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zona tortona

tour route


My visual landscape tour of Zona Tortona initially took place during Fuorisalone, when the neighbourhood is transformed into a ‘design zone’ for the event. It started at the beginning of Via Tortona close to the Porta Genova metro station. I chose this as it is close to Superstudio 13, the original site purchased for a photography studio which spurred the process of branding Zona Tortona as a design area of Milan. The route proceeded by observing and following visitors of Fuorisalone who were using social media on their smartphones to experience and interact with the event. By combining this physical route and experience with one occurring simultaneously in the virtual space of social media, a new Zona Tortona was created - one which transcends physical boundaries and confirms the notion of place as a process (Massey 1991). The route was retaken after Fuorisalone and whilst the zone seemed to lack the design flair it possessed during the event, the experiences captured and preserved on social media ensure that this identity is enduring.

Zona Tortona: On the trail of social media



To an extent we already inhabit a parallel space: time spent on Instagram, Twitter or other social media is time spent in a virtual community rather than the real world. The cliche of the person so entranced by their iPhone that they notice nothing of their physical surroundings is just the beginning of the migration towards parallel digital worlds that are as convincing as the real one.


Marcus Fairs, Dezeen Magazine 2014, para. 17


social listening These projects captured and monitered the Zona Tortona which was created in virtual space during Fuorisalone. In doing so, the branding of the area as a design zone was projected through a new medium. City Sensing (top) collects geographically referenced data from Twitter, traffic from mobile networks and Bike Sharing and which is overlaid onto a map to produce short time based videos of this information. Twindex Fuorisalone (bottom left) is a mash-up of maps and charts such as heat maps and Tweet lists, displaying information about the several zones as well as the city as a whole, collected from Twitter and Instagram. The Instagram feed on the Fuorisalone website (bottom right) displays all posts from Instagram with the hashtags #fuorisalone, #milanodesignweek, #breradesigndistrict and #tortonaroundesign.


“ 5

When real places are merged with virtual worlds, the result is a completely new environment where

physical and digital objects co-exist in real time.


Hana Iverson & Rickie Sanders, The Neighbourhood Narratives Project 2009, p. 9





david pryor @markoramius62 #fuorisalone seguito da questa (poltrona di proust di Mendini su suo progetto del ‘78 per Magis)

Sarinski @Sarinski_ Finalmente oggi parleremo del #Fuorisalone da un punto di vista illuminato, il mio. #ASUSmdw14

Antonio Starnino @an_star5 Amazing game of massive multiplayer thumb war developed by @avantgame at #bibimbap

LivingCorriere @LivingCorriere Domotica e tecnologia. L’installazione interattiva @ samsung - Spazio Zegna via Savona 56 #livingsalone

Zoë Lazarus @zoelazarus ‘Transform’ amazing gesture based installation from MIT Media Lab at #Lexusdesignamazing

vauxhall @vaux_hall Il gioco di società più divertente del fuorisalone resta sempre “Designer o Barbone?”

Antje Schrupp @antjeschrupp Meine neue Lampe. Macht zwar nicht wirklich hell, sieht aber lustig aus. #fuorisalone

LifeGate @lifegate Qui non è niente male w/ @bertallot,

Tweets in Tortona

Marco Stancati @MarcoStancati A tavola solo con la camicia pulira!

Cool Hunting @coolhunting The “Dream Team” at LeClettico is a harmoniously diverse display of furniture

stefaniaboleso @stefaniaboleso Appena tornata da zona Tortona, questo post mi sembra ancora attuale:Cosa resterà del Salone del Mobile?

Justine_ LeFunkyMamas @Ju_LeFunkyMamas Enjoying @TOG_Official , my favourite project at #fuorisalone

Arianna Gandolfi @Arianna_Sakiori Abiti di carta print-aportèr #superstudiopiu

Artemisa Bega @Siproite Sincerely one of the best things at @ fuorisalone for me @automotivespace @Lexus_Italia Interconnection


during vs after fuorisalone


There is no doubt that the branding of Zona Tortona as a design zone of Milan is strongest during its transformation for Fuorisalone, when the design industry of the neighbourhood is on show for all to see. After this period, when private spaces become private once again and the crowds cease, this identity seems much less apparent.

However, it is preserved through the experiences created via social media and resurfaces whenever someone visits their Twitter feed or likes another photo on Instagram. The uniqueness of virtual space is that it renders its contents eternal.


Elyssia Antonatos UTS 2014

references Fairs, M. 2014, ‘The star of Milan this year was Instagram’, Dezeen Magazine, 14 April, viewed 1 June 2014, <http://>.

Selected images pages 4 and 10 taken from the websites of City Sensing, Twindex Fuorisalone and Fuorisalone 2014. Selected material pages 5-9 from Twitter and Instagram, sourced from Iverson, H. & Sanders, R. 2009, ‘The Neighbourhood Narratives Project: New Dialogues with/in the Mediated City’ Twindex Fuorisalone and Fuorisalone 2014. in F. Eckardt, J. Geelhaar, L. Colini, K. Willis, K. Chorianopoulos & R. Hennig (eds), MediaCity: Situations, Practices, Encounters, Frank & Timme, Berlin. <> <> Massey, D. 1991, ‘A global sense of Place’, Marxism Today, June, pp. 24-29. <>

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