Taking the ‘Design Variations’ festival to the digital stage – responding to the current global health, design and travel challenges – curators MoscaPartners have launched ‘Virtual Design Variations’ with a project by celebrated Portuguese architects Aires Mateus. 

The architects’ digital installation, ‘The Rest Is Silence’, is presented in the virtual environment of the main courtyard of Palazzo Litta, where the physical, site-specific piece would have been erected during Milan Design Week 2020 – before the highly anticipated event was forced to be cancelled. 

The Rest Is Silence Design Variations aerial view

The piece is a calming water feature, inspiring peace and contemplation. ‘As a direct reaction to the world around us today, so engulfed by images and noise, with ‘The Rest Is Silence’ the designers propose a void to create a new perception of what already exists,’ explain the curators.

The organisers, who have brought us striking works, such as last year’s impressive, large scale structure by Chilean architecture studio Pezo von Ellrichshausen, are a spring staple in the generous, 17th century palazzo’s courtyard. A design exhibition featuring a roaster of accomplished and young designers is also part of the festival. 

The installation piece is accompanied by a series of video interviews, by Aires Mateus, as well as more designers participating in the ‘Design Variations’ festival, while the whole event will move to Portugal from 16th June, focusing on Portuguese creatives and creating a platform for international dialogue and idea exchange.

Click here to watch Manuel Aires Mateus talking about The Rest is Silence on Instagram. §