In the archaic Japanese calendar the month of February had two names: Mumetsuki, literally “the month of plum blossoms”, and Konometsuki (“the month in which the trees take on new life”). Nature reawakens, and we realize the days are getting longer. We rediscover the pleasure of going outside after the winter, and the importance of our relationship with the outdoor world.
For some time now, architecture and urbanism have concentrated on the space “out there”. For various reasons: environmental awareness, which has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years (and is still growing); but also the new focus on physical fitness in the contemporary lifestyle. Physical activity, obviously, tends to involve being outdoors. And the pandemic has done its part as a formidable influence.
The world of décor and design has followed suit, in which has been something of a revolution. It began gradually, but today it is a true macro-trend: interiors and outdoor spaces in aesthetic and practical dialogue, terraces or gardens that become natural extensions of living spaces. One of the most poetic Italian pop songs puts it like this: “this room no longer has walls”. And that is what has happened, to some extent. Of course the walls of our homes have not dissolved and vanished. But, in some ways, that is our perception (and above all our dream).
February, the month of reawakening, is also the period in which we begin to think about our own “outdoors”. Here at IFDM we’ve caught the spirit, focusing our monthly newsletter on the new outdoor collections offered by manufacturers. This is also the period for resumption of the calendar of international events on yachting, for which IFDM is an active partner: starting with the Miami International Boat Show (16/20 February), and continuing five weeks later with the Palm Beach International Boat Show (24/27 March). The relationship of architecture (on a micro-scale, that of boats) and design with landscape becomes even more seamless and symbiotic. Life and its settings shift into an outdoor context.
Bruno Munari, who besides being a brilliant artist and designer was also a great writer, came up with some magnificent verses: “A tree / the very slow explosion / of a seed”. The seed is the starting point, the small thing from which all things are born. February is the shortest month of the year, and the most capricious, with its variable length. But it is also the seed of springtime. You can’t help but love it.