Missed the Milan Design Week? Here are some material highlights! Part II

As we all know, Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano, or the Milan Design Week, is the largest furniture trade fair in the world. Aside from the fair itself, the whole city is filled with initiatives, exhibitions, parties and introductions that showcase the latest in furniture and design from countries around the world. Materia brings you the most noticeable material highlights from this year’s edition (4-9 April). Today, part II (for part I, click here).

Wave/Cave ceramic pavilion
Wave/Cave is an open pavilion made from ceramics, designed by SHoP Architects, re-interpreting an old material with contemporary design. Spanning an area of 55 square metres (590 square feet), the installation consists of 1670 tubes of extruded unglazed terracotta. Each of the tubes was cut by a CNC machine, creating 797 different shapes. They were then connected by steel bars, arranged on three levels to form a sculptural object. The sculpture is 3.6 metres (11.8 feet) at the highest point. In total, it weighs 55 tonnes.

The name Wave/Cave alludes to the shape of the pavilion. The tubes are arranged in such a way that it creates a wavy pattern. The cave-like geometry was emphasised as night with a custom-made lighting system.

A real eyecatcher was a 3D printed sculpture, created by Zaha Hadid Architects using a six-axis robotic 3D printing system. The whole sculpture consists of one continuously looping strip of plastic, which is 7 kilometres (4.3 miles) long in total.

The design explores differential growth methods through expansion and diffusion arising from a single continuous seed curve. The shape is trimmed to a cylinder that enables a hot-wire cutting process to create the mould of the base of which the continuous structural strip has been 3D printed.

The name Thallus derives from a Greek word for flora that has no differentiation between stem and leaf.

Tiny houses are a big hit, and this one is a special variation. In a collaboration with New York architects SO-IL, MINI created an installation that showed what happens when we view houses not only as a space in which to live, but as an active part of our environment that plays a positive role for the environment and the people living there.

The installation creates a living area for up to three people. The basic structure consists of a modular, metal frame, while a flexible, light permeable outer skin creates the boundary between inside and outside. There is room for six potential rooms and a roof garden.

The installation is meant as an active ecosystem. The outer skin is covered in a special coating that filters and neutralises the air, while the plants in the roof garden improve the air quality further. The skin is translucent, so that daylight can come in. An intelligent construction on the roof collects rainwater that can be used later.

The individual living areas are separated by light permeable textile walls, so people in other rooms can make out silhouettes and movements, while also giving a sense of privacy for the person inside the room.

The whole structure is mobile and adaptable, so it can be disassembled and installed at another location. The fabric is interchangeable and can be replaced with one that performs appropriately to a different climate.

Photos: Inexhibit (Wave/Cave) / Luke Hayes (via Hypebeast) (Thallus) / BMW Group (MINI LIVING – Breathe)