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Brera

Fuorisalone 2016 (Milan Design Week) – 50 Manga Chairs by Oky Sato / Nendo at San Simpliciano

Milan (Italy). In these days, Milan seems “the place to be” – and not only for architecture lovers, trendy designers and unmissable hipsters. For sure, like every year around this period, the city attracts an incredible amount of people coming here to discover the latest tendencies in the sectors of furniture, lighting, decoration and home appliances.

I cannot miss the opportunity of keeping my eye (and my camera) on this interesting world of course, and I like to share what I’m seeing here in my photoblog (isn’t it its purposes?). What’s really impressive, for those people living here all the year, is assisting to a true and deep change in the city’s spirit: let me try to better express myself. Although I consider Milan as probably the most living, enjoyable, innovative and “sparkling” city in Italy (for sure, one of the best life quality), during the so called “design week” the “routine” goes through an authentic transformation, which means pulling out a completely new soul made not only of parties, events, vernissage, opening ceremonies and installations (these things are pretty normal – let me say) but made of a sense of general “discovery”. Yes, during the Fuorisalone’s week, Milan’s people (re)discover their city made of hidden courtyards, beautiful buildings (some of them exceptionally open to public), street decorations and so on. In other words, it looks like a sort of “inspirational wave” floods the city’s districts (not only the fashionable Brera or 5 Vie, but also Lambrate, Tortona etc.) to demonstrate that the urban environment can react to the daily routine, and transform the ordinary into something of extraordinary.

Of course there are critics: why it can’t be all the year? Why the next week – once the design events will be over – Milan will return to hide its beauty? I’m not in a position to answer; but as long as I see that this creative magma is still boiling under the city’s asphalt, the enthusiasm’s eruption of the design week is very, very welcome!

The photograph posted here shows the wonderful exhibition of “50 Manga Chairs” by the Japanese – Canadian designer Oky Sato, included in 2006 (when he was only 29 years old) in “The 100 Most Respected Japanese” ranking prepared by Newsweek magazine, winner of innumerable awards and with a long list of collections exposed at the most prestigious museums all around the world (from the MoMA of New York to the Victoria and Albert Museum of London; from the Centre Pompidou of Paris to the Triennale Design Museum of Milan). I loved the concept of this exhibition, which – by the way – is hosted in what I think is one of the most beautiful and prestigious locations of the entire “Fuorisalone 2016”, the cloister at San Simpliciano church, in the heart of Brera district (and for those visiting it, do not miss a walk in this wonderful and old church).

The exhibition includes 50 chairs, each one based on typical Manga comics’ abstract lines and shapes: the idea is perfectly displayed in a video at the end of the exhibition, and I think visitors should start from it to better understand the concept of Oky Sato’s work. Each chair is made of stainless steel, and all of them have the same basic frame (legs and seatback): what it changes and makes each piece something of unique is the “decoration”, representative of an emulation of the movement – as it is described in a manga comic. If the observer remains concentrated on a single chair per time analyzing its decoration, at the end she will perceive – with the chair itself – the emotion given by the represented movement. The result is a collection of 50 objects conceptually very static (such as chairs can be) but emotionally incredibly dynamic. A great contrast – the one between statics and dynamism – that only a great designer, such as Oky Sato, can represent in this masterful way.

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Fuorisalone 2016 (Milan Design Week) – Baccarat Lumieres Out Of The Box at Brera Distric

Milan (Italy). In these days, Milan seems “the place to be” – and not only for architecture lovers, trendy designers and unmissable hipsters. For sure, like every year around this period, the city attracts an incredible amount of people coming here to discover the latest tendencies in the sectors of furniture, lighting, decoration and home appliances.

I cannot miss the opportunity of keeping my eye (and my camera) on this interesting world of course, and I like to share what I’m seeing here in my photoblog (isn’t it its purposes?). What’s really impressive, for those people living here all the year, is assisting to a true and deep change in the city’s spirit: let me try to better express myself. Although I consider Milan as probably the most living, enjoyable, innovative and “sparkling” city in Italy (for sure, one of the best life quality), during the so called “design week” the “routine” goes through an authentic transformation, which means pulling out a completely new soul made not only of parties, events, vernissage, opening ceremonies and installations (these things are pretty normal – let me say) but made of a sense of general “discovery”. Yes, during the Fuorisalone’s week, Milan’s people (re)discover their city made of hidden courtyards, beautiful buildings (some of them exceptionally open to public), street decorations and so on. In other words, it looks like a sort of “inspirational wave” floods the city’s districts (not only the fashionable Brera or 5 Vie, but also Lambrate, Tortona etc.) to demonstrate that the urban environment can react to the daily routine, and transform the ordinary into something of extraordinary.

Of course there are critics: why it can’t be all the year? Why the next week – once the design events will be over – Milan will return to hide its beauty? I’m not in a position to answer; but as long as I see that this creative magma is still boiling under the city’s asphalt, the enthusiasm’s eruption of the design week is very, very welcome!

The photo posted here has been taken at the Baccarat stand inside the Accademia di Brera Museum: I like shooting this type of subject, it is a nice exercise, given the high contrast between light and darkness… The title of the stand is “Baccarat – Lumières Out of the Box” and these chandeliers – designed by the Dutch designer Marcel Wanders, also known by his iconic Knotted Chair – are the spheric version (therefore very difficult to realise) of the legendary Baccarat model “Zenith”.

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Fuorisalone 2016 (Milan Design Week) – Missoni Knitown at Brera District

Milan (Italy). In these days, Milan seems “the place to be” – and not only for architecture lovers, trendy designers and unmissable hipsters. For sure, like every year around this period, the city attracts an incredible amount of people coming here to discover the latest tendencies in the sectors of furniture, lighting, decoration and home appliances.

I cannot miss the opportunity of keeping my eye (and my camera) on this interesting world of course, and I like to share what I’m seeing here in my photoblog (isn’t it its purposes?). What’s really impressive, for those people living here all the year, is assisting to a true and deep change in the city’s spirit: let me try to better express myself. Although I consider Milan as probably the most living, enjoyable, innovative and “sparkling” city in Italy (for sure, one of the best life quality), during the so called “design week” the “routine” goes through an authentic transformation, which means pulling out a completely new soul made not only of parties, events, vernissage, opening ceremonies and installations (these things are pretty normal – let me say) but made of a sense of general “discovery”. Yes, during the Fuorisalone’s week, Milan’s people (re)discover their city made of hidden courtyards, beautiful buildings (some of them exceptionally open to public), street decorations and so on. In other words, it looks like a sort of “inspirational wave” floods the city’s districts (not only the fashionable Brera or 5 Vie, but also Lambrate, Tortona etc.) to demonstrate that the urban environment can react to the daily routine, and transform the ordinary into something of extraordinary.

Of course there are critics: why it can’t be all the year? Why the next week – once the design events will be over – Milan will return to hide its beauty? I’m not in a position to answer; but as long as I see that this creative magma is still boiling under the city’s asphalt, the enthusiasm’s eruption of the design week is very, very welcome!

Missoni’s stand is a “must” of each Fuorisalone: every year, the popular Italian fashion house opens the doors of its atelier in Via Solferino to host psychedelic exhibitions highlighting their fantastic fabrics. The theme for Fuorisalone 2016 was “Missoni Knitown”, an installation made with a surreal and abstracted town built with geometric solids such as cubes, cones and parallelepipeds, creating a very original skyline “dressed” with the typical design by Missoni. All around, ambient music and soft lights – which challenged the ISO of my Leica Q camera, by the way.

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Fuorisalone 2016 (Milan Design Week) – One of the 50 Manga Chairs by Oky Sando at San Simpliciano

Milan (Italy). In these days, Milan seems “the place to be” – and not only for architecture lovers, trendy designers and unmissable hipsters. For sure, like every year around this period, the city attracts an incredible amount of people coming here to discover the latest tendencies in the sectors of furniture, lighting, decoration and home appliances.

I cannot miss the opportunity of keeping my eye (and my camera) on this interesting world of course, and I like to share what I’m seeing here in my photoblog (isn’t it its purposes?). What’s really impressive, for those people living here all the year, is assisting to a true and deep change in the city’s spirit: let me try to better express myself. Although I consider Milan as probably the most living, enjoyable, innovative and “sparkling” city in Italy (for sure, one of the best life quality), during the so called “design week” the “routine” goes through an authentic transformation, which means pulling out a completely new soul made not only of parties, events, vernissage, opening ceremonies and installations (these things are pretty normal – let me say) but made of a sense of general “discovery”. Yes, during the Fuorisalone’s week, Milan’s people (re)discover their city made of hidden courtyards, beautiful buildings (some of them exceptionally open to public), street decorations and so on. In other words, it looks like a sort of “inspirational wave” floods the city’s districts (not only the fashionable Brera or 5 Vie, but also Lambrate, Tortona etc.) to demonstrate that the urban environment can react to the daily routine, and transform the ordinary into something of extraordinary.

Of course there are critics: why it can’t be all the year? Why the next week – once the design events will be over – Milan will return to hide its beauty? I’m not in a position to answer; but as long as I see that this creative magma is still boiling under the city’s asphalt, the enthusiasm’s eruption of the design week is very, very welcome!

The photograph posted here shows the wonderful exhibition of “50 Manga Chairs” by the Japanese – Canadian designer Oky Sato, included in 2006 (when he was only 29 years old) in “The 100 Most Respected Japanese” ranking prepared by Newsweek magazine, winner of innumerable awards and with a long list of collections exposed at the most prestigious museums all around the world (from the MoMA of New York to the Victoria and Albert Museum of London; from the Centre Pompidou of Paris to the Triennale Design Museum of Milan). I loved the concept of this exhibition, which – by the way – is hosted in what I think is one of the most beautiful and prestigious locations of the entire “Fuorisalone 2016”, the cloister at San Simpliciano church, in the heart of Brera district (and for those visiting it, do not miss a walk in this wonderful and old church).

The exhibition includes 50 chairs, each one based on typical Manga comics’ abstract lines and shapes: the idea is perfectly displayed in a video at the end of the exhibition, and I think visitors should start from it to better understand the concept of Oky Sato’s work. Each chair is made of stainless steel, and all of them have the same basic frame (legs and seatback): what it changes and makes each piece something of unique is the “decoration”, representative of an emulation of the movement – as it is described in a manga comic. If the observer remains concentrated on a single chair per time analyzing its decoration, at the end she will perceive – with the chair itself – the emotion given by the represented movement. The result is a collection of 50 objects conceptually very static (such as chairs can be) but emotionally incredibly dynamic. A great contrast – the one between statics and dynamism – that only a great designer, such as Oky Sato, can represent in this masterful way.

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Bibilioteca Braidense (Library)

Milan (Italy). The Braidense Library is a magic destination: I have been desiring to visit it for long time, and I admit I feel guilty for not having done it before. But since in the weekends it’s open only on Saturday morning, I’m partially justified.

Anyhow, last Saturday I finally could visit and photograph it, and it has been really an amazing experience. The Braidense Library was founded in 1786 by Maria Theresa Archduchess of Austria opening to everyone the private library of Carlo Pertusati, and it is hosted in the seventeenth-century Brera building. Before, the only public library in Milan was the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, which was rich of manuscripts but not of printed books. In the years, through several donations and acquisitions, the Biblioteca Braidense arrived to have 1,500,000 volumes and still today is a place where for consultation, reading and studying (since that some in some rooms taking photos is allowed).

I think I will come back to visit this unique place soon. Libraries – and especially the Braidense one – have a very peculiar appeal: they are able to merge history with culture, technique with knowledge organization, and in a time like the current one, in which everything is at “mouse’s length” and with a string on Google it is possible to find every kind of information, thinking about how were the research and the cataloging is rather exciting. And just the fact that a place which has been arranged for the culture, can be thought not only to be functional, but also to be aesthetically beautiful, I think it’s something of extraordinary.

Probably, today’s generations – the so called Generation Z, but probably also Millennials – never opened an encyclopedia, made a bibliographic research or borrowed a book from a library. Today there’s Wikipedia, there are search engines, there are e-readers like Kindle (which I’m a big fan of, to be clear). However, I remember when I was at school and used to go to the library for my researches: at those times I was already so fascinated by all that knowledge so concentrated in such a small space, that I was at the same time enthusiast and unsuitable. Yes, this is the key! A physical perception of knowledge: internet does not give this possibility. A library does! And tomorrow, I’m sure of it, there will be tools to access to knowledge even faster and smarter than Google or Wikipedia; but there will still be also someone – like me – that on Saturday morning will decide to go and take photos at a marvelous place such as the Braidense Library


Milano. La Biblioteca Braidense è un posto magico: desideravo vederla da tempo, e riconosco la mia colpa per non averlo fatto prima. Ma dal momento che nel fine settimana è aperta solo il sabato mattina, mi ritengo parzialmente giustificato.

Ad ogni modo, sabato scorso sono finalmente riuscito a visitarla e a fotografarla, ed è stata veramente un’esperienza emozionante. La Biblioteca Braidense deve la sua apertura a Maria Teresa d’Austria la quale, nel 1786, aprì al pubblico la biblioteca privata del conte Carlo Pertusati all’interno del seicentesco palazzo di Brera, nell’omonimo quartiere nel cuore di Milano. Sino ad allora, l’unica biblioteca pubblica era la Biblioteca Ambrosiana, che però era ricca di manoscritti ma non di libri stampati. Negli anni, attraverso una serie di lasciti e di acquisizioni, la Biblioteca Braidense è arrivata ad ospitare 1,500,000 volumi e ancora oggi è un luogo di consultazione, di lettura e di studio (tanto che non tutte le sue sale sono fotografabili).

Credo che ci tornerò presto e spesso in questo posto unico. Le biblioteche – e la Braidense in particolare – hanno un fascino tutto loro: sono luoghi che fondono la storia e la cultura, la tecnica e l’organizzazione del sapere. In un’epoca come quella attuale, in cui tutto è a portata di mouse e basta una stringa di Google per trovare ogni sorta di informazione possibile, pensare a come era una volta la ricerca e la catalogazione delle informazioni è emozionante. E il solo fatto che un luogo predisposto alla cultura possa essere concepito non solo per essere funzionale, ma anche per essere esteticamente bello, secondo me è un qualcosa di straordinario.

Forse le generazioni di oggi – in primis la cosiddetta Generazione Z, ma probabilmente gli stessi Millennials – non hanno mai sfogliato un’enciclopedia, fatto una ricerca bibliografica o preso un libro in prestito. Oggi c’è Wikipedia, ci sono i motori di ricerca, ci sono gli e-readers come Kindle (di cui io stesso – intendiamoci – sono un grande sostenitore). Eppure ricordo quando ero al liceo e facevo le mie ricerche andando in biblioteca: già all’epoca ero così affascinato da tutto quel sapere concentrato in un unico posto, che mi sentivo al tempo stesso entusiasta e inadeguato. Ecco, forse è questa la chiave di tutto: la concentrazione del sapere e la sua percezione “fisica e sensoriale”: internet non trasmette questa percezione, inuttile illudersi. Una biblioteca si. E un domani, ne sono certo, ci saranno strumenti di accesso al sapere ancora più completi e rapidi di Google o Wikipedia; ma ci sarà anche sempre qualcuno che – come me – il sabato mattina deciderà di andare a fotografare un posto meraviglioso come la Biblioteca Braidense.

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Piazzetta Di Brera (Francesco Hayez)

Milan (Italy). Sunday afternoon walk around home… Piazzetta di Brera is a hidden corner close to the famous Brera Museum. The statue represents the famous artist Francesco Hayez, which lived in the XIX century and was also professor at the Brera Academy


Milano. Camminata pomeridiana intorno a casa. La Piazzetta di Brera è un angolo nascosto vicino al famoso Museo. La statua rappresenta il famoso artista Francesco Hayez, che visse nel 19esimo secolo e fu anche professore all’Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera.

 

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