Bologna Water Design 2012: design dedicated to water and outdoor spaces


stone escape kengo kuma 2b

Bologna Water Design, the 'post-expo' exhibition was sponsored by the Municipality of Bologna, the Province, the Cineteca di Bologna, Bologna Welcome, the Museo Internazionale e Biblioteca della Musica di Bologna, the Ordine Architetti, the Ascom and this year, by Cersaie.

The exhibition opened its doors for five days, from 25 to 29 September, publicising design dedicated to water and outdoor spaces: a journey of excellence which involved Bologna's most prestigious locations.

Water, historically a key figure in the city's history, was interpreted by some of the most respected international designers as well as the leading companies in the sector through exciting installations, innovative products and shows established in places of art and culture, palaces and gardens, showrooms and shops, architect and design studios.

Opening the exhibition on an irreverent and edgy note was Philippe Daverio with his Breve processo all’eccesso del cesso ('Short but overflowing history of the loo’), which took place in ‘Refettorio’ one of the rooms of the splendid 15th century palace on Via d’Azeglio, better known as the Ex Ospedale dei Bastardini.

Mario Bellini – Mirror, mirror on the wall

Mario Bellini – Mirror, mirror on the wall

A fascinating journey, suspended between two transient elements, water and light.

The space in the vast and silent half-light of one of the great rooms of the former Ex Ospedale dei Bastardini, with its sombre huge windows, is profaned by a sheet of black water: a 'magic' mirror which sinks into the floor with the reflected and reverse image of the entire room.

Its upturned vaults and ten long light sticks dance in the space with their opposite numbers. This evocative installation has been created in collaboration with Platek Light and Polyglass – Gruppo Mapei.

Diego Grandi – Break in Blue

Diego Grandi – Break in Blue

Another major artist in the Ex Ospedale dei Bastardini.

‘Break in Blue’, designed by Diego Grandi, in collaboration with Lea Ceramiche, slips into the space as a moment of reflection, perfectly and physically suspended at the very heart of the exhibition. Coloured planes, so large, like pools of water redesign the environment, replacing the empty spaces in the courtyard where the installation has been put, defining place and point of meeting. A nuance of blue shades mark out the surfaces, holding the visitor’s gaze in complete freedom.


Kengo Kuma – Stone Escape

Kengo Kuma – Stone Escape

Water is a mighty sculptor.

Stone is a patient material.

Water can transform even the hardest substance into something soft and delicate,

but ..... it is stone which marks the way’.

‘Stone Escape’Kengo Kuma’s visionary installation, designed in collaboration with Il Casone, Agape and Mapei, will be set up in one of the rooms at the Ex Ospedale dei Bastardini.

'Stone Escape' plays out the long history of two opposing elements which, together, created our world: water and stone.


Mario Cucinella Architects – Smart H2OME

Mario Cucinella Architects – Smart H2OME

The ambitious project aims to sensitize the citizens to consume water in a conscious way, with particular attention to the environmental aspects arising therefrom.

As known, water is a limited commodity on earth, essential for every human being, for health and for the development of the economic activities.

The water is a precious commodity and the accessibility of the resource is not guaranteed everywhere.

The project, carried out at the Ex Ospedale dei Bastardini, in collaboration with Seves Glass Block

and Rak Ceramics and it wants to highlight the areas in the house where occur higher consumption. At the same time, the project wants to show simple and technological solutions that, if adopted, would help to reduce by 70% the demand for drinking water for the family and the monthly spending bill.

Water is a common good. Let common the solutions to reduce waste.

 Open Project - Re-Wat

Mario Cucinella Architects – Smart H2OMEWater becomes Re-Wat.

A wordplay, an anagram, a reinterpretation.

In a place where history has left indelible marks, an environment where the walls seem to be nicked, scratched from the time and from the weather, we have created through light and sound, the violence of a storm, a generating and destructive force.

In a fluid and endless process, in which water is perceived as a symbol of energy and life, an everyday item, like an umbrella, is overturned, giving it a new meaning. A new object, not to protect but to contain.

The installation, realized in the Ex Ospedale dei Bastardini, shows how through a simple daily act, is possible to transform this valuable resource reusing it efficiently.

 B Scape Studio - Nessie

B Scape Studio - Nessie

The project, designed by Workshop Marocchi, will receive visitors at the Ex Ospedale dei Bastardini.

Taking the hypothetical path of a river and turning it into a three-dimensional object, this generates a 'ribbon' which becomes: fountain, parking area, play equipment, seating and more. One sign that carries various functions related to outdoor life.

The water flows from the ends of the ribbon through two fountains, one low and one high, to symbolize the flow of water and its fundamental value through life, as if only for a moment it had been 'borrowed' and then returned to the river. Water as a geographical place around which historically have been created villages, towns, forms of aggregation. The water does not stop, flows and turns, takes the shape of the container that contains it and then it returns free.

 Michele De Lucchi and Lorenzo Palmeri - Concert Drops of Water

Michele De Lucchi and Lorenzo Palmeri - Concert Drops of Water

Design Project by Michele De Lucchi - Music Museum of Bologna

'Water droplets of different sizes fall rhythmically different heights on a selection of objects and materials, revealing the hidden sound' – tells Palmeri. 'The idea of the project - adds De Lucchi - revolves around the senses and therefore the human being, essential middle reference.'

The secret, is inside the music produced by the falling droplets and represents

an example of a mobile form, flexible, adaptable, evolving, just like water.

It could be interesting to watch to the challenge of a performance that tries to combine design - primary domain of the form - to water, that seems to escape from all forms. 

 Cineteca di Bologna - Cinemacqua

Cineteca di Bologna - Cinemacqua

Bologna Film Library presents Cinemacqua (60’) for the exhibition, an exclusive collection of sequences which celebrate water as a figurative and narrative element.

On 27 and 28 September, the evening was reserved for images taken from some well-known and some not so well-known films in the history of the cinema: Psycho and La dolce vita, Rex’s rite of passage in Amarcord and the refractions on the water in Tarkovsky, De Seta’s fishermen and the whale hunters featured by the documentary maker Mario Ruspoli, up to Viaggio sul Tamigi (Sailing down the Thames) of 1912 and the 1909 film, Pesca nei mari del Nord.

Then there was Boudu saved from Drowning, by Renoir, Vigo’s L’Atalante, Apocalypse Now and a real gem: one of the scenes cut from Once upon a time in America cleaned up in the new extended version.

A journey from the water surface to the depths of cinema.

 Design Challenge Bologna 2012

Design Challenge Bologna 2012A design competition during Bologna Water Design.

A design improvisation challenge with 8 teams, comprised of 1 to 3 competitors in each.

A contest where everyone can be a designer and put their creativity to the test. The competition format is an original idea put together by ACD Studio and MNA Studio.

For the winner team, is giving away three Kartell Louis Ghost chairs by Philippe Starck. This year, Kartell celebrates the tenth anniversary of the production of this successful product.

 Collective Exhibitions and Schools

The exhibition will promote design culture through expos and the work of design schools on the theme of water.

Bologna Water Design has seen in fact the enthusiastic participation of major design institutes, such as: Domus Academy, IED the design institute, Bolzano Faculty, L.UN.A. and the Polytechnic School which will exhibit their innovative designs and products at the main college of the Free University of the Arts of Bologna, known as L.UN.A.

The Free University of Bolzano will take part in the University exhibition at the main college of L.UN.A., in Via d’Azeglio 33, with designs from the students attending the Faculty of Design and Arts, Martin Kerschbaumer and Andreas Trenker, winners of the 0km_H2O competition, put on by the Institute.

The aim of the competition was to create for a special aluminium bottle a clear graphic message, which would convince people to opt for the reusable container. Raising awareness of environmental problems is actually an integral part of the training objectives of Bolzano University which, with this initiative, is hoping to make a small contribution to reducing waste and goods transport.

Martin Kerschbaumer has decided to get the bottle's owner involvedMartin Kerschbaumer has decided to get the bottle's owner involved, giving him/her a large white field to customise. Using the text printed on the bottle, Kerschbaumer provokes us into reflecting on the concept of water ownership: my water – my bottle.Andreas Trenker, on the other hand, just kept to writing H2Okm  on the bottle

Andreas Trenker, on the other hand, just kept to writing H2Okm on the bottle, unequivocally underlining the message that the entire activity was meant to transmit.








Water the Origin of LifeIED, the European Institute of Design in Milan  were exhibited Water, the Origin of Life, designed by the students from the Illustration course for the Acqua volume, the first book from the MC Editrice publishing house.

Water, the Origin of LifeThe illustrations put forward various pathways and they hinge around different planes of reading: from tales of legends to Leonardo's notes, from fables to poetry and then up to information on the current social and economic situation. (Francesco Santosuosso)(Silvia Mauri).





YED: Yacht Eco Design


Yacht Eco Design

The collaboration with Filippetti Yacht – Hot Lab Yacht & Design has seen the European Institute of Design become involved in the development of an ambitious design project which brings together aesthetics, functionality and sustainability.

The basis for the required design are EVO 890 and Daemon 80, two extremely different hulls, which enables designers to undertake multiple approaches to the theme of 'travelling by sea'.

Evo 890 is part of the Flying Bridge line of Filippetti Yacht. The basic design theme for this hull is the liveability of the interior environments and the best use of every space.

Daemon 80 on the other hand is the top of the range in the Open line of Filippetti Yacht.

The basic design theme for this hull will be lightness taken to its very limits.

The aim is to develop a design which will catch the eye in the Exhibition, and which will greatly involve the superstructures and characteristic elements of exterior appearance, such as interiors at layout level, the choice of furnishings and arrangement.

A design which will bear in mind the factors of environmental respect. 'Travelling by sea' understood as being the experience of immersion in nature and submitting to its rhythms and strengths, must bear in mind how to respect it.

 Padiglione Italia

The designers of Padiglione Italia have taken part in Bologna Water Design so that each one may tell in their own words, a shared story, mingling with each other and communicating, freeing themselves from simplistic definitions based on personal data, speaking of research and design quality. The designers have taken part: 4P1B, Alhambretto, Studio Charlie, CTRLZAK, en&is, Giò Tirotto e Alessandro Zambelli.

The flowing motion of water creates a solid support to draw attention to a new portrait of the genuine and concrete realities which comprise Padiglione Italia and who have chosen this occasion to confront 'the most precious of all the elements'.

The illustrated tale is dedicated to water which transforms substance, to the rhythms and melodies enclosed within its waves; it speaks to us of a resource, indispensable if we wish to survive and reach a state of well-being.

Water separates and unites, it celebrates the work of every single participant and puts him in communication with the other realities which follow on from each other, moving collectively, breaking and filled with energy like a set of waves.

Many messages have been entrusted to the waves, each one carrying within it the independent vision of every designer who has progressed thanks to the messages that came after, completing a picture of heterogeneous beauty.

The prestigious location of the Ex Ospedale dei Bastardini will also be the evocative background for the video screenings, developed by Face Creative Link, multidisciplinary creative network, of well-known artists: S43 by Adam Santelli; CanvasBlackout by Mauricio Corradini, Ameleto Cascio and Julika Ingrassia and Eau du Cinema by Francesca Zerbetto.

 S43 by Adam Santelli

The video installation explores, through using large plexiglass tanks with human bodies immersed, the theme of loss of physical and psychological control. By immersing itself in water and therefore in the unknown, the body frees itself, becomes transformed, relaxes and acquires new energy. The intensity of the images comes not only from seeing the bodies floating in the water, but above all from seeing how contact with it transforms the expression of the face, skin and muscles. What the artist achieves in this way is transmitting a feeling of freedom, peace, emotions linked to an ancestral dimension where every sensation is pure and uncontaminated.

The haunting soundtrack by Cliff Martinez, American composer and drummer, makes the video installation even more exciting.

CanvasBlackout by Corradini, Cascio, Ingrassia

In the video installation CanvasBlackout’, the water element is interpreted as a pictorial canvas to be filled with shape and meaning by inserting a variety of elements: colour, light, weighty materials such as fabrics, wax and everyday objects which, immersed in the water, submit to an evolution and transformation which charges them with new meanings, enabling them to be easily interpreted.

The video installation therefore becomes an almost 'pictorial' event which, making use of the water as a container, modifies our visual perception.

Eau du cinema by Francesca Zerbetto

The video installation ‘Eau du cinema’ shows us, by using the technique of found footage, how the subject of water is dealt with in the cinema. A joyful and evocative montage, the result of detailed research and selection featuring scenes taken from various films, telling the story of water in all its different senses: as an element of play, seduction, fear, life, and death. All these different elements pursue each other, playing change and change about, creating a new film full of references in which the spectators can immerse themselves, moved by a disparate range of emotions.


outdoor art              

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