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MILAN 2008: Highlights from Greenergy Design
The Greenergy Design exhibition, at Cortili dell’Universita degli Studi di Milano, is just the kind of thing us Inhabitants live for. As the title suggests, all of the designs on display had sustainability at their heart and Greenergy featured awesome designs such as a billowing, constantly changing cloud light, a personal seating garden, and included work from world-renowned designers including Philippe Starck and Marti Guixe. Take a look at our highlights here!
Toshiyuki Kita‘s Sunplant was the first thing that struck us on entering the exhibition: a structure that uses photovoltaic cells to charge rechargeable batteries. Sanyo helped the designer realize his vision.
Ross Lovegrove designed this amazing Solar Tree seat and light. It’s dubbed Bodh Gaya and was produced in collaboration with Artemide. Its LED bubbles light up at night through the sunlight accumulated during the day by the solar panels.
Philippe Starck showed off ‘Democratic Ecology’, his ‘personal invisible windmill’ that he hopes to make available to all. In his rationale, Starck states “the more materiality there is, the less humanity”.
Mario Bellini‘s ‘Meditation Pavilion’ was Inhabitat’s personal favorite from the exhibition, combining eco-design techniques with a slow living philosophy. Users go in to the pavilion simply to sit, and are soothed by watching a bubbling pool and breathing in the fragrant vapors of green tea that are emitted from a seating area shaped as a half moon. The visual appearance may not be that of other luxury design, but we can vouch that it is a treat, and we’d love to see more popping up around the world.
This intriguing design by Guiseppe Amato is actually an observation station called ‘Nautoscopio’. The oak used in the structure is from reclaimed dead wood, and the inside roofing is black hemp.
The central focus of the exhibition was this intriguing form by Jacopo Foggini, entitled ‘Ofigea’. It’s an art piece made of methacrylate M-Cryl, a ‘regenerated’ product that saves 70% of the energy needed to process virgin material, as well as consuming less water in production. It’s lit using hundreds of energy-saving LED discs of various colours.
We entered a stairwell to discover Denis Santachiara‘s Grande Nuvola installation billowing above us: two huge, glowing cloud-like structures that expanded and shrunk as we looked on. Unfortunately the design is driven by an ‘eco-emotional’ approach, rather than actually being made of sustainable materials, but we hope Santachiara will look at materials more in future.
Marti Guixe was responsible for one of the exhibition’s numerous ‘rest spaces’, filling it with his untreated natural padding cushions.
We got our Gaudi hit for the day from Mecanoo Architects‘ ‘A Piece of Banyan’, a beautifully curved space that uses a cladding with ‘biocompatible certification’. The ceramic is produced using clean methods with minimal energy consumption, and its reuse or end-of-life has been considered too.
Tokujin Yoshioka had these cute ‘Bouquet’ seats on display, made from pieces of fabric sewn one by one onto an egg-shaped body.
Pirelli were the most famous brand with work in the exhibition, using this strange sculpture to draw attention to its new Ecobuilding program, which brings environmental benefits to three structures in Milan.
Holly All’s ‘Seating Vase’ made us smile, enabling individuals to keep in touch with nature, no matter how tight their living space.
And, last but not least, Kerakoll Design‘s beautiful ‘Lace’ installation stood quietly but confidently at the back of the exhibition’s courtyard. The paint on the installation’s 160 hexagonal tiles are covered with a special eco-friendly resin, being free from solvents and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This is definitely a company will be looking up further after the Fair.
So all in all, a fascinating, highly inspiring exhibition, featuring the majority of eco-design approaches. Beautiful, sustainable and fun – we can’t wait to see these designs springing up around the world in years to come!
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