Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, partnered with Fabrica, to create ‘Housewarming’, an experiential installation at the magnificent Palazzo Crespi, Milan for the 2015 edition of Salone del Mobile.
Airbnb and Fabrica’s partnership celebrates the connections that guests and hosts experience through sharing a home, and how these unique relationships begin with a simple welcome.
Following a successful collaboration at the London Design Festival 2014, Airbnb’s installation at Salone 2015 further showcases its commitment to design as a driving force behind the company.
Hosted within the grandeur of Palazzo Crespi, a residence built between 1795 and 1805 (which is also home to two paintings by renowned Italian painter Canaletto), it was the location itself that proved the main draw of the exhibition with the design projects on display proving charming but generally conceptual in nature.
Housewarming, explored varying concepts of welcoming guests into a home through the works of 19 Fabrica students.
Visitors to the installation in the Palazzo Crespi, will see the creations of 19 international designers who have interpreted the concept of welcome.
Guests will be invited to interact with the designers, who will be installed in different parts of the Palazzo.
From the experience of a very British tea time to the Indian ritual of lighting lamps, visitors will leave with a sense of belonging to this Milanese home and the cultures each of the Fabrica designers represent – a feeling which is central to an Airbnb experience.
The Airbnb community is renowned for providing access to incredible spaces, and Palazzo Crespi is no different.
Originally built to celebrate the coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte, along with the other buildings on Corso Venezia, the space reflects the period’s Baroque style and is an enchanting home steeped in Milanese history.
‘Housewarming’ will allow the public to experience Palazzo Crespi, a private home, for the first time through a series of creative activations.
Highlights from the nineteen-strong Fabrica design team include homegrown talent Giorgia Zanellato, who will explore the symbolism of Italian paper trays, traditionally used to display pastries that are offered to guests or gifted to hosts.
Trays create a symbolic link and a sense of respect between a host and a guest.
Giorgia will double these as mirrors, an object often found in the entrance space of a home.
In Italy, the first mirrors were created in Venice, Giorgia’s hometown.
To create a link back to her home, each mirrored-tray will be custom-designed with decorative Venetian papers.
Conversation is also the topic for Australian designer Thomas Fethers’ installation.
Thomas plans to create a series of jigsaw puzzles that creatively communicate tips and tricks for traveling to his homeland.
Inspired by his family in Australia, who regularly played board games with visitors, Thomas will interact with guests using these puzzles, which will slowly reveal these hidden messages, opening up conversations and stories around the sayings.
Another highlight comes from Mariana Fernandes, who plans to create a connection between her home in Lisbon and Milan through the tradition of sending postcards.
She will source a range of both vintage and contemporary Milanese postcards and create a series of graphics inspired by Lisbon and Milan to print onto these cards for visitors.
The final designs will feature facts that link the two cities, through commonalities or juxtapositions.
The graphic style of the type and illustration is bold and colourful and will be silkscreened onto the cards.
Visitors to the Palazzo will be invited to engage in the actual printing with Mariana, selecting their preferred facts and phrases whilst learning more about Milan and Lisbon.
“Design helps shape our everyday interactions, through products, furniture, objects, or experiences,” said Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia.
“Fabrica’s innovative students will showcase Airbnb’s belief that design can create a sense of belonging and facilitate connections between a global community.”
“Working with Airbnb is a true collaboration, as we share the same values on design thinking as a way to propose solutions,” said Sam Baron, Head of Design at Fabrica.
“We both envisage our mission as a way to bring to daily life a unique look on the surrounding environment, where attention to detail reveals special attention to the human being, it’s a way to create specific memories. Local habits, cultural references, personal attitudes are re-taught to produce an experience where creativity becomes the common language to making guests feel at home.”
Founded by RISD graduates and industrial designers Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — online or from a mobile phone.
Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 33,000 cities and 192 countries.
At the forefront of service design, the design-led business has built an epicentre of creativity at its headquarters in San Francisco, employing some of today’s brightest creative talents from experience and graphic designers to filmmakers and animators.
Fabrica is a communication research centre.
It is based in Treviso, Italy, and is an integral part of the Benetton Group.
Established in 1994 from a vision of Luciano Benetton, Fabrica offers young people from around the world a one-year scholarship, accommodation and a round-trip ticket to Italy, enabling a highly diverse group of researchers.
The range of disciplines is equally diverse, including design, visual communication, photography, interaction, video, music and journalism.
Fabrica is based in a campus centred on a 17th-century villa, restored and significantly augmented by renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando.
Today more than ever, Fabrica’s research is a cross-disciplinary commitment wherein communication interacts with other vital sectors like the economy and social and environmental sciences and, through continual experimentation, is alert to the changes and trends of modern society.
Daniela Mesina Graphic designer & production
Marcello Venturini Designer
Marta Celso Production