Progetto Alcantara® – MAXXI 2012: eight designers shortlisted

Following the success of the first edition, the Progetto Alcantara-MAXXI curated by Giulio Cappellini (art director, Alcantara) and Domitilla Dardi (design curator, MAXXI Architettura), returns to present experimental research exploring the versatility of a unique and innovative material and exalting its artistic and creative potential.
The 2011 edition featured 11 leading international designers asked to interpret the characteristics of Alcantara. This experimentation resulted in 11 installations presented in the exhibition Can You Imagine?, held at the museum between October and November 2011.
The second edition instead requires the specific qualities of the material to be interpreted on the basis of a specific brief entrusted to some of the most promising emerging talents on the international design scene.

The selection of the designers involved 50 sponsors, international experts in the sector, each invited to suggest a designer under 35 years of age displaying a marked design talent. The curricula of these designers were then examined by an international jury of experts who assigned to each of the 8 finalists the execution of a project regarding the proposed theme.

The finalists
The eight finalists in the competition have all been assigned a specific project:
Sebastian Herkner (Germany) – conference table setting
Lanzavecchia + Way (Italy and Singapore) – car interior
Mischer’ Traxler – (Austria) public transport seat
Society of Architecture (Korea) – park bench
Matteo Zorzenoni (Italy) – bar/restaurant booth
Vittorio Venezia (Italy) – beach/boat lounger/chair
paradisiartificiali (Italy) – cinema/theatre seat
Mana Bernardes (Brazil) – personal office desk

The theme
The theme chosen for the 2012 edition is that of the “New Scenarios of (Con)temporary living”, looking at the current trend for an ever more dynamic and nomadic way of life that leads us to spend more time away than at home. The idea is therefore to create “equipped habitats” in which we may feel at ease even in those public and shared spaces in which we are all obliged to spend much of our time. The task entrusted to the young designers is therefore that of proposing objects and creating an environment in which we can feel “at home, away from home”.
The selected participants will be asked to present a project for an installation capable of interpreting a new approach to habitability and comfort within the environments indicated, making use of Alcantara as the principal material and valorising its particular characteristics.

The jury
The jury has selected from among the candidates the eight participants and has assigned each of them one of the following eight research topics: car interior; cinema/theatre seat; public transport seat; bar/restaurant booth; personal office desk; conference table setting; park bench; beach/boat lounger/chair.

The exhibition
The exhibition, entitled Shape your life! – Progetto Alcantara® – MAXXI, will open in the autumn of 2012 and will feature the “equipped habitats” with which the designers respond to the brief assigned to them.