On the occasion of Milan Design Week 2021, Ma Yansong and MAD Architects unveil three new projects: the large-scale art installation “Freedom” within the Cortile d’Onore; “Meteor,” Ma’s interpretation of Dior’s iconic Medallion Chair, presented at Palazzo Citterio; and Gu Table, a collaboration with Sawaya & Moroni, building on their previous work together on the Gu Chair. Details on each project, which will be on view September 5 – 10, follow below:
Invited by Interni magazine, MAD Architects presents an installation “Freedom” in the courtyard of the Università degli Studi di Milano. “Freedom” intends to create a symbol of our collective aspiration to restart and renew our lives and societies in the post-pandemic world. Ma explains the work as a metaphor of freedom, saying, “As human beings, if we are looking for freedom or connection with other people, we should go beyond physical or invisible space that limits us. We should go beyond the limitations.”
The large-scale installation consists of a seabird pointing its gaze towards the sky, preparing to soar into the air and take fight. It is comprised of metallic profiles created by Eurostands, covered with LED stripes provided by Ledvance that allow the installation to glow at night. Half sheltered and half exposed, under the courtyard’s arches, the installation recalls the uncertainty that people have faced throughout the pandemic.
Seabird represents freedom, borderless, and inclusiveness. It also appears in MAD’s project – the Fenix Museum of Migration. It is MAD’s first cultural project in Europe and will be completed in 2025.
Location: Cortile d’Onore, Università degli Studi di Milano
Design Team: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano, Andrea D’Antrassi, Alessandro Fisalli, Elena Bellocchio, Francesco Nardacci
Invited by Dior Maison, Ma Yansong reinterprets one of Dior’s signature emblems: the Medallion Chair. The work, titled “Meteor,” is unveiled at Palazzo Citterio, on the occasion of Milan Design Week 2021.
Ma’s reimagining of the chair transports this iconic design into the future. Traveling through time, the chair is caught in motion. Recast in monochrome 3d-printed polyurethane, the work reflects ma’s artistic and architectural ethos, blending nature and structure to generate an emotional connection. This imaginative and innovative approach is also emblematic of MAD’s creative practice.
Across scale and typology, Ma transcends time by conceiving works imbued with spiritual resonance from nature. In so doing, Ma animates aesthetic reflections with philosophical explorations of time and space, probing new conceptual horizons to achieve a harmonious balance.
Location: Palazzo Citterio, Via Brera 12, Milano, Italy
Design Team: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano, Zeng Hao
Strongly tied to the Gu Chair project presented in the 2018 Milan Design Week, Gu Table is a new collaboration with the Italian furniture brand Sawaya & Moroni. The design of Gu Table and Gu Chair draw reference from skeletal structures (“gu” translates to “bones” in Chinese). Both works appear to be in constant movement, with sinuous, fluid limbs that act as an extension of the human body and natural landscape. The wood’s veining emphasizes its sculptural form. The components seamlessly blend together to shape it as a continuously growing organism.
Location: Sawaya & Moroni gallery, Via Clerici, 1 Milano, Italy
Design Team: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano, Andrea D'Antrassi, Anna Spaggiari