“Inspired by the famous cherry blossom festival in Japan, the installation is designed to create a special moment that brings people together. A fleeting shared experience that evokes a sense of the changing seasons.” — Studio Swine
The London-based studio, led by designers Azusa Murakami and Alexander Groves, creates a “blossoming sculpture” inside a decommissioned cinema – Cinema Arti, a movie theatre built in the 1930s by local architect Mario Cereghini.
A tree-like structure that emits pale bubbles, which dissolve into white mist as they burst, called New Spring. The six-metre high structure consists of slender tubes that extend up and out and, like many of past projects of Studio Swine, the installation is an exploration of unusual materials: recycled aluminium was used to create the sculptural tree.
Large translucent bubbles emerge from the ends of each branch. These bubbles burst when they come into contact with skin, but not when they touch textured fabrics – meaning visitors can handle them with gloves.
As they burst, a pale mist is released.
The installation draw upon the natural and the industrial, while making minimal use of resources, to create an immersive, multisensory experience.
“2016 was a year full of changes and crisis and so we wanted to create an installation that could offer a moment of contemplation,” said Murakami and Groves.
The pair said they looked to Milan’s architectural heritage when developing the form of this installation. “We were immediately drawn to the Murano chandeliers housed in private Milanese palazzos and, by contrast, the tradition of modernist Italian design,” they explained.
“With a desire to create a communal experience, another key reference for us became Italy’s public fountains, one of the country’s greatest luxuries.”
COS creative director Karin Gustafsson said the project draws on design principles shared by Studio Swine and the brand: “Our many common values – a focus on timelessness over trend, functionality with beauty, and the exploration of materials – means that working together is a very natural fit”.
About Studio Swine
Studio Swine (Super Wide Interdisciplinary New Explorers) is a collaboration between Japanese Architect Azusa Murakami and British Artist Alexander Groves.
Murakami and Groves established Studio Swine in 2010, shortly after graduating from the Royal Collage of Art. They named their studio after their first project – a mobile food stall for cooking and selling pig heads.
Creating works that span across disciplines of art, design and film, Studio Swine explores themes of regional identity and the future of resources in the context of globalisation. Studio Swine work manifests a deep research into materials and modern industrialisation.
Operating across a wide range of disciplines, Studio Swine’s work has gained an international audience, their films have been awarded at Cannes and other film festivals around the world. Studio Swine has been widely exhibited at institutions such as the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Museum of Art and Design New York, and the Venice Art Biennale.
They become the latest in a series of designers to work with COS in Milan, following past collaborations with Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, Brooklyn studio Snarkitecture and Japanese design studio Nendo.
COS is a fashion brand for women and men who want modern, functional, considered design.
Offering reinvented classics and wardrobe essentials, we create pieces that are made to last beyond the season. Traditional methods and new techniques merge to form timeless, understated collections.
Since launching in 2007, we have opened stores worldwide in carefully considered locations, applying an architectural design concept that preserves buildings’ original features whilst creating a modern, welcoming space.