Moon mission: Driade celebrates five brilliant decades by looking to the future of space furniture

Moon mission: Driade celebrates five brilliant decades by looking to the future of space furniture

Since 1968, Driade has developed a reputation as a global ambassador for Italian style and quality. With a harmony of prominent global design voices – including Ron Arad, Antonia Astori, Philippe Starck, Fabio Novembre and Konstantin Grcic – feeding into its collective consciousness over the years, it has maintained its philosophy as a made-in-Italy brand that resonates with creative minds worldwide.

To mark its 50th anniversary, Driade went interstellar on the world’s biggest design stage, Salone Del Mobile 2018, with an out-of-this-world installation featuring a clutch of archival design greats, transformed by Turin-based Studio Nucleo into 3D-printed versions using a soft sand similar to regolith – the layer of dust, soil and broken rock that covers the moon’s rocky surface. Also the focus of a new art film, Moonage Daydream, the interactive experience commemorates the Apollo II moon landing, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019.

Established a year prior to the moon landing, Driade shares half a century of history with the iconic event. As such, it looked to its own collection to inspire the future-seeking ‘Moon Mission’ installation, and bestselling designs from the Driade archive were exhibited at the Milan location.

Highlights include the sculptural ‘Costes’ and ‘Toy’ chairs by Philippe Starck, which act as anchors, reflecting what Driade does best – facilitate the creation of timeless forms that become globally recognisable. The ‘Koishi’ table by Naoto Fukasawa, a perfectly smoothed pebble cast into a Japanese garden, is both alien-looking and beguiling. Likewise, the 1973 ‘Cuginetto’ glass table by Milanese master Enzo Mari is an exercise in lucid design – the ideal reflection of a space-themed scenography.

Shot during the Design Week in Milan among these iconic objects, Moonage Daydream consists of an interplay between two ‘space voyage heroines’, played by Elena Radonicich, an Italian actress who starred in 2018’s Principe Libero, and the US-based Kenyan model Giannina Oteto. Subtly and playfully nodding to the nostalgia of the first moon landing, the film is a highly contemporary, pulsating take on the event.

The actors twist and fold around each other; floating almost gravity-free across the designs, while Oteto’s nameless character meditates on abstract philosophies. ‘Each human being has another human being inside itself, and another one, and so on,’ she wistfully muses. ‘We are so lonely, we end up being one inside the other,’ she smiles. A holographic Planet Earth buzzes in the background, like an afterthought.

Accompanying the futuristic furnishings – and making the event a truly interactive one – was a tested-in-orbit menu, including Italian astronaut Maurizio Cheli’s Parmesan bites, and appropriately titled space-age cocktails Apollo 11, Silver Moon and Black Hole. Audio content came courtesy of Yar, the cosmic creator of bespoke sound systems, which supplied the Fenix nanotech guitar by Lorenzo Palmeri (an object which made its debut in Milan Design Week 2017).

From Italy, to the world, to the out-of-this-world – Driade has cleverly looked outwards to celebrate its important landmark of five decades in design, while also looking to the future to applaud its continuing success.

The Driade ’Moon Mission’ installation was held during the Fuorisalone (17-22 April 2018) at the Cinema Arts in Milan, lunar pieces from which were also displayed during the second edition of Milan Arch Week 2018 (23-27 May 2018).

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