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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An excerpt from American Advertising, 1947, above, and a three-lamp panorama from the enchanting and warm interior designed by Dimore.
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.
A set of invites on the left, and a copy of Marshall McLuhan's Unbound essay collection on the right.