Mamou-Mani (Arthur Mamou-Mani, Ayham Kabbani, Ping-Hsiang Chen, Nina Pestel, Frank Quek, Maialen Calleja)
Format Engineers (James Solly, Stephen Melville)
London, FabPub ltd (Aishe Kokoshi, Carmen Matiz, Youen Perhirin)
Milan, Superforma (Mattia Ciurnelli, PierLuigi de Palo)
Venice FabLab (Leonidas Paterakis)
Macerata, Design for Craft (Emilio Antinori, Vincenzo Franchino)
Plantura (Vittorio Bortolon, Camila Bortolon)
WASP (Massimo Moretti, Davide Neri, Lapo Naldo, Nicola Schiavarelli)
Digitally designed and fabricated, Conifera has been created from seven hundred interlocking modular bio-bricks, 3D printed in a mix of wood and bioplastic. Aiming to be one of the largest structures to date conceived and realised using this method, Conifera reflects a new generation of architecture, showcasing advances in material innovation, technology and creativity.
The installation is formed in modules that shift from a wood and bioplastic composite in the courtyard through to translucent bioplastic in the palazzo’s garden. Each bio-brick is made from fully compostable resources printed in the form of interlocking structural lattices, optimising material use and allowing light to permeate the structure as visitors travel through the installation. The result is a journey from the manmade through to the natural world, and from the old to the new.
Conifera has been conceived in response to an open brief from COS, and through a parametric design process has evolved throughout its conception. The piece vertically integrates design and construction, forming a direct connection from design to build through a dialogue with robotics: the architect is at once designer and maker.
Inspired by patterns within the palazzo’s architecture Arthur Mamou-Mani explained, ‘the geometry of Conifera comes from the square motif which is very present at Palazzo Isimbardi, through the courtyard to the tiles. I wanted the piece to echo the circular nature of the compostable material and create a journey from architecture to nature in order to showcase how renewable materials, coupled with an algorithmic approach and distributed 3D printing, can create the building blocks of the future”.
“Conifera offers a glimpse of the future, the potential of design and the possibilities which open up through collaboration.” reflects Karin Gustafsson, Creative Director of COS. “The installation has grown from the seed of an idea and has been shaped by Mamou-Mani’s creativity, the expanding horizons of technology and our shared focus on material innovation and craftsmanship. The final piece brings together so many influences reflective of our values and our focus on pushing the boundaries of design while maintaining a careful balance of the man-made and the natural. We can’t wait to share Conifera in Milan.”
The installation marks COS’s eighth consecutive installation during Salone del Mobile and its first collaboration with Mamou-Mani.
Conifera will be open to the public from 9th – 14th April 2019 at Palazzo Isimbardi, Corso Monforte 35, 20122 Milan, a historic building dating from the 16th century.