carlo ratti’s ‘living nature’, a garden pavilion that allows all four seasons to coexist under the same roof, will be located in the city’s piazza del duomo during milan design week 2018. the 500 square-meter temporary installation uses leading energy management systems, such as photovoltaic cells, accumulators and heat pumps, to allow and control spring, summer, autumn and winter to unfold at the same time. it aims to explore the relationship between nature and living, while fostering new discussions about sustainable design in our homes.

carlo ratti creates the world's four seasons at milan design week 2018
all images courtesy of carlo ratti associati



developed by carlo ratti associati (CRA) and studio römer, ‘living nature’ and its climatic microcosms will act as much more than just an innovative wonder. while visitors will be immersed in nature and experience the changes of the environment, the pavilion explores the relationship between cities and nature, specifically the technology that can be used to help improve this connection.

carlo ratti creates the world's four seasons at milan design week 2018



in the 20th century, cities expanded outwards to conquer nature and the countryside. we believe that today’s challenge is the opposite – how can we bring nature back to the city and in the house‘, says carlo ratti, founding partner at CRA and director of MIT senseable city lab: ‘in recent years, milan has been at the forefront of such research with landmark projects such as stefano boeri’s bosco verticale. living nature continues such a reflection, bridging the domestic dimension closer to today’s most pressing environmental challenges‘.


in light of climate change and the threat it poses to cities worldwide, we need to devise strategies for climate remediation to improve living conditions in our cities, defining a closer alliance between the natural and artificial worlds‘, says antonio atripaldi, project leader at CRA. ‘if climate control is often associated with excessive energy consumption, this project offers a radical change of perspective, demonstrating the feasibility of climate control technology that is also sustainable, with vast potential for future applications.’

carlo ratti creates the world's four seasons at milan design week 2018



the ‘living nature’ pavilion welcomes visitors into a series of rooms and familiar, playful areas that will be furnished according to different themes. furthermore, inside, plants, which will be selected by french botanist patrick blanc, will also be integrated throughout the spaces. they will be housed underneath a five-meter-high selective crystal membrane that dynamically filters the sun based on input from light-reactive sensors, while photovoltaic panels generate clean energy.


as salone del mobile’s main venue in the city center during milan design week 2018, ‘living nature’ will be open to the public in piazza del duomo from april 17th to 25th 2018.





project info:


concept design: carlo ratti associati & studio römer
design development: carlo ratti associati
scenography: studio römer
engineering consultants: ai studio
construction consultant: isabella artana
landscape and botanics: patrick blanc; flavio pollano
construction: PAC team expo
graphics: studio FM milano