'Second Life: 10 alberi per 10 totem d’autore'

The exhibition at Milano Design Week 2024 dedicsted to the relationship between the individual, the city and nature

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09/04/2024 - On Monday 15th April, the Second Life exhibition opens in Piazza San Fedele, in the heart of Milan Design Week 2024: 10 alberi per 10 totem d’autore - 10 trees for 10 designer totems -, born following the violent storm that hit the city on 25 July 2023, causing the feeling of over 5,000 trees.

The project, curated by designer Nicoletta Gatti, is part of the Milan Design Week 2024 program, scheduled from 15th to 21st April and aims to shine the spotlight on one of the hotly debated themes of contemporary times: the relationship between the individual, the city and nature. The cycle of nature never ends”, claims the curator and represents the spirit that has always accompanied her approach to design. Many of her projects take shape from the desire to allow products to be reborn, conveying their background of beauty and memories. Also in this case the theme of recovery and second life represent the common thread of the group work.

It was August last year when Nicoletta Gatti won some trunks of fallen trees, put up for tender by the Municipality of Milan which, in the aftermath of the event, started a fundraising project aimed at restoring the city's public greenery. "Milan for trees" aims, in fact, to attract the attention of private donors for the restoration of the city's greenery.

Giving life back to felled trees allows us to increase the city's involvement, as well as its awareness of the causes that generate atmospheric phenomena of this magnitude. At the same time, it aims to be a way of healing Milan's wounds through art, culture and the propensity for beauty that have always accompanied the city. Attention to nature, respect for roots and a sense of belonging are the leitmotif that accompanies all phases of the project.

The trees, definable as true actors of the historical memory of Milan, are reborn thanks to the creativity of ten designers selected by the curator: Alessandra Baldereschi, Elena Salmistraro, Federico Peri, Francesco Meda, Giulio Iacchetti, Marco Piva, Mario Trimarchi, Nicoletta Gatti, StudioPepe and Zanellato/Bortotto. Through the totems on display, the sensations and the moods linked to the cyclical nature of life take shape, with different narrative tones. A labyrinth-path outlines an abstract world, in which generosity and vigor whisper the archaic breath of the trees.

At the end of the design week the totems will be transferred to the spaces of the ADI Design Museum, where they will be put on display and then auctioned in September. Part of the proceeds will be donated to the Municipality of Milan through the "Milan for trees" fundraiser, set up specifically to replant part of the destroyed greenery.

Second Life: 10 alberi per 10 totem d’autore
curated by Nicoletta Gatti
15th April - 21st April 2024 
Piazza San Fedele, Milano 
OPENING: 15th April | 1 p.m.

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