Fairs and showrooms are not excluded, and Milan Design Week 2021 offered some interesting examples in this regard.
Let’s discover them!
Rewilding design fairs
Design fairs are inspiring places because of the pieces they showcase, but the venue itself is often not nearly as enticing. Exhibition centres are usually big empty boxes with no natural light and dry finishes. But Supersalone made a step in a biophilic direction.
The entrance courtyard – usually empty – was livened up with real trees meant to be planted around the city after the fair. A nice welcome!
Inside, the uncommon open and mainly vertical booth concept took away the intimacy of closed booths and, in particular, those secluded spaces where visitors can have a private conversation with brand representatives.
A sense of privacy – read refuge – was recreated with partially enclosed areas furnished with simple stools and real plants. Since living plants in fairs are usually seen in outdoor furniture booths only, this added a much appreciated touch of green throughout the pavilions.
Last but not least, pathways between booth lines were framed by arches whose colour and shape made them feel like a cave entrance – fostering visitors’ curiosity and willingness to explore the fair.
Nature is design
Design showrooms are meant to be inviting. This usually translates into styled ambiances for visitors to project themselves in the space, but what if we added more life?
Botanica Collettiva created a very special showroom where design and nature complemented each other.
Flooded with soft natural light, the exhibition unfolded along an organic pathway defined by lush plants. Design oasis opened every now and then, showcasing beautiful furniture pieces in what felt like a natural environment.
Speaking of non-visual stimuli, plants were at hand’s reach so that visitors could caress a soft velvet chair, a delicate paper lantern, and a living plant right after.
Smooth natural movements – another biophilic design staple – have been introduced in the form of big real butterflies flying around. Butterflies added one more layer of life to the space, creating fleeting vignettes when resting their wings on a lampshade or chair.
Visitors also interacted with the little guests, holding them on a finger as they would during a walk in nature. A unique way to foster people's connection to nature right in the middle of a design showroom!
Water without water
Designing with water doesn’t necessarily mean adding real water to a space.
This exact concept was explored in Aqva, an installation showcasing ways to create a sense of water using shapes, reflections, and transparencies.
Biophilic design concepts open to the most diverse applications, and it’s been inspiring to spot some in the context of a worldwide-famous design event!