DESIGN AFTER DESIGN / / 17 High Line, New York, progetto Diller Scofidio + Renfro e James Corner Field Operations High Line, New York, project Diller Scofidio + Renfro and James Corner Field Operations
Brooklyn Grange, New York © Alex S. MacLean
The word "after" summarises the meaning of the XXI Triennale di Milano and of the five exhibitions under the City after the city umbrella, that make use, until September 12, of some of the Expo Milano 2015 spaces. The meaning of the term is twofold: it can be meant as "after" in the temporal sense, implying that the artistic focus of the exhibition goes beyond the twentieth century, or as "in spite of" referring to a design that makes its way in an antagonistic manner "like in some science fiction novels," says project director Pierluigi Nicolin "portraying a near future that seems to magnify our present." Underpinning this whole reflection is the desire to go beyond the current city, with an eye to street art and nomad design. The event is a good opportunity to reopen two pavilions that were protagonists of the last Expo Milano 2015: the Future food district and the Auditorium, near the entrance square to the Cardo. The layout adopted for both areas, approximately 2,500 m² each, identifies new areas through some exedras formed by curved walls. Trait d'union of the series of exhibitions is the planetary kitchen garden that connects the two buildings, in the form of parterre that extends for about 4,000 m². Cultivations takes place on a plot formed by more than 100 beds, raised 50 cm from the concrete pavement. The side that faces the river hosts three small restaurants, and a large meeting/ bookroom offers various texts related to the topics covered. The visitor's attention is immediately captured by a giant video installation on the floor, with various images about travelling population proposed along with famous paintings by Delacroix and Gericault, the two leading representatives of Romantic painting. Satellite photos and videos induce even more the viewer to identify with the works. At the centre of the fi rst exhibition, Landscape urbanism ( 1 ), curated by Gaia Piccarolo, there is an aspiration to trespass into nature, a common thread of urban imagination in the 21th century. In this trend it is possible to detect the symptoms of a new sensibility, which perceives urban space as part of a larger natural ecosystem. Thus, a large video projection composes a hybrid fresco made of representations and prefigurations, panoramic views and recent projects, creating a landscape that evokes new horizons.