The Design of Prada
Of course, I’ve studied these things pretty closely.
I’m very interested in design and art,
and how Design can
make Art more powerful.
So when Miucci Prada was thinking about taking over a compound of industrial buildings in Milan to rethink their presence as a significant array of art-filled buildings, who do you think she chose?
What you’ll see are photographic studies of placemaking, texture, materiality, signage. What I found compelling, in a walking wander through the compounds, was the detailing—the little things, the big gestures—the larger framing of the site, and the smaller details: materials, specially-made elements: flooring, grillwork,
blasted glass and metals,
gravel, screeds, joins and joints.
When I’m walking, I’m touching everything as I walk. Someone mentioned that to me the other day, that “walking behind you is like walking behind an octopus, you keep touching everything, your arms and hands flailing around.”
People said, as I recall childhood —
“would you keep your hands of that, please?”
But aside from the allegory of the octopus, what I’m really interested in is the holism, the touching-points of how people sense places.
And it’s how I feel things.
You walk into something, a place, and you could do the following: that would be “scent,” then the power of the “sight,” what’s the sight drawing through to you? You hear, what? There could be a lot of clues to a place for a blind person on two out of three of the senses so far. As well, there is the touch, the balanced nuance, as some say, to intuition — the sensing instinct. There is a discipline to the procession into the environment of PradaFondazine | Milan. So I look for things.
And you can see what I look for.
Just a stairway, with
perforated barrier screen.
You are here.
Stone. Gravel. Grate.
Check out the material mix.
Kids and site mapping and end-grain 4″x4″s.
Even industrialized places —
kids have the ability to play.
Note the stairway through
the perforated screen behind.
What’s striking about this place is that the thinking comes forward in the spirit of an Italian industrial compound, but as you enter the exhibition areas, there is a striking embellishment to the journeying from one place to another inside the complex and a complicated, thoughtfully orchestrated detailing of how buildings come together, how pathways form themselves, how corridors collide and the manner in which light enters the place.
THE DEEP STRATEGY OF LUXURY | CONTEXT DESIGN & PLACEMAKING
BRAND STRATEGY, DEVELOPMENT + DESIGN
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