milan 2019: design holding – interactive installation

The investment conglomerate Investindustrial created a massive 4,000 sqm presence for its newly organized Design Holding portfolio of companies, including Flos, B&B Italia, and Louis Poulsen.

Most impressive was a beautiful interactive entryway installation. Depicting fun caricatures of the famous designers and product legacy of the three combined companies, the walls combined black physical vinyl cuts overlaid with animated projections. The animations were restrained to white, with the exception of small orange semi-circles which indicated interactive zones. Simply placing your hand in front of the orange marks triggered a bonus animation.

I found this to be a delightful and highly effective interactive installation. First, the caricatures and product art were beautifully drawn. Second, the animations and delightful interactions added a touch of whimsy and irreverent fun to the installation, celebrating these very famous designers with a light touch (compared to so much of the other Milan events, with endless theoretical design-speak nonsense). Third, the restraint was right on the mark. Minimal physical stickers on the wall, combined with restrained use of color helped to focus attention on the key content: The legacy of the designers. Finally, the personal scale of the interactions worked quite well given the crushing crowds that were present.

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