As the design industry converges in Milan this week for the 55th annual Salone del Mobile, Minneapolis-based heavyweight 3M is ahead of the curve with its Urban Tree Lounge, a collaboration with local firm Stefano Boeri Architetti meant to provide design week crowds with a place to pause and “reflect”—literally. The installation uses 3M’s films, nonwovens, and adhesives to create a kaleidoscope of dancing light within Material ConneXion Italia’s Materials Village at the entry to Super Design Show in Zona Tortona.
At the base of the “tree”, visitors can recline on a mini landscape constructed with 3M Nomad Matting while gazing up at 3M Dichroic Film “leaves” and conceptual arbor made of 3M reflective film. The products are meant to reference the many solutions 3M creates to direct light and improve energy efficiency; the lounge allows visitors to recharge their mobile devices.
“It’s been amazing to work with the 3M Design team,” said Stefano Boeri, CEO, Stefano Boeri Architetti. “[The] conceptual tree, like an organic one, absorbs, filters, and mirrors the sunlight to create a shadow to reflect and recharge. It’s my hope that this prototype can influence creative approach to design in public spaces.”
On Thursday, April 14, 3M chief design officer Eric Quint will participate in a panel discussion titled “New Horizons in Creativity: Connecting Architecture, Nature and Humanity” at Spazio Ansaldo. Quint tells us that 3M is also slated to open its first-ever center for design in Minneapolis this July, focusing on innovation in fundamental topics such as water preservation, energy conservation, and innovative applications with materials.