The 31st iteration of the international lighting exhibition Euroluce is taking place during this year’s Milan Design Week, April 18-23. The biennial event in Italy coincides with the annual Milan Furniture Fair (Salone Internazionale del Mobile), International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition (Salone del Complemento d’Arredo), the International Workspace Exhibition; and SaloneSatellite, tailored to emerging designers under 35. One can imagine the Fiera Milano Rho fairgrounds bursting with creative energy and activity as architects, interior designers, industrial designers, artists, product manufacturers, and students come together.
New this year, local architecture and engineering studio Lombardini22 has reimagined the fairgrounds layout to simplify wayfinding, increase exhibitor visibility, and strengthen connections between the four Euroluce pavilions, Pavilions 9-11 and Pavilions 13-15, which total more than 325,600 square feet. Interestingly, when deciding how to illuminate Euroluce, Lombardini22 opted not to, creating a black box of sorts in which the trade show booths and exhibition projects will provide the light.
Euroluce’s trade show this year will include 321 exhibitors, approximately 45% of which come from outside Italy. Product trends identified by the event organizers include sustainability, digitalization, human-centric lighting, and design. The multiday conference will also hold presentations and sessions by renowned designers, such as Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, Snøhetta co-founder Kjetil Trædal Thorsen and product design director Marius Myking, and New York–based multimedia artist Nao Tamura. An on-site bookshop, curated by Corraini Editori and designed by studio Formafantasma, will brim with publications and rare copies of tomes on light, interior design, architecture, and art.
Inspired by the “spatiality of Italian urban centers,” according to a Salone del Mobile.Milano press release, architect, critic, design educator, and researcher Beppe Finessi has curated one site-specific installation, five show-specific exhibition projects, and 12 architectural and display transitions combining objects, photographs, drawings, sculptures, installations and videos for Euroluce. Installation summaries follow.
Pavilion 9: “You can imagine the opposite”
In a grand site-specific installation, Maurizio Nannucci, a contemporary artist based in Florence, Italy, and South Baden, Germany, has fashioned the installation’s declarative title in glowing neon (see image here) to encourage viewers to take a “creative, curious, and virtuous approach,” according to its description. Nannucci began using neon “writings” as an expressive medium in the late 1960s. After Euroluce, this work will be installed at Milan Polytechnic University.
Pavilion 9: “Dawns. The Lights of Tomorrow”
This exhibition, curated by Milan-based architect, design researcher, and editor Matteo Pirola and created by Milan studio From outer Space, showcases how the absence or presence of luminous objects and devices, complete with orbiting spheres and celestial hues, can change one’s perception of space and even “light a pathway to the future.”
Pavilion 11: “Hélène Binet. Nature, Time and Architecture”
Curated and designed by architect and Casabella editorial staff member Massimo Curzi, based in Pavia, Italy, this exhibition gathers an original selection of works by famed Swiss-French photographer Hélène Binet that explore the relationship among nature, time, and architecture. The exhibition will be housed in an aluminum architectural volume lined inside with midnight-blue felt to create a distinct viewing environment.
Pavilion 15: “Fiat Bulb. The Edison Syndrome”
Curated and designed by Milan-based furniture stylist and set designer Martina Sanzarello, this exhibition honors the iconic incandescent lamp through a evolutionary sequence of lightbulbs that “switch from their primary and pragmatic use into unsettling objects and small experimental installations,” according to the exhibition description.
Pavilion 15: “Interior Night. Bright Artifacts”
Curated by Milan-based architect and journalist Michele Calzavara with a multipurpose installation design by architect and interior designer Berfu Bengisu Goren, this exhibition shows how electric light can highlight or alter the perception of interior architecture.
Pavilion 9-11, 13-15 transitions: “Constellations”
Throughout the four Euroluce pavilions, seven installations curated by Finessi with a modular installation design by local studio Formafantasma will host the work of artists, designers, and experimenters of light. Different authors and critics will provide commentary on the different pieces. Formafantasma’s paper and wood modular display system can be reused and recycled at their end of life.