Milano Design Week

Salone del Mobile and Fuorisalone 2024

Ventura Centrale: art, design and technology in the abandoned warehouses of Milan Central Station

Lights, eclipses, sounds, alienation: the installations in the 17 station warehouses offer a moment for reflection and a respite from the chaos of Milan Design Week.

Ventura Centrale is in its third year, confirmation of the success of the event. It originally took up nine of the warehouses – this year, it’s 17. The installations dramatise the encounter between design, technology and art. The theme guiding the designs is reflection on the individual and the need to seek out personal spaces for reflection, places of respite from the mental and physical chaos of everyday life.

Some of the guests have grown fond of the district. One such is the Dutch artist Maarten Baas, who is celebrating 10 years of working with Ventura Project. This year too, his work – the installation I think therefore I was – is a surprise. “Having an opinion is the only thing that sets us apart”: Baas has brought together hundreds of monitors, each showing video clips in which celebrities and ordinary people say one phrase: “I think”. The result is a continuous cacophony of alienation.

Rapt Studio, Tell Me More, Ventura Centrale 2019, Milan Design Week 2019. Photo Henrik Blomqvist
Rapt Studio, Tell Me More, Ventura Centrale 2019, Milan Design Week 2019. Photo Henrik Blomqvist

Rap Studio, from New York, are experiencing Milan Design Week for the first time. Tell me more is a project blending spatial experience and emotional connection. It features booths answering questions left by previous visitors. Each reply can be hung in a common space that promotes relaxation, offering us a moment of cultural connection.

The contribution of the artist Georg Lendroff and the Dutch brand Freitag, in contrast, is a provocative reflection on the idea of “good” and “bad” in the field of design in the twenty-first century. After an immersive experience that helps to detach you from design week, you can confess your design and shopping sins in special confessionals, and even obtain a certificate of absolution.

Takt Project, Ventura Centrale 2019, Milan Design Week 2019. Photo Henrik Blomqvist
Takt Project, Ventura Centrale 2019, Milan Design Week 2019. Photo Henrik Blomqvist

TAKT project, a Tokyo-based design studio headed by Satoshi Yoshiizumi, pursues independent research projects. Here it presents a photosensitive resin which hardens with light and grows like an ice pillar or stalactite, offering a range of formal expressions and different ways of interacting with light, in a dialogue between nature and the manmade world.

The Korean firm Noroo present the exhibition Tides. The artists Wang & Söderström have simulated a solar eclipse and a landscape made up of smoke and pastel colours, laid out using Kwangho Lee stools, with their eclectic and re-combinable shapes.

Luca Molteni and Roberto Zorzi have created Come to light, an installation of clay that uses minimalist lighting tools made up of pure forms and capable of producing evocative light works.

Even the Swiss architect and designer Stephan Hurlemann has brought us a moment of respite from everyday chaos – with one of the most interesting works in the district. A piece of sky is an experiential installation using the colours and sounds of Earth as recorded by NASA, creating a moment of total estrangement and giving visitors an alternative, poetic way to view their own existence.

Ventura Centrale
Opening dates:
8–14 April 2019
Milan Design Week 2019
Organised by:
Organization in Design / Ventura Projects

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