Milano Design Week 2018 | ‘LIVING NATURE’ explores the relationship between nature and living
By FEDERICA LUSIARDI - August 21, 2018
The 57th edition of the “Salone del Mobile Milano” explores the relationship between nature and living with an exhibition-installation designed to trigger ideas about sustainable design in the internal and external parts of the home.
The Salone’s city-based technological project “Living Nature. La Natura dell’Abitare” developed with the Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) international design studio, has been installed in Piazza del Duomo, in front of Palazzo Reale, from 17th to 29th April 2018.
A single 500 m2 space, conceived with energy saving criteria in mind, contains four natural, climactic microcosms that enable all four seasons of the year to unfold at precisely the same time, one next to the other. Visitors are immersed in nature and experience its changes as they make their way through the four different areas – Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn – embellished with familiar and domestic concepts.
The Living Nature pavilion by Carlo Ratti Associati with Barbara Römer, installed in Piazza Duomo for the Milan Design Week 2018; photos © Inexhibit
The project, conceived by CRA with Barbara Römer, does not fail to deliver in terms of ironic, evocative and experiential value. Quite the reverse. While the obvious aim is the reconciliation between urban and domestic spaces on one hand and nature on the other, the end goal is to come up with sustainable, genuinely applicable solutions that replicate the processes inherent in our own ecosystem, harnessing existing technological advances in an intelligent manner.
While air conditioning is often associated with excessive consumption, this project offers a radical change of perspective, demonstrating the feasibility of air conditioning technology that is also sustainable, with huge potential for future applications. The 5-meter-high pavilion consists of a responsive Crystal membrane fitted with light-reactive sensors that enable the internal climatic conditions to be carefully regulated. A series of organic photovoltaic panels, equipped with latest generation solar cells inspired by chlorophyll photosynthesis, is integrated into the roof, providing the energy required to keep the winter area cold. A heat exchange system draws on this energy to heat the summer area.
The Living Nature pavilion, Milan Design Week 2018; views of the four climatic microcosms corresponding to the four seasons; photos © Inexhibit
Rendering of the pavilion at night; image courtesy of Milan Furniture Fair – Salone del Mobile di Milano
Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) project for the Salone del Mobile.Milano
Concept Design: Carlo Ratti Associati & Studio Römer Design
Development: Carlo Ratti Associati
Scenography: Studio Römer
Engineering Consultants: Ai Studio
Landscape and Botanics: Patrick Blanc; Flavio Pollano
Construction: PAC Team Expo
Graphics: studio FM Milano
Living Nature. La Natura dell’Abitare
17th – 29th April
Piazza del Duomo 10 am – 10 pm