area entitled the MINI Factory of Ideas will also give visitors to the installation an opportunity to envisage their own future-living concepts through interactive model making. For more on how brands are facilitating community centred placemaking initiatives, read our Civic Brands macrotrend.

Built by All will run from 17 to 22 April at Via Tortona 32, Milan

3. Philip K. Smith creates a place of contemplation

Open Sky by Phillip K. Smith and COS

Set in the 16th Century courtyard of Palazzo Isimbardi, Swedish fashion brand COS have partnered with visual artist Philip K. Smith to create a site-specific installation titled Open Sky. Smith, who is known for his large-scale light-based work, has created a mirrored, circular sculpture that is tilted upwards, reflecting fragments of its surroundings and revealing a 360 degree view of the sky.

Each visitor is encouraged to take a moment to pause, and will have an entirely unique experience when they visit the space depending on the weather, location and time. A series of small, freestanding sculptures will also be spread throughout the venue as a way to distil the overarching concept.

Open Sky will run from 17 to 22 April at Palazzo Isimbardi, Corso Monforte, 35

4. Eindhoven graduates redefine design

After Photography by Dongwhan Kam After Photography by Dongwhan Kam
After Photography by Dongwhan Kam After Photography by Dongwhan Kam
After Photography by Dongwhan Kam After Photography by Dongwhan Kam

Design Academy Eindhoven will present a street-long installation on Milan’s Via Pietro Crespi that aims to revalue and question alternative definitions of design. Set amidst the daily life of a typical Milanese street, Not For Sale will explore what can and cannot be bought or sold through systems of exchange and the emerging micro-societies designed around transactions of goods and services.

Graduates from each of the Academy’s eight BA and four MA departments will exhibit site specific work that explores these themes including Donghwam Kam, who freezes iconic moments of mass media through the virtual reality of Second life in his After-photography project, and Martina Huynh’s, whose Basic Income Café visualises the economical principles behind two basic income scenarios through the flow of coffee.

Not for Sale will run from 17 to 22 April Via Pietro Crespi, 14, 20127

5. Google explores human-centred hardware

Softwear by Google and Lidewji Edelkoort. Photography by Thomas Straub Softwear by Google and Lidewji Edelkoort. Photography by Thomas Straub
Softwear by Google and Lidewji Edelkoort. Photography by Thomas Straub Softwear by Google and Lidewji Edelkoort. Photography by Thomas Straub

Debuting for the first time at Milan Salone, Google will be presenting their new Softwear range at the Rossana Orlandi gallery. The tech giant has developed the consumer products in collaboration with trend forecaster Lidewji Edelkoort with the aim to provoke a conversation around the future of technology and how it should seamlessly fit in to our lives. The hardware will be presented across three sprawling rooms of the gallery in a series of domestic settings, and feature six newly commissioned wall hangings by Dutch designer Kiki van Eijk which are based on collages of hand-cut textiles taken from Google’s new range.

On Tuesday 17th April there will be a panel discussion entitled Soft Futures, exploring the intersection between technology and lifestyle design and the increasingly sensorial experience of engaging with electronic devices. Chaired by Dezeen founder and editor in chief Marcus Fairs, the panel will feature Edelkoort, head of design at Google Hardware Ivy Ross and The Future Laboratory’s very own co-founder Martin Raymond.

Software will run from 17 to 22 April at Rosanna Orlandi, Via Matteo Bandello, 14

6. Thought-starter: What can tech brands gain from Milan Salone?

With Sony returning to Milan Salone after an eight-year hiatus, and tech giants Google and Panasonic showcasing new products, what do tech brands have to gain from presenting their wares at design shows?

With over 350,000 international visitors and hundreds of brands and designers presenting their latest work across the city, Milan Salone is the largest event in the design calendar. Having evolved into more than just a furniture fair, large-scale brand activations increasingly take centre stage as brands recognise the potential of connecting with this design-centric audience.

Where typical technology shows such as CES focus predominantly on new releases and product performance, design events provide a platform for brands to communicate their values and ambitions on a deeper level. Design focused installations not only demonstrate technological clout, they inspire visitors with positive visions of the future where technology can be used to enhance our lives.

As discussed in our macro trend Morality Recoded, technology companies have the power to impact society on a global scale, and design shows like Milan Salone allow tech brands to explore how this can be done in a positive manner.

LS:N Global will be reporting from Milan Salone 2018. Keep an eye on our Need to Know section for further coverage throughout the week.