MAD architects’ invisible border installation at milan design week alters our perception of space
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INTERNI’s ‘open borders’ exhibition gathers a series of interactive installations, macro-objects and micro-constructions that explore ways of getting beyond disciplinary borders: the subject is addressed as an expansion of design vision to new synergies, to contaminations with different fields of research such as art, cinema and photography; and as the application of architecture and design to evolving sectors like technology and sustainability. 
mad architects invisible border milan design week designboominstallation view of MAD architect’s ‘invisible border’ suspended from the loggia of the cortile d’onore
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MAD architects responded to this year’s theme by creating a veil that descends from the top of the eastern side of the cortile d’onore at the l’università degli studi di milano. entitled ‘invisible border’, the installation consists of numerous translucent polymer strips, produced by P.A.T.I, that alter our perception of space — precisely the distance between the semi-transparent surface and the façade, playing a game of surfaces in motion. the flowing structure represents an artistic, as well as an architectural, gesture as it follows no functional logic or form, but seems to be shaped by natural elements like the force of of the wind or the flow of water.

mad architects invisible border milan design week designboomprofile of the installation and a view of how it creates a harmonious ripple across the space
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‘invisible border’ reflects the hues of the sky during the day, leaving glimpses of the columns and loggia in between its openings; while in the evening it becomes a luminous surface that brings the courtyard to life with new colors. each individual piece moves with the direction of the wind, creating a harmonious ripple across the university’s courtyard. pastel hues reflect on the surface of the floor creating a warm setting for those sitting below.

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the installation is made from ETFE polymer strips produced by P.A.T.I
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the design takes its cue from an interpretation of the past to react as a crystallization of the present. the installation presents a sculptural gesture that is interested to break the perfect balance of the cortile d’onore, but also acts as a filter through which one can reinterpret the historical forms of the building. the facade reflects the hues of the sky during the day, leaving glimpses of the columns and loggias. in the evening it becomes a luminous surface that brings the courtyard to life with new colors.
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pastel hues reflect on the surface of the floor
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architects usually creates borders by defining spaces – what is inside and outside, what is nature and the artificial – but today’s society already has too many invisible borders,’ explains ma yansong — founder and principal of MAD architects. ‘as architects we should instead focus on how can we blur those borders and encourage interaction across them. borders are usually seen as something closed and unapproachable, but I think it’s interesting to make borders attractive, dynamic and engaging. so we decided to play with the border between the historical loggias and the garden in front of it, and design a transition in-between them. our installation blurs the boundaries between the traditional and the contemporary. you see the difference in each end, but the transition is very organic. it’s like we open up a conversation between the past and the present.’

mad architects invisible border INTERNI designboom
the façade reflects the hues of the sky during the day
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MAD invisible border interni milan design week designboom‘invisible borders’ reflects the force of of the wind or the flow of water
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MAD architects invisible border INTERNI designboom
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project info:

 

design team: ma yansong, dang qun, yosuke hayano, andrea d’antrassi, hiroki fujino
engineering: maco thecnology srl, roberto maffei
light design: iGuzzini illuminazione
production: ferrarelle
material: P.A.T.I. ETFE polymer
dimensions: 31 x 16 x 14 meters