Alcantara and Maxxi present Space Popular’s ‘Search History’, exploring the work of Aldo Rossi

Alcantara and Maxxi present design studio Space Popular’s exhibition, ‘Search History’ (until 15 January 2023), Aldo Rossi’s architectural theories reworked into an evolving landscape of spaces

hanging images printed on alcantara textiles of chairs and houses in bright colours
'Search History', Space Popular's show at Maxxi National Museum of Art in Rome, for Alcantara-Maxxi
(Image credit: Courtesy Alcantara-Maxxi)

In a new exhibition held by Alcantara and Maxxi National Museum of Art in Rome, Space Popular has reimagined theories by Aldo Rossi, intersecting digital worlds with urbanism and layered experience.

Having founded a common space in design in 2011, Maxxi National Museum of 21st-Century Art and textile brand Alcantara are now on their sixth edition of the Alcantara-Maxxi Project. Utilising the natural dialogue between art and design, the founders invite design studios to respond to an artist whose work is held in the museum’s collection, culminating in a show at the museum, curated by Domitilla Dardi.

hanging images printed on alcantara textiles of chairs and houses in bright colours

Seating and images, part of 'Search History', Space Popular's show at Maxxi National Museum of Art in Rome, for Alcantara-Maxxi

(Image credit: Courtesy Alcantara-Maxxi)

In previous years, Formafantasma has presented a reimagining of Pier Luigi Nervi’s robust technical approach, and Neri & Hu have confronted architecture by Carlo Scarpa, amplifying voids and combining materials in sculptural exhibitions.

Space Popular’s work across both physical and virtual spaces is at the centre of the project, where the studio has defined an experience of immersive online spaces. Using the theories laid out in Italian architect and designer Aldo Rossi’s 1960s book, The Architecture of the City, as a starting point, the creative team have used layering and the multiplicity of online virtual spaces to inform their contemporary, Rossi-based concept. 

alcantara textiles hanging in gallery space, images in orange printed on them

'Search History', Space Popular's show at Maxxi National Museum of Art in Rome, for Alcantara-Maxxi

(Image credit: Courtesy Alcantara-Maxxi)

In The Architecture of the City, Rossi presents the objective metropolis as a sequence of spatial experiences that continue to be ‘permanent, universal and a necessary fact’ despite each person experiencing the same space diversely. Rejigging this theory, ‘Search History’ presents Alcantara textiles in a disjointed panorama, which shifts around its centre and alters the viewer's perspective constantly. 

The structure moves in unison with a soundscape, composed and produced by Spanish music duo San Jerónimo, running thematically with the immersive nature of virtual worlds, and coming together to ‘reflect on Rossi’s ideas of the building as an entity that absorbs, records and plays back the history of the city onto itself’, comments Space Popular.

'Search History' by Space Popular is on view until 15 January 2023

MAXXI - National Museum of 21st Century Art
Via Guido Reni, 4a
00196 Rome
Italy

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hanging images printed on alcantara textiles of abstract shapes in bright colours

A view of the images in 'Search History', Space Popular's show at Maxxi National Museum of Art in Rome, for Alcantara-Maxxi

(Image credit: Courtesy Alcantara-Maxxi)

Martha Elliott is the Junior Digital News Editor at Wallpaper*. After graduating from university she worked in arts-based behavioural therapy, then embarked on a career in journalism, joining Wallpaper* at the start of 2022. She reports on art, design and architecture, as well as covering regular news stories across all channels.