Amid a busy Milan Design Week, designers took time out to address consumer wellbeing.
Consumers today are well aware of the stressors of everyday life, and are increasingly looking for spaces and products that can make a difference in their overall wellness. This year at Salone Del Mobile, designers and brands reflected the shift with a new emphasis on spaces that promote visitors’ physical and mental wellbeing.
American office furniture company Humanscale collaborated with designer Todd Bracher for RE:CHARGE Café, a pop-up space designed for visitors to recharge and find respite. The café is designed to enhance visitors’ wellbeing and includes biological lighting that follows circadian rhythms, air-purifying walls, and healthy food and drink offerings throughout the day.
“Humanscale’s commitment to health and wellness at work is the basis for this concept,” Bracher stated in a release. “I’ve been visiting the Salone for nearly 20 years. Jetlag, meetings, continuous exploring puts strain on one’s immune system. We are offering an environment that is designed to retune your body’s clock.” The café is located in the Brera district, the heart of Milan’s city center, and is perfectly placed for those seeking refuge from the busy Design Week.
Japanese designer Yuri Suzuki designed Sonic Pendulum, a calming installation made of 30 swinging pendulums set in an outdoor courtyard. The fluid motion and sounds are meant to immerse visitors in a relaxed and meditative state. Suzuki worked alongside car brand Audi for the experience.
Meanwhile, over in Lambrate district, the Ikea Festival hosted morning yoga sessions for the week led by Martina Sergi and Martina Rando, also known as The Two Martinas. The space also had a recharge area for on-the-go visitors.
And at La Triennale Di Milano, Italian composer Ferdinando Arnò invited visitors to Entrainment: A Sonic Meditation, a 50-minute meditation concept based on sounds by the participants and the composer.
As consumers become more attuned to their own wellness, they are looking beyond the traditional health and wellness sectors to solutions from retailers, designers, technology companies and more. Milan Design Week 2017 demonstrated new ways in which this trend could also play out among architects and designers.