Contrasting experimentation of the tactile space fabric at the exhibition

“Space Popular: Search History” is the fifth installment in MAXII’s “Studio Visit” series.

Alcantara and the National Museum of 21 Century Art (MAXXI), Rome have collaborated, once again, for the fifth edition of the museum Workshop visit series. Conceptualized by design historian and curator Domitilla Dardi, the initiative invites contemporary designers to present their perceptions in the context of the museum’s architectural collections.

For this iteration of Workshop visit, Dardi invited Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg, directors of Espace Populaire, to unite their reflections on the architectural masterpieces of Aldo Rossi. Rossi is one of the most famous names in Italian architecture and a leading figure in the postmodern movement. The two guests explore Rossi’s notions of “urban fact” or urban fact and “analogue city” or similar city as a basis for probing the idea of ​​a virtual city.

Space Layered Textures and Patterns |  MAXXI Museum |  Alcantara |  Workshop visit |  STIRworld

Space overlay textures and patterns Image: Courtesy of MAXXI Alcantara / Studio Tour

Both concepts look specifically at the city through an urban lens. urban fact designates the city as an “artifact”. Not only contextual to its built entities, but through fragments such as history, urban fabric, spaces, geography and a connection with its inhabitants. On the other hand, Similar city expresses the urban reality of the city through a more surreal fabric, created to serve a new reality through an analog base. The collages created by Rossi as graphic representations also serve as visual inspiration for this exhibition.

Today’s contrasting virtual reality that is prone to making profits, often in the form of NFTs and private property transactions in the metaverse; the exhibition proposes a utilitarian and socially ethical approach. Urging us to examine virtual platforms that suggest creating highly commercial virtual spaces like the metaverse, with an unbiased perspective. The goal is to ensure that these spaces are not just disguised and exchanged privately, but rather used to transact relevant business regarding virtual environments, such as teleporting, browsing, bookmarking, tracking, and confidentiality. Essentially, the larger canvas also aims to prevent capitalism from invading online spaces.

The arrangement of elements resembling a pattern similar to Rossi's Analogous City |  MAXXI Museum |  Alcantara |  Workshop visit |  STIRworld

The arrangement of the elements resembling a pattern similar to that of Rossi Analogue city Image: Courtesy of MAXXI Alcantara / Studio Tour

The studio attempts to highlight a new dimension, the notions of tactility and virtuality by fusing Rossi’s ideals of The architecture of the city and remarkable Alcantara fabrics. Aldo Rossi espouses the theory of experiences over time and describes the city as a set of spatial experiences, different for each of us but similar in a permanent sense. According to Space Popular, the ideals of any virtual environment should be similar to this one, but rather contrast with the former. Alcantara fabrics enhance the getaway creating exceptional designs in materials, cuts, textures and colors. Rossi knew of Alcantara’s capabilities and was amazed by their experimentation in the 1980s.

Using Alcantara materials and Rossi references, the studio brings us an immersive and tactical virtual experience. Space Popular’s consistent practice explores presenting virtual experiences with minimal digital means and working along the same lines, they attempt to create a new experiential dimension by altering architectural patterns, composing new environments through movement and looking beyond the physical capacity of the materials – prints, textures and cuts.

Focus on hardware experiments |  MAXXI Museum |  Alcantara |  Workshop visit |  STIRworld

Focus on hardware experiments Image: Courtesy of MAXXI Alcantara / Studio Tour

Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI Museum hosts this progressive, state-of-the-art experience for its audience to immerse themselves in another facet of the virtual environment, but in a tactile spatial fabric. Along with limitless iterations of Alcantara in retaining materials relevant to the themes and supported by Rossi’s ideals of the previous century, Popular studio visit area: Search history’ promises to be an intriguing experience. The audio-visual space supported by tactile but implicitly virtual themes is described as “at once an object, a threshold and an environment” by Space Popular.

Background and foreground contrast to create a tactile spatial fabric |  MAXXI Museum |  Alcantara |  Workshop visit |  STIRworld

Background and foreground contrast to create a tactile spatial fabric Image: Courtesy of MAXXI Alcantara / Studio Tour

The exhibition presents its audience with the plot of rethinking the real and the virtual, while associating the two. Design, dimensions and reality come together to create an individual but uniform experience in space, whether real or virtual. Modernism and artificial intelligence form a new direction for an imaginary world that immerses its audience in a powerful perspective. The space is intimate and fragile as far as the human spirit is concerned, which makes it extremely important to adopt a social, ethical and inclusive basis.

Popular space: research history will find a permanent place in the permanent collection of the MAXXI Architecture and will be on display until January 15, 2023. The collaboration of the Alcantara Museum and MAXXI, which dates back almost a decade, has enhanced the possibilities for experimentation in the field of design. contemporary.

The essence of a virtual city |  MAXXI Museum |  Alcantara |  Workshop visit |  STIRworld

The essence of a virtual city Image: Courtesy of MAXXI Alcantara / Studio Tour

(Text by Aaryaa Joshi, intern at STIRworld)

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