Offering a new vision of nature at Milan Design Week

05 Apr 2017

Arup has created the sound solution for “In Absentia_Bio Parco Sonoro_Piazza Castello Milano”, an immersive art installation that the Italian architect Raffaella Laezza is presenting at this year’s Milan Design week.

The architectural installation consists of a 4.5 metre-wide cube that is lit by vertical wooden rods in 121 gradations of white light. The interactive cube emits a constant faint sound, so-called white noise, which is modulated by the presence and movement of the visitors. The visitors interact with the space and, in doing so, reproduce orchestra sections of a classical Italian music composition.

The contemporary vision of science allows the creation of new geometries inspired by vegetal growth that can be transferred into architecture and design. In Raffaella Laezza’s installation, the white cube represents the sacred dimension in nature with the variety of white lights reflecting its diversity and the interactive sound concept standing for the inevitable interdependency of animated nature.

“The installation ‘In Absentia_Bio Parco Sonora_Piazza Castello Milano’ is a further development of a recent competition entry for the renovation of Piazza Castello Milano. Due to its close and at the same time abstract relationship to nature, it is a perfect addition to the ‘White in the City’ event at this year’s Milan Design Week.”

—  Raffaella Laezza, Architect

“The architectural installation represents a geometric code for nature. It was a challenging experience to develop a sound concept that reflects the geometry of the movement of the vegetal growth process.”

— Francesca Coppa, Senior Sound Engineer, Arup

The installation is being shown as part of the “White in the City” exhibition, on display at the Salotto delle Divinità of Palazzo Cusani, Brera, from 4th to 9th April.





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  • In Absentia art installation. Credit: Arup.Open gallery

    Arup engineers linked the sounds broadcast by the cube to the movement of people in the room to represent the interdependency of animated nature.