For the 2021 Milan Design Week, Kengo Kuma Associates designed a bamboo installation that merges form, materiality and music, creating a multisensory experience. Created in collaboration with smart device manufacturer OPPO, Bamboo (竹) Ring :|| Weaving a Symphony of Lightness and Form answers the "Creative Connections" theme by merging architecture and music, as well as craftsmanship and technology.
The installation weaves together a series of rings made of bamboo and carbon fibre, overlapped with a changing soundscape integrating the musical compositions of Japanese violinist Midori Komachi and Musicity. In essence, the design proposes a large-scale musical instrument through which the sound travels, creating an immersive experience. The project uses haptic motors, speaker strips, and exciters "to produce an immersive base and higher frequencies which reverberate the bamboo with Violin's vibrato and the effect of a percussion instrument."
The intervention is a continuation of Kengo Kuma and OPPO's Bamboo Ring exhibition created for the 2019 London Design Festival, which combined bamboo and carbon fibre resulting in a rigid material that maintains the aesthetic qualities of the natural material, thus exploring the relationship between man-made objects and the environment.
When I design architecture, I'm interested in designing the rhythm and the tone rather than the silhouette, and contemporary music gives us many lessons about how to create new rhythms and tones in architecture. This pavilion is one of the explorations into the new rhythms and tones in architecture combining visual and acoustic experiences of the visitors. – Kengo Kuma
The installation will be on display in Milan's Cortile del Bagni until September 19th, after which it will become part of the outdoor exhibit of contemporary art museum Arte Sella Park in Trentino, Italy.