Cersaie in Bologna presents the world’s top manufacturers of tile, sculptural bath fittings, colourful radiators and more. And a few intimate side streets away, the Bologna Water Design show explores H2O through a different filter.
Situated within a delightfully dilapidated 16th-century palace and former hospital, the Bologna Water Design exhibition pairs up manufacturers with such designers as Diego Grandi, Daniel Libeskind, Piero Lissoni, as well as students, to create installations that explore water in its many shapes and forms.
The installations range from immersive sound-and-visual-concept spaces to Boffi’s new outdoor kitchen by Piero Lissoni, installed in the space’s central courtyard.
Among the standouts is Daniel Libeskind’s sculpture for radiator brand Antrax. Inspired by Baroque art, Geometric Fragment is a simple monolithic metal sculpture emerging out of black oil. Installed in a quiet chapel off the main entrance, with ominous overtones playing on hidden speakers, it started the tour on a slightly eerie note.
Flanking Boffi’s gorgeous kitchen, Tokujin Yoshioka’s Tokyo-Pop collection of sculptural seats and stools for Driade looks especially cloud-like in the courtyard. The rotational-molded white anthracite monobloc furniture took on a flowing, almost ethereal feel.
Finally, up above on the second floor, Studio Youtool’s Little By Little space experiments with how the natural environment is constantly changed by water. Convex mirrors in stainless steel evoke large-scale water droplets that distort the viewer and their surroundings; alongside the mirrors, Corten steel furniture by Enrico Maria Shepherd (fabricated by Curti Metal) is a far more literal interpretation – perhaps one of the most literal of all the concepts – of the impact of water on a physical, tangible material.
Bologna Water Design runs until September 27 at the Ex Ospedale dei Bastardini. Cersaie runs until September 26 at the Bologna Exhibition Centre.