SURFACIN' Material Innovation

An interactive exposition of materials and surfaces held during the 2009 Salone del Mobile at "Leonardo da Vinci" National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan.

The exhibition concept and design were based on the idea of sustainability. The materials appearing in the exhibition also formed the structure of the installation, in line with the project's aesthetics and communicative power. The event format was designed to be repeatable on an international scale, permitting re-use of the entire exhibition structure. This complex programme is intended to investigate the specific technical and perceptive values of each material: stone, marble, resin, wood, ceramics, fabric, wallpaper, natural materials of biological origin, plastics and metals. The combination of materials and technology was the criterion used in selection of the materials; traditional materials were associated with innovative technologies, innovative materials with traditional technologies, and finally, traditional materials and technologies were associated with innovative uses. Surfacin' – Materials Innovation is an interactive showcase of materials and surfaces in which the visitor's perception becomes the key, stimulated by the elements that surround it: colour as a basic element in perception and design, light as an element multiplying the functions and sensations given off by different materials, sound as an element capable of amplifying visitors' empathy.

The choices made in the installation were determined by three different requirements for communications: thrilling visitors and enhancing their perception to permit true interaction and underline the value and performance of individual materials; providing the visitor with information about the materials used and the exhibitor companies; and offering them an opportunity to obtain more information with an area dedicatedto establishing contact with the exhibitors.

Surfacin' - Materials Innovation is an emotional walk through a forest of innovative materials and unknown finishes. Along the path we experience a transition from hot to cold, changes in the light and spotlights, and at the end there are rocks on which to lie down and rest. The colours that stand out in the exhibition are those of the materials: the neutral hues of marble and the shades of wood. The bright colours are those of soft fruit: red, blueberry and purple, along with water and sky blue. Surfaces are matt, shiny and irregular.

Client: DesignPartners Srl.
Date: 2009
Role: Event Design, Planning, Relations with companies, 2D orthographic drawing, 3D visualisation, Interior layout, On-site supervision
Collaborators: Luca Fois, Francesca Valan