Visiting Milan design week 2016 with Marshall McLuhan
In the frenzy of the world’s biggest furniture fair, GIANLUIGI RICUPERATI smashes together a visual report with quotes from Marshall McLuhan.
In the middle of Milan design week’s path, I left the noise of invitations and taxi and queues, handshakes and strolls, and came back to my room, where Marshall McLuhan’s Unbound – as beautiful and wise as ever – furnished my Salone Del Mobile memories with old-new illuminations. I used the Layout Instagram app to associate these iPhone pictures with McLuhan’s quotes, adding a descriptive caption for each new montage.
We’re never alive, especially when left alone in the crowd and the smog of furniture pieces.
We only live through books.
A set of invites on the left, and a copy of Marshall McLuhan's Unbound essay collection on the right.
A Palazzo Clerici dinner in honour of the super exciting Automated Kitchen Tables designed by Kram & Weisshaar for Sapienstone, and an excerpt from Myth and Mass Media, published on 'Daedalus' in 1959.
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An excerpt from American Advertising, 1947, above, and a three-lamp panorama from the enchanting and warm interior designed by Dimore.
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From Notes on the Media as Art Forms, 1954, and a detail from the absolutely necessary presence of print books in the context of the design week, at the Offprint hall, brought to Milan by Luma Foundation.
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From 'Culture without Literacy', 1953.
A top-bottom vision of the inaugural official dinner table of the Salone Del Mobile 2016, held at former factory space Ansaldo.
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From 'The relation of environment to anti-environmental', 1966.
The Fondazione Prada tower is almost completed. There is clearly a pre-Fondazione Milan design week and a post-one.
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From The Argument: Causality in the Electric World, 1973, and Stefania Fersini's fake mirror, installed in one of the obligatory passages in the Salone Del Mobile: Fornasetti's house. An apartment filled with the founder's obsessive decorativism, it is one of the most enthralling novelties of this year: design piece, art intervention, virtuoso painting anamorphosis and Instagram-era visual token.
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A collective movement from The Wandering School, an education and activist experiment held in the squat of Macao, in a Milano office building, where radical politics manifestations agitated the conscience of the left in the last years, over a quote from Inside Blake and Hollywood, written in 1947.
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Hans-Ulrich Obrist visiting the Nike 'Natural Motion' exhibition, in via Orobia 15, in front of the drums crafted by Martino Gamper. From At The Moment of Sputnik The Planet Became A Global Theater in Which There Are No Spectators But Only Actors, 1964.
Gianluigi Ricuperati is an author and the creative director of Domus Academy. He discussed the self-driving car in 032c Issue 28.