As soon as you walk through the door and clock the touch-sensitive, interactive bar surface, you know you are not in a normal nightclub. This is Zona Tortona, Milan; the unveiling of a crowd-sourced nightclub concept from Heineken - a year-long design exploration project, created through the progressive minds of 19 emerging designers from across the globe. The result is a prototype, futuristic nightclub where even the simple act of ordering a beer has been creatively deconstructed and artfully reconsidered.
Tap a bottle-shaped icon on the screen and pulsing, concentric circles attract the server’s attention and tell him that you have priority over the guy next to you. When your beer (in its award-winning aluminium bottle) is served (via some specially-commissioned, ergonomically designed trays) the bar man taps the icon to explode it, showing that the order has been fulfilled. Now watch as your beer ‘connects’ with the bottle next to you, providing a cute, ice-breaking conversation starter. If you want more entertainment before you hit the dance floor check out the grooving images on the Heineken video wall behind you – a massive TV screen with over 2000 green beer bottles replacing pixels.
Designers from Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Milan and New York - with the help of 100 clubbers from more than 20 cities - shared their social interaction insights, contributing to the pioneering concept club through a special virtual creative online hub. This allowed designers and their mentors across countries, cultures and different design disciplines to fuse together ideas with the aim to innovate nightclub design around the world. Their inventive work is much in evidence as you make you way through the club. Waitresses in other-worldly, origami inspired outfits wander around instigating playful dares and other unexpected activities designed to get people out of their shells, encouraging social engagement and participation. An alluring dance space invites guests to take the stage under a 3D origami star while the latest video mapping technology creates an interactive sense between the crowd and the Massive Music DJs.
‘Clubs are really interesting spaces for us to explore new design ideas, as they’re social, extrovert and progressive places where design really sets the scene for the nightlife experience,’ explained Mark van Iterson, Head of Global Design at Heineken. ‘We set out to experiment with ways of making the night more welcoming, more memorable and igniting conversation through design concepts and innovations.’ This disco gets a ‘Yowsa’ from Wallpaper*
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Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.
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