Cloud over Milan

13 April 2014

This April, Sergey Kuznetsov and Sergei Tchoban already for the third time are taking part in the design festival in Milan — their large-scale installation U_cloud is located in the open air in the courtyard of one of the oldest universities in the city. After “The Architect’s Eye” (2012) and “Golden River” (2013), Kuznetsov and Tchoban are presenting a high-tech cloud, which accumulates and distributes the most important wealth of cities of the future — information.

installation U_cloud

The new exhibition in Milan curated by the INTERNI magazine — Feeding New Ideas for the City — in a way is leading up to the international exhibition EXPO-2015 which will begin in the Italian capital of design in just over a year, in May 2015. In parallel with Milan Design Week, April 7-18, INTERNI is presenting the latest collection of original ideas from famous designers and architects, in an already established tradition turning the courtyard of the historic University Università degli Studi into an experimental and research workshop.

The official theme of the future EXPO is “Feeding the Planet: Energy for Life.” But man does not live by bread alone: at the request of INTERNI, Paola Navone, Ferruccio Laviani, Piero Lissoni, Kengo Kuma, MVRDV bureau and others dream about what there will be to “feed” and nurture the city in the future.

installation U_cloud

Along with the aforementioned well-known figures, for the third time in the Milan INTERNI exposition Sergey Kuznetsov and Sergei Tchoban are presenting their project, which with the participation of the architect Agnia Sterligova, have created the installation U_cloud. U_cloud is a voluminous steel cloud with a width of 15 m and a height of a little over 7 m, entirely covered with LED-screens, transmitting images and videos. To create the illusion of suspension, the company VELKO-2000, which was responsible for execution of the project, trimmed the pedestal with mirrors.

The authors of the installation, Sergey Kuznetsov, chief architect of Moscow, and Sergei Tchoban, partner at SPEECH, are convinced that the new, and inexhaustible, source of “fuel” and “energy” for the urban society is information.

installation U_cloud

“Historically cities always were places of huge cultural, educational and economic potential, centers for acquistion and exchange of information. Thanks to the rapid development of new technologies and virtual services of data, the number of invisible connections enlacing the city increases exponentially, practically canceling the concept of physical boundaries. A steadily enlarging U_cloud hovers over the endless city, absorbing, retaining and reflecting the intricate pattern of objects and empty spaces, fantasies and real-life stories, weather forecasts and unpredictable circumstances.”

installation U_cloud

The idea of the organizers is that the exhibition Feeding New Ideas for the City is in some sense a “dress rehearsal” of EXPO-2015. Many of the temporary installations presented here will be seen again by the world community, though not only for a couple of weeks, but for six months, from May to October in 2015.

Watch the video

Images: by authors of the installation

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