plusdesign gallery celebrates pico project, colombian street party sound systems in milan
(above torre velasca in milan) colombian picó painted exclusively for the gallery by proffesor william
image courtesy PLUSDESIGN gallery / © delfino sisto legnani

 

 

 

 

to give a little context, a ’picó’ is a huge sound machine with a tradition that goes back to the early 60’s in the colombian caribbean coast, particularly in the cities of barranquilla and cartagena. being a family business, the ‘picó’s rejoiced the street parties with their multiple speakers and colorful designs. storytellers say that colombian’s loved dancing and having a good time so much that if they couldn’t get into clubs, they would do their own party in the streets. the systems were so powerful that even windows from the nearby houses broke.

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colombian picó’s painted exclusively for the gallery by proffesor william
image courtesy PLUSDESIGN gallery / © delfino sisto legnani

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dirk vander kooij – the snowmen
image © designboom

 

 

 

milan’s plusdesign gallery presented their ‘picós project collection’, an exhibition that aimed to highlight colombian sound systems used in street parties and the reinterpretation of these objects created by a selection of european designers: nathalie du pasquier, boris tellegen (delta), lucas muñoz, dirk vander kooij, and clemens weisshaar + reed kram. the project grew out of a research initiated by the gallery in 2014, rejoicing with the idea of placing the sound system at the center of the culture and to celebrate the mystery of sound with iconic and outsized objects.

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dirk vander kooij – the snowmen
image © designboom

 

 

 

for the exhibition, five colombian picós were painted exclusively for the gallery by professor william, a master painter famous in barranquilla. produced locally by master craftsmen, they philologically reproduce the design developed by the local tradition, mixing western and colombian popular culture. the other five european picós were created in collaboration with designers who have never visited barranquilla, but who recognize in the picó sound a fundamental element of their imaginations.

 

video courtesy of dirk vander kooij

 

 

 

dutch designer dirk vander kooij is the new kind of craftsman that embraces technology and machines to bring to life his designs. the ‘snowmen’ is the artist’s most rewarding combination between the production process and the product, thanks also to the contribution of engineer henk-jan netjes. combined with the bass reex pipe, the unit gives very deep bass and realistic sound pressure, for a true ‘life-experience’. the process made it possible to eliminate a traditional speaker front that comes with a boxy speaker design. the ball or egg shaped housing gives an optimal radiation behavior for the sound waves so that the sound will easier spread all around giving an ultimate spatial sound.

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dirk vander kooij
image © designboom

 

 

 

referencing the concept of concrete music, madrid-born and eindhoven-based designer lucas muñoz creates function-oriented objects that represent his observations on our artificial context. for the ‘meteorite speaker’, he wanted to portray rawness, lack of design and intensity. the speaker resulted in a hand-made, massive concrete rock that hosts the latest in sound technology, where soundscapes emerge out of the holes of the structure that can be moved around thanks to wheels placed on the bottom.

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lucas muñoz – meteorite speaker
image © plusdesign gallery

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lucas muñoz – meteorite speaker
image © plusdesign gallery

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lucas muñoz – meteorite speaker
image © plusdesign gallery

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lucas muñoz at his studio
image © plusdesign gallery

 

 

 

clemence weisshaar and reed kram’s work defines cutting edge design. their projects span from software development to process design, from product design to architecture. their practice KRAM/WEISSHAAR focuses on the vanishing line between the digital and the physical, always remaining committed rethinking everything that we have. for this occasion, they created ’picó blitz’, a massive bass speaker, coated by a mirror foil that distorts the image reflected once the nine speakers beat to the sound.

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clemens weisshaar & reed kram – picó blitz
image © plusdesign gallery

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clemens weisshaar & reed kram – picó blitz
image © plusdesign gallery

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installation view at the milan space
image © designboom

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clemence weisshaar and reed kram
image © designboom

 

 

 

for his interpretation of a colombian picó, amsterdam-based artist boris tellegen a.k.a. delta decided to reference the figures in-between hi-rise buildings, transformer robots and tribal totems. for him, the idea of robots can be considered as the main theme of his piece, as its form suits perfectly for containing speakers. in order to emphasize his concept, he used concrete sheet materials to give a heavy sensation. 

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image © designboom

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image © plusdesign gallery

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image © plusdesign gallery

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portrait boris tellegen
image © plusdesign

 

 

 

nathalie du pasquier is a figure who seems t leave a trail of intrigue behind her everywhere she goes. this is because, as a founding member of the memphis group (an italian design and architecture group founded in milan in 1981) she’s been an unstoppable force in shaping the design world as we know it, colors, angles, ideas and all. for the picó project, the designer catches again one of her previous works: a wooden construction characterized by a presence of color which the artist considers necessary for the picó. enriched with a shirt-shaped base, the object becomes an anthropomorphic figure and emerges truly coherent with the culture of the colombian music machines.

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image © designboom

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image © plusdesign gallery

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portrait nathalie du pasquier
image © plusdesign gallery