“We want our designs to be magical, ethereal and trigger instant curiosity. To achieve this we use mathematics and physics through algorithmic and parametric design to maximise inexpensive materials.”– Mamou Mani Ltd Architects.
Collection of Style, most commonly known as COS—and headquartered in London—is gearing up for the 58th Salone del Mobile, in session from April 9-14 with an international focus on three different style categories: Classic (Tradition in the Future), Design, and xLux. Each year around 330,000 attendees enjoy the show, representing 165 different nations. Commissioned in collaboration with COS, Arthur Mamou-Mani will be enticing event-goers this year with an architectural installation featuring 3D printed bricks formed into pyramids. They will wind all the way from the main courtyard of the Palazzo to the back garden.
This is not the first time we have followed the Salone del Mobile in parametric design, as they pushed design boundaries with 3D printing in previous years, but Mamou-Mani explained to Architectural Digest that this year’s installation will be centered around a repeating form that offers a “contrast between the permanence of the palazzo’s marble and stone and the impermanence of the bioplastic.” The design plan will also include an onsite 3D printer, along with other interactive items for attendees to experience.
“We wanted to create a journey from the interior to the exterior,” explains Mamou-Mani.
Mamou-Mani is famous for his Burning Man installation from 2018, featuring a vaunted central temple named Galaxia, thus garnering the attention of architectural enthusiasts around the world—and the higher-ups at fashion brand COS.
Karn Gustafsson, creative director explained why they wanted to bring in Mamou-Mani for Salone del Mobile this year:
“The common threads of inspiration this year were new craft and innovation.
“What we liked about his work was that the process informed the end result—which is how we work as well.”
Mamou-Mani’s interest in 3D printing has not just been fleeting either. His London firm features FabPub, an open maker space where Londoners can learn about 3D printing and digital design.
His work is centered around the use of natural materials, however:
“There is an awareness of materials that is starting to come back in architecture.
“Bioplastics have a much lower carbon footprint than conventional plastics, and unlike petrol-based plastic, they are entirely compostable.”
With 3D printing of the project occurring right at the installation site, both production and pollution costs are diminished too.
“I really appreciate COS’s approach to risk-taking on this project and their openness to collaboration,” says Mamou-Mani. “That is the environment you need to truly innovate.”
Mamou-Mani’s architectural and design presence at Salone del Mobile will highlight more than just 3D printing but also how the study of materials science is propelling innovation today. If you have been following our stories over the years—or just recently even—you may be aware of how much research is being invested in studies comparing the now ubiquitous ABS plastics over recyclable vegetable-based PLA, or the popularity of metals, mechanical metamaterials and other alternative but extremely useful materials like concrete.
Environmental concerns along with worries over toxicity and particle emissions continue too. Engineers, artists, and designers around the world are bringing all these interests forward in many different venues—and some, like the Salone del Mobile, are much more glamorous than others!