Design becomes an interactive game for visitor-players


by Serena L. Rosato
1 Love 18609 Visits


EXHIBITION_ The Alcantara-MAXXI project began in 2011 with the aim of exploring new expressions of contemporary creativity. Now PLAYFUL INTER-ACTION, addresses a known yet previously not fully explored aspect of Alcantara: its multisensory qualities. The intent of the exhibition – mounted in the evocative Scarpa Room – is to describe and express in a “physical” and extraordinarily tangible way the special properties of a material, which is more and more part of our daily life.

The interpretation has been entrusted to two creative groups already known and respected in the world of interactive design: Fabrica and studio Minale-Maeda, which the curators Giulio Cappellini (Art Director, Alcantara) and Domitilla Dardi (Design Curator, MAXXI Architettura) chose precisely for their groundbreaking role in so-called relation design. Interactivity is in fact the exhibition’s basic element: a series of tactile/visual, tactile/auditory and tactile/olfactory associations encourage visitors to caress Alcantara, look at it and even listen to it or smell it. 

After the positive experiences of Can you imagine? and Shape your life!, for the third Alcantara-MAXXI exhibition the two curators chose a path that goes straight to the essence of the material. In the words of Giulio Cappellini and Domitilla Dardi: “The two groups of designers were asked to work on creating a multisensory experience that would start with touch and sight and go on to explore other possibilities. The result is a kind of synaesthesia. To achieve it, the visitors’ input is essential: their interaction with the exhibit is part of the exhibit, the one feeds on the other’s involvement”.




The two Fabrica installations, “Pendulums” and “Shiver”, move in the dimension of sound and light: visitors activate the interactions by touch. 




The Minale-Maeda duo’s work, “Essences, Compounds, Particles”, addresses the olfactory universe as it invites visitors/players to compose new blends of shapes and essences. 




The path leading visitor to the discovery of PLAYFUL INTER-ACTION reveals unprecedented instances of perceptual contamination, a veritable sensory “symphony” that examines in-depth the expressive power of Alcantara, a material with endless application potential, numerous colours and textures and unparalleled versatility. 

MAXXI – National Museum of XXI-century Art
Via Guido Reni 4A, 00196 Rome
12 November 2013 to 5 January 2014


Photo© Cecilia Fiorenza, courtesy Fondazione MAXXI


    • Serena L. Rosato

      Serena L. Rosato


      Bari / Italy

      Architetto per vocazione, web writer per diletto. Progetta spazi e costruisce idee giocando con pixel e inchiostro, occhi curiosi e delicata ironia. Attenta ai dettagli e distratta dalle novità, costantemente alla ricerca della bellezza delle cose. Dichiarata dipendenza da viaggi, musei e scarpe. ____________________________________________________________ Architect by vocation , web writer for pleasure. She designs and builds spaces ideas playing with ink and pixels, curious eyes and de)

    MAXXI 135


    Rome / Italy / 2010