People and energy at Tortona Design Week. The value of exhibiting objects that have a soul
From April 8th to 14th, 2019, as part of Tortona Design week, Aldo Cibic will talk about himself and his work with a curious exhibition inside one of his most recent and acclaimed projects: the Savone 18 Suites boutique hotel, designed with the Cibicworkshop. Furniture, drawings and objects along with photographs and installations, involve the visitor in a poetic journey that seeks to represent the aesthetics of vitality.
Aldo, what is the Hotel Savona 18 Suites experience and what does it represent to you?
A typical Milanese housing block, a “casa di ringhiera” transformed into a design hotel, for the hotel group Blu Hotels in the heart of the Navigli. Savona 18 Suites was the result of the renovation of a long-abandoned twentieth-century building, restored to preserve the architectural image and authentic flavour of a Milanese courtyard building. The hotel, which has the atmosphere of a large home, with an intimate and cozy feel, offers guests a new experience just minutes from one of the liveliest districts in the city, delicately and harmoniously combining the retro appeal of the structure with the contemporary design of the furniture and the interior design project.
During the week of the Salone, you organized an exhibition titled Aesthetic of Vitality. What is that? What will we find when we walk into the hotel?
People and energy. That is what I expect to be the most important contribution of this event. An incredible number of people with disparate stories and the desire to see and communicate what’s going on. Something like the word in the title of the exhibition: Vitality.
In addition to style, the design is filled with poetry. How? Where?
I like to think that poetry is an essential part of my work, and that it seeks to be expressed at various levels, from the search for a sense of joy, and a warm functionalism, to a minimalism “with spirit”. I always hope that the objects are able to express a soul that would enable them to live autonomously…
What references inspire you or were you perhaps inspired by for Aesthetics of Vitality?
Without intending to, I discovered several assonances: I recognized myself in a quote by Alessandro Mendini: «My objects have a soul and I try to express it».
Art, design and architecture, combined. What added value do they bring to the hotel? What is the opinion of the Blu Hotels Group?
I think this was a really lucky job, because I was able to bring all these different disciplines together in the same place. This project received an incredible response by the press and the Blu Hotels Group could not have had better publicity.
What design companies did you involve for your installation?
Along with my photographs and drawings, the exhibition route will present pieces by Memphis; original self-produced furniture, such as the Pankina bench, the modular bookcase Ellissima or the Otto table; objects from the Standard collection; products designed for Paola C., Fratelli Boffi, Venini, Slow Wood, Ghidini 1961 and Blumohito installations. In Garden 18, the internal 310 square-metre courtyard will be transformed with sofas and armchairs by RODA into a large open-air living room, and will feature some landscape-installations by Blumohito, created specifically for the exhibition.
More in general, what does the Fuorisalone represent for Aldo Cibic? How has it evolved over the years and what can it mean for the community of professionals and others?
It is perhaps one of the most vital characteristics of Milano Design Week: from a trade fair for professionals, it has become a great celebration for the city. Design has become a heritage for everyone, an event you participate in because you feel that you belong.
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translation by Olga Barmine