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On the occasion of Milan Design Week, I'm thrilled to announce 'Passaggi,' an exhibition of observation and reflection presented by CONTRIBUTIONS and made possible through collaboration with COSE Journal, Adrianna Glaviano, and Adam Holtzinger of Keep Brooklyn.

Titled "Passaggi," or “Passages” in Italian, this exhibition challenges conventional perceptions of everyday objects by presenting a compelling selection of their mirror-images, the objects themselves, translated into glass forms. Through these reinterpretations, these commonplace items are removed from their utilitarian context and their essence is exposed, inviting viewers to explore – in a Proustian-like fashion – the deeper layers of memory and sensory experience that entangle our emotional interior.

At the core of this presentation is the idea of reimagining familiar objects as vessels of emotion and significance. By translating them into clear glass, we’ve emphasized their intrinsic value, creating space for personal reflection…a kind of subconscious transference.

As a designer, I am used to deconstructing and reconstructing an object in order to give it life, meaning and personality. In order to truly understand what creates the emotional bond between object and user, it’s important to understand the object’s aura – this intangible, immaterial quality that triggers a deeply personal response. This is what drew me to this exercise, one that is not designing but rather extracting emotions from what already exists, and learning to understand them.

Shown above: Lara Gilberto and Camille Lichtenstern for the special Salone edition of COSE Journal Issue 1

In partnership with long term collaborator Adam Holtzinger of glassblowing studio Keep Brooklyn, I worked to conceptualize and produce five domestic objects that possess strong and deeply personal sense-memories for myself, Giula Nardi of COSE Journal and Anna Caradeuc of CONTRIBUTIONS. The choice of clear glass as the medium holds illustrative significance as well, symbolizing the fragility of life.

“When we started brainstorming about objects and the memorable power they hold, the Italian moka immediately came to mind for me,” says Caradeuc. “I spent half of my childhood in Ravenna, Italy, at my grandparents’ apartment. Every morning, I would wake up to the bubbling sounds and fragrant smell of freshly brewed espresso. No matter where I find myself, the sight of a moka will always bring me back to those times. The soul of this exhibition is a nod to my late Nonna, and more generally to those often overlooked details that are so intertwined in the stories of who we are and who we become.”

Shown abov: images courtesy of COSE Journal for ON TABLE with works from Lara Giliberto and Camille Tricoire

A magnified, life-sized depiction of an indistinct yet familiar interior by Adrianna Glaviano serves as a backdrop to the exhibition. Made possible with the generous help of Brooklyn-based boutique studio Wallpaper Projects, the print further emphasizes the essence of what it feels like within a domestic environment –  a sentiment that is difficult to define precisely, yet undeniably present.

In addition to the glass works, COSE Journal will offer a special Milan Design Week edition of their sold-out, inaugural issue, available for purchase onsite. In this issue, COSE examines the objects that sit on the table – a social environment that shapes humans’ identities by serving as a theater for their daily gestures, rituals and conversations.

For those who will be in Milan, please join us:

April 15, 2024 — 2pm through 7pm

Opening cocktail: April 17, 2024 between 7-10pm

Visiting hours: April 16-18, 2024 — 12pm through 7pm

Spazio Martin
Via Alfredo, Catalani, 35, 20131

For more information, please follow @contributions.design