Trying to add a human element to a week that comprises mostly inanimate objects is quite a challenge. But, for this year's Salone del Mobile, Rolf Sachs Studio has worked miracles, fusing pieces of sculptural furniture with mechanisms of the human body at Studio Giangaleazzo Visconti, and literally giving us a breath of fresh air.
Putting together three installation pieces over three rooms, Sachs called on the talents of Italian digital company Your Voice to replicate human motions in pieces such as a giant table, a chair and lighting. The first room, for instance, contains a red wax chair that faces a metronome. Specially tuned to replicate the beats per minute of a human pulse rate, the metronome transforms itself from a traditionally impersonal object to a beating human heart.
Continuing in the same vein, the 'on the pulse table' in the next room has a 'living', pigmented, mineral oil surface that works to represent different emotions and reactions, which throbs to life through a pre-programmed, adjustable combination of 'beating' signals produced from a speaker installed under the table.
And completely eschewing the usual exhibition format and encouraging up-close visitor contact is the 'a light breath' installation - a collection of chandeliers, each filled with a physically breathing pillow, complete with a concealed 'whispering window' speaker that echoes the faint sound of breathing.