After a long day exploring the ateliers of Tortona, checking out the vast Fiera di Milano pavilions and traipsing the show at the public university grounds, la crema della crema of the design world is now ready to party at the Wallpaper* SodaStream Lock-in. Outside La Sala Liberty, a fine 19th-century ballroom in the city’s garment district, there’s a very well-dressed road block developing with the likes of Tom Dixon, Ron Arad, Bethan Laura Wood, Jasper Conran, Yves Béhar, Tord Boontje, Nigel Coates and Nina Tolstrup flooding through the doors.
On stage and throwing down Motown, electro clash and disco is the be-hatted, idiosyncratic figure of DJ Barnaba Fornasetti, 62-year-old CEO of the Fornasetti Atelier started by his father, the painter and sculptor Piero Fornasetti, way back when this grand old venue was hosting dance offs, jazz concerts and political rallies. To the right is the touring SodaStream pop-up cocktail bar machines fizzing away with Campari-based tinctures, designed especially for the occasion by the SodaStream designer Yves Béhar: Bicicletta (Campari, white wine, SodaStream club soda, strained into an ice-filled wine glass and garnished with a lemon slice) and Americano (Campari, sweet vermouth, SodaStream club soda, garnished with a twist of lemon peel).
The idea of the party was to free minds and let dancing feet follow, but also to inspire, agitate and educate; a whopping 10,657 bottles and cans is how many water and fizzy drinks containers the average family in the USA alone gets through in five years, a total of 130bn bottles and cans ending up as trash annually. Equally damaging is the way the soft-drinks industry burns over 100m barrels of oil a year in its combined production of beverages and bottles. With its beautiful, rebooted range of machines, the SodaStream people want the design community to help stop the madness of domestic beverage consumption and get busy with homemade fizzy instead. Milan raised a glass to responsible hedonism… and hit the dance floor.