Milano Triennale – Broken Nature: Restorative Design

The XXII Triennale di Milano, Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival is revolving around the concept of restorative design and studies that try to connect humans to their natural environments by exploring architecture, design objects, and materials.

As furniture manufacturers, we pay attention to the materials and wood we choose, and we are dedicated to replanting trees to preserve the natural ecosystem.

This part of Milano Triennale was interesting to us because going back to basics and returning to materials (such as wood in its natural form) as the subject can offer powerful insights into the key issues of our age.

XXII Milano Triennale, Broken Nature – Restorative Design is a thematic international exhibition that is on display until September 1st so if you are planning to visit Milano, we recommend you to visit it!

Here are some projects we loved from the XXII Triennale di Milano

The Room of Change by studio Accurat, 2019 – commissioned for the exhibition Broken Nature

In this precarious fast-moving world, appreciating the notion of change is hard. In The Room of Change, the high-end data science, design, and development studio Accurat (Giorgia Lupi, Gabriele Rossi, Nicola Guidoboni, Giovanni Magni, Lorenzo Marchionni, Andrea Titton and Alessandro Zotta) come to grips with such complexity and visualizes it in the form of a handcrafted data tapestry. 

The Room of Change is a handcrafted data tapestry that illustrates multiple aspects of our environment and its changes over the past centuries. Combining several data sources and combining local and global perspectives, this installation tells the story of people and their relationship with the environment.  

A.A.I. by Agnieszka Kurant, 2014–17

In their evolution as a species, termites evolved into harmonious social societies. In A.A.I., artist Agnieszka Kurant works with millions of termites, skilled in creating complex architectural structures with intricate functional tunnels and chambers. 

“Supplied with colored sands and crystals, the termites build hybrid sculptural forms that straddle the realms of the natural and organic, and the cultural and human made. In a nod to the heavily debated relationship of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics to the labor market, Kurant’s work serves as a metaphor for the outsourcing of work to parts of the world where human labor is cheaper and working conditions less favorable…

Gionata Gatto and Giovanni Innella, Geomerce, 2015

For artists, Gionata Gatto and Giovanni Innela animals and plants are not entities that need to be accounted for (and at best to protect them). Geomerce is about the property of certain plants that are known as hyperaccumulators – hydrangea and rapeseed, that are known to absorb metals from the soil through their roots.

 The designers rely on these mining abilities to imagine a new vegetation-driven financial economy. By turning extraction (an activity usually associated with the invasive impact of humankind on nature) into a human-plant partnership, they propose an alternative to the usual human-versus-nature dichotomy.

Resurrecting the Sublime, Christina Agapakis, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, and Sissel Tolaas
with support from IFF Inc. and Ginkgo Bioworks Inc. 2019

Resurrecting the Sublime is a collaboration bringing together cutting-edge scientific research and a series of immersive installations, allowing us to smell extinct flowers, lost due to colonial activity. The ongoing project is by artist Dr Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, artist Sissel Tolaas, and a team of synthetic biologists at Ginkgo Bioworks led by Dr Christina Agapakis, with the support of IFF Inc. 

This short documentary introduces the project, taking us through the “resurrection” process from the Harvard University Herbaria, and then via Ginkgo Bioworks’ organism foundry in Boston, Sissel Tolaas’ smell research lab in Berlin, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg’s London studio, and the lost landscapes brought to life again. 

Ore streams by Simone Farresin and Andrea Trimarchi of Formafantasma, 2017

This modern art celebration and exhibition explores the interaction that the humankind has with the natural environment and how we have been putting it in jeopardy for over the past years – and most importantly what can we do to preserve the nature.