Design which flows on the Arno

The constant flow of a river has been an ever-present in the creative minds of artists, poets and photographers, influencing and effecting their works for as long as the world has been round. Designers and architects are certainly no different. Indeed, Claudio Nari Architects has now transformed the River Arno in Florence into a non-conventional exhibition space called The Bridge of Love. The wider project goes by the name of Luisabiaroma, which is aiming to pay tribute to the city of Florence with a number of initiatives linked to Firenze4Ever13.
Underwater Love is the theme behind the five-day event, which kicks off on 13 June and has the objective of creating a bridge – virtual and real-life – between art and society. The bridge links the right and left banks with nine cuboid rooms made from white tulle, creating an abstract, extravagant vibe – classic yet with a certain veiled exoticism. The Design on Water installation also tackles the current refugee crisis – the destiny of which is inextricably linked to the concept of water – and recalls the 1966 flood which submerged the city of Dante Alighieri.
The river, and its relentless flow, now become a space to linger for a while, to observe the city from a new viewpoint, to experience the offerings of designers, artists and galleries. The collective taking part in the conceptual Design on Water exhibition has today, 14 June, started fitting out the six floating rooms. Each designer or artist has examined the properties of water and produced their own interpretation of it, ranging from destructive force to source of hope, renewal and solidarity.

Among the foreground brands, JCP – in partnership with the design studio CTRLZAK for the Waterness cube, that aims to treat visitors to an experiential, multi-sensory journey. « Looking, listening and tasting will be some of the actions involved in Waterness, a journey of awareness and personal revaluation on the value of water and our direct relationship with the element», explain studio founders Katia Meneghini and Thanos Zakopoulos. In the centre sits the Dolmlod table – by JCP – upon which many borosilicate glasses and carafes are positioned, filling with water, suspended in some timeless dimension. The journey is brought to an end with a tasting led by the barman.
Magis is taking part in the project alongside designer Martì Guixé, exploring the human subconscious. The belly of the whale is one of the introspective spaces where the fears and ideas of man are formed, and it is the shape of the cetacean that inspires Magis and Guixé’s work.
Marcantonio Raimondi Malebra has placed the Cuore con Nifea sculpture – an allegoric interpretation of nature – at the centre of his own installation, while Matteo Cibic (teaming up with DoDo) has modelled mythical creatures of the blue depths. Migration – the fruit of a partnership between Alessio Sarri and Bitossi Ceramiche – places ceramics centre stage, while the 19 ropes of Hope (by Lisa E. Harris for Opinion Ciatti) are designed to represent the hope of a better life. Meanwhile, Dilmos&Daniele Papuli’s Rippled Wave represents the fluidity of water by transforming simple paper into a contemporary masterpiece. And finally, Pack – by Stefano Marolla in collaboration with the Secondome brand – uses wood to recreate the shape of sea waves.