A large seabird gazing towards the sky appeared in the Cortile d’Onore in Milan as a metaphor for life retaking its course in the post-pandemic world. Designed by MAD Architects, the installation titled “Freedom” is a nod to inclusiveness and borderless, as well as a playful symbol of hope. In addition, for the 2021 edition of Milan Design Week, the studio taps again into furniture design with two projects, “Meteor” and “Gu Table”, created in collaboration with Dior and Sawaya & Moroni, respectively.
This year, MAD Architects was invited by Interni Magazine to design an installation for the courtyard of the Università Degli Studi di Milano. The project is an allegory of the post-pandemic world and the collective desire to restart and renew. As Ma Yansong explains, “as human beings, if we are looking for freedom or connection with other people, we should go beyond physical or invisible space that limits us. We should go beyond the limitations.” The seagull stepping out from the portico and waiting to take flight symbolizes freedom while also recalling the uncertainty of this particular moment in time.
The installation is created using metal profiles covered with LED stripes, which make the project even more present at night time. The seabird as a symbol of borderless and inclusiveness also appears in MAD’s representations of the Fenix Museum of Migration in Rotterdam. The studio’s first cultural project in Europe broke ground last year and is set for completion in 2025.
In addition to the “Freedom” installation, MAD Architects reveals two furniture design projects at the Milan Design Week. The studio reimagines Dior’s signature piece, the Medallion Chair, portraying the element as caught in motion. Made of 3d-printed polyurethane, the chair titled “Meteor” is a reflection on time and space. Likewise, continuing the collaboration with the Italian furniture brand Sawaya & Moroni, MAD Architects designs “Gu Table”, a compliment for the "Gu Chair" presented at the Milan Design Week in 2018. Featuring fluid lines, the Gu Table and Chair draw inspiration from skeletal structures, “gu” meaning “bones” in Chinese.
- "Freedom" Design Team: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano, Andrea D’Antrassi, Alessandro Fisalli, Elena Bellocchio, Francesco Nardacci
- "Meteor" Design Team: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano, Zeng Hao
- "Gu Table" Design Team: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano, Andrea D'Antrassi, Anna Spaggiari