Called La Cura, and contained within one large room at Milan’s National Museum of Science and Technology, designer Faye Toogood’s “hospital for the senses” was dark and mysterious. Under a single, diffuse ceiling light, the all-white installation on a circular platform featured a tree-like sculpture at its centre and wooden chairs along its periphery.
While experiencing a therapeutic sound and light composition (by collaborators Kite & Laslett) visitors were presented with a fist-sized ball of white clay and asked to shape it into something that reflected their own mood and expression. Once done, the small sculptural forms were added to a growing collection that filled the stage.
La Cura was presented as part of Tom Dixon’s sprawling MOST exhibition, which included displays by hundreds of designers scattered throughout the museum. Some were not much more than a single piece of furniture. Others, like Toogood’s, were elaborate and ambitious.
Typical of Toogood, the full body/mind experience took every sensorial experience into account. Food designers Arabeschi di Latte prepared a re-energizing elixir “to restore people’s sparkle and spirit,” while the air was filled with a bespoke scent created just for the space by perfumers 12.29.
Meanwhile, “caretakers” dressed in all-white outfits and elaborate hats designed by Toogood moved slowly through the room, either standing still or lounging around with a calm demeanor that encouraged visitors to slow their pace, if just for a few minutes. The caretakers were also on hand to pass out balls of clay for everyone, including the skeptics, to partake directly in the experience.