April is the month of Design for Milano Genius 2019. The last of the themes of the Open Call, Design Made in Osaka, a project produced by Italian Institute of Culture in Osaka and coordinated by Asian Studies Group, is presented at Milano Design Week 2019 under the name of Design and Planet with a focus on the delicate but important theme of eco-sustainability.
As for the European presented in Osaka on November 3rd 2018 at the Italian Institute of Culture in Osaka, this time Milano Genius 2019 allows young Japanese designers to introduce their own work on the theme of environment and sustainability, so as to favor a renewed cultural exchange between Osaka and Milan, twin cities.
Despite the small number of projects selected for this theme, they are closely linked by two different ways of approaching the topic, with a style that reflects the difference in age and path of the artists.
The selected works will be exhibited at the colorful theatrical space of Corte dei Miracoli (Via Mortara 4, Milan) and at the Milan headquarters of Asian Studies Group (Via Eustachi 9, Milan) from 9th to 14th April partecipating to Milano Design Week 2019.
Mayumi Kuwayama with “Molecules”
Mayumi Kuwayama is a contemporary artist born in Osaka. Despite her young age she does installation art and object creation in various spaces such as hotels, shops and department stores. In collaboration with Re: fa, a Japanese company that creates innovative chairs and sofas but that also replaces them by old design pieces and fabrics, has given life to “Molecules” a chair created by the union of small fragments of recycled fabric coming from industrial and home processing.
All the pieces, joined together, like many small molecules, allow the structure of the seat to vary continuously and in an agile way, depending on how it is assembled, to satisfy the desire of personalization of each of us.
The flexibility of the work and the recycled material, assembled in a rather simple but carefully studied manner, have allowed the reuse of otherwise useless material giving them new life and new possibilities of expression.
Mayumi Kuwayama and Re: Fa have therefore given a particularly modern look to the issue of eco-sustainability. An eco-sustainability that meets the needs of contemporary man who requires customization and the possibility of changing the environment, even the seat, according to his taste.
Wataru Kurogi With “Endangered Insect”
Under a completely different perspective, the work of Wataru Kurogi, a 22-year-old student attending to design course at the Art University in Osaka, called Endangered Insect attempted to show the extraordinary beauty of some endangered species generally not advertised and welcomed by the general public.
In fact, when we think about endangered animals, we underestimate the importance and beauty of small-size animals. This is especially true for insects that most people feel disgusted with.
This project allows the audience to appreciate such species that are frequently forgotten by the public and the attention of the media rather for the large mammals featured in numerous films and documentaries.
A design that wants to attract attention and presents a theme under a different vision from the common perspective. Despite the very young age, the designer’s eyes have shown a strong ability to know and see the environment in its most intrinsic beauty, an ability usually belonging to individuals of a more advanced age. A design that therefore wants to amaze and, above all, to teach.
Two artists from two different generations who dialogue with each other and who want to emphasize the importance of eco-sustainability both in inanimate things and in animate beings.