WATER DESIGN, MILAN 9 7 PROJECT
Five installations by internationally known designers brought style and fun to the worthy but unglamorous idea of water conservation at Milan in October. Italy’s annual water-oriented festival, Water Design, moved this year from
Bologna to Italy’s northern fashion and design hub
to enliven the historic Sforza Castle with eye-catching
displays. The scene was brought to spectacular life at
night as clever lighting enhanced the aquatic effects.
The Rocchetta Courtyard featured a series of three
projects by Ferruccio Laviani, Piero Lissoni and Patricia
Urquiola on the theme ‘water and sustainability’. The
works explored ideas about how water can be used
more efficiently in the home in beautiful scenarios.
Laviani’s Glam Recycling transformed the humble
bathroom into the ecological and stylish heart of the
home; never has the reuse of shower water for toilet
drains or plant irrigation seemed more aesthetically
compelling. Urquiola’s casAcqua used a network of
tubes and circuits to illustrate the reuse of water in a
domestic environment. The water flowed through a
kitchen and a bathroom in a circuit of use and reuse,
with water passing through a specially constructed
wetland for purification. Less educational, perhaps,
but mesmerising to watch, was Piero Lissoni’s
Waterway, a kind of suspended water puzzle intended
to demonstrate the inherent intelligence of water and
its ability to find its way through a maze.
The three projects were connected by a lush garden
in the centre of the courtyard created by Green Italia
Network. The garden contained a water regeneration
system that collected the wastewater from the toilet,
kitchen and bathroom sink, purifying it using aquatic
plants so it could be reused for everything but drinking.
Pipes of different colours showed how the ‘water circle’
connected with each surrounding installation.
Meanwhile, a ghostly mist enveloped the Ducal
Court as Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel’s Clear
Sweet Fresh Water played with the idea of water and
wellness. A large central ‘fathomless’ pool reflected a
cropped image of the beautiful 16th century court,
while nebulised water blurred the boundaries of the
real space in a vaporous haze. The contrast between
the clear reflection of the still surface and the off-focus background suggested the relaxed, dreamy state
of half-waking. Under the portico, the surreal fresco
floated in the shadows.
Reggiani’s Metamorphosi ground-recessed luminaires,
Envios projectors and Linea Luce Slim linear lighting
systems created the accents, highlights and washes to
set off the installations and reveal the beauty of the
architectural columns and trees.
Opposite: Reggiani’s linear
lighting goes with the flow in
Piero Lissoni’s fun installation
Overleaf: Water way is a
suspended water puzzle that
demonstrates water’s ability to
find its way through a maze
‘The installations brought style and
fun to the worthy but unglamorous
concept of water conservation’