What if the talking home was an Italian excellence?

Google Assistant and four of the most important Italian design brands are the protagonists of an installation that opens new scenarios for the smart home of the future and of the present. But always Made in Italy.

“Okay Socrates, what's the weather like today?”, or: “Ok Socrates, turn on the lights”. Amigle is the sculpture of the austere Greek thinker that we have seen countless times in our high school textbooks, now in an alienating forest green colour and placed on a black pedestal. The head has been cut diagonally in order to accommodate a Google Home speaker, the artificial brain that gives the sculpture the gift of speech. This project was carried out by four students of Domus Academy: Tzu-Yu Lin, XinYi Cai, XueDong Wang and Nikita Chikin (who worked on the 3D model). Socrates was created by Driade for Talking Crafts, the exhibition born out of the collaboration between Google and Domus Academy which created a hypothetical union between smart home and Italian design. – And Italian brands: in addition to Driade, also Kartell, Bitossi and FontanaArte took part in the project. Socrates, the maieutic philosopher, is the ace in the hole of the installation. In Piazza Gae Aulenti 12, in a house full of famous pieces of furniture and prototypes that integrate all kinds of Google devices, you will also find Puff Puff, a sofa whose shape reminds you of the Google Home Mini speaker. Placed in the miniaturized environment of a children's room, it seems to have come right out of a novel by Lewis Carroll; Driade also designed Osmo, a small table in which many concentric waves spread on the wood around the metaphorical drop of water represented by a Google device. “Today the most difficult thing is not to come up with ideas, but to put it into practice: this is a great opportunity for young talents to do it,” Said Giuseppe Di Nuccio, CEO of ICG, a group that includes Driade and also FontanaArte, the company founded by Gio Ponti, which designed the light Vesta, another tribute to the classical world due to its reference to the Vestals. 

Amigle (Bitossi)

FontanaArte also designed the prototype of the Ciao Ciao mirror, which fulfils one of the most technological dreams in the history of fairy tales: you can finally talk with your mirror, thanks to the Nest Hub on a magnetic shelf that can be put in various places. The perfect object to own during the Era of the Selfie. Actually, the transformation brought about by the exhibition is epoch-making: it is a matter of leaving behind an inactive world and entering a new one populated by talking objects (which communicate with us, but also with each other, for now only silently). "Communicating with an object is something that we do not feel prepared to do, but that could really help us", says Di Nuccio. "The new generations may see it differently, but the important thing is not to be sceptical". The installation also includes Bubbella, a bubble lampshade made by Kartell, the Checkmate totem and the Bitossi monolith-table, as well as the Cloud (by Bitossi) talking cloud sculpture. They all are integrated with a Google speaker. 

Ciao Ciao

Talking Crafts is the result of the ideas of 60 students who attended a two-day Creative Marathon, says Fabio Siddu, director of Domus Academy. The students, who come from many different contexts and from more than 20 different countries, divided themselves into groups and created, among other things, the projects to be turned into prototypes for the installation. "We have asked ourselves how the technology in our homes can be integrated with everyday objects and how Made in Italy could realize this," says Vincenzo Riili, Marketing Director of Google Italy, while showing the Driade Socrates, the talking statue symbol of "discursive intelligence", so dear to Mountain View. The collaboration with Domus Academy and "four all-Italian excellences" has made possible this installation, which wants to give an idea of a possible future where the world is "powered by Google". And, at least in part, we already live in a world like that.

Talking Crafts
Opening Dates:
September 27-29
Piazza Gae Aulenti 12, Milano

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