rafflesmilano virtually immerses milan design week 2022 visitors into walden project

rafflesmilano virtually immerses milan design week 2022 visitors into walden project

Visitors to RafflesMilano during Milan Design Week 2022 virtually journey into the forest landscape of Walden Lake, famed as the place where the American philosopher Henry David Thoreau catalogued his search for the harmony of nature. The project was conceived by the Milan-based fashion and design institute and Rilgeno – the national consortium for the collection, recovery, and recycling of wood packaging in Italy. The virtual reality experience immerses guests into the Forest of Thoreau – recreated with a cottage – where the themes of sustainability and circular economy, especially the urgency of forest preservation, can be explored, understood and discussed.

 

Step into the Walden project experience at RafflesMilano from June 7-11, 2022.

rafflesmilano virtually immerses milan design week 2022 visitors into walden project

 

 

RafflesMilano x Rilegno

 

Through the exhibition RafflesMilano, the unconventional school of fashion and design located in the heart of Milan, creatively demonstrates how it encourages students, teaches as well as practices the use of new technologies to explore innovative opportunities in the field of design. Virtual reality is one such novelty that can extend design-able scenarios, creating immersive stories and enabling remote working. The Walden project pairs the school with Rilegno, who, for over 25 years, has collected and sent wood to recycling centers throughout Italy. More than 2 million tones of wood was collected and recycled in 2021 alone, from fruit crates to designer furniture and more. The collaboration showcases the ability of timber to be continuously recycled.

rafflesmilano virtually immerses milan design week 2022 visitors into walden project

 

 

Walden; or, Life in the woods

 

The VR exhibition is based on the most famous piece of literature by Henry David Thoreau, the book Walden; or, Life in the Woods essay. As the philosopher theorized the man and his relationship with nature, he retreated for two years, two months and two days into the woods in a self-built cabin on the shores of Walden Lake near Concord, Massachusetts. The experiment proved to himself and the conformist society of his time how a simple life experience could answer the obligations imposed by social conventions. The results led Thoreau to pen a manifesto of the inner spiritual quest, theorizing and practicing the sense of harmony with nature as the meaning of human existence. His diary transcribes the small necessities, noises of the woods, contemplation of the landscape and reflections on the economy of material life.

rafflesmilano virtually immerses milan design week 2022 visitors into walden project

 

 

An immersive virtual reality scenario was born as the initial concept grew from a storyboard into the ideal subject-script. Specialists were welcomed to the team to overcome software capabilities, timeframe management, project purpose and more challenges. Valentina Grilli, lecturer of painting techniques at RafflesMilano created the illustrations for the Walden project. Naturalistic subjects are prominent in her artwork, as she enhances different painting techniques to evoke a sense of intimacy.

rafflesmilano virtually immerses milan design week 2022 visitors into walden project

 

 

Virtual journey to the forest of thoreau

 

Guests at RafflesMilano will be virtually transported into the center of a luscious forest, rightly named the Forest of Thoreau. The physical exhibition space will play on the visitors’ senses as leaves, terrain and wood on the ground recreate the feeling of the forest. It helps extend the experience of the VR user through smell as well as feel on the feet. Visitors can explore the lake, woods and even a cottage as if Thoreau, engaging with nature and contemplating their own relationship with nature.

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rafflesmilano virtually immerses milan design week 2022 visitors into walden project
Valentina Grilli, Painting techniques lecturer RafflesMilano, trialling the VR experience

Image credit Angelo Ferrillo

 

 

project info:

 

project: the Walden project

location: RafflesMilano 

address: Via Felice Casati, 16, Milano

dates: June 7-11, 2022

times: 09:00-20:00

concept: RafflesMilano
supervision: Rilegno / Elena Lippi
project supervisor and copywriting: Franco Achilli / RafflesMilano
art direction and video editing: Thomas Berloffa, VR lecturer RafflesMilano
illustrations: Valentina Grilli, Painting techniques lecturer RafflesMilano

graphic design: Irene Sergi, Master Visual design & Communication RafflesMilano
sound design: Matteo Bocelli, Three-year course Visual Design RafflesMilano
speaker: Alessandro Haddad, Three-year course Interior Design RafflesMilano
translations: Rosa Conte, RafflesMilano

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