Between arts, business, and architecture: EXIHS turns the spotlight on Italy’s millenary hospitality tradition at Host2017
Dante O. Benini & Partners Architects’ concept space is back. This year, the event has been organised in collaboration with Davide Rampello. A huge cube will make us travel through the history of hospitality using surfaces and materials. A lounge area will feature a background wall showcasing Italian agricultural products.
Milan, 14ht of March 2017 - A “Biennale” performance, a metaphysic space with a wider cultural horizon than that of a simple B2B event. EXIHS (Excellent Italian Hospitality Services) will be back with a new concept at Arredo & Tavola, the Furniture & Tableware macro-area of HostMilano. The event will take place at Fieramilano in Rho, from 20 to 24 October and is going to further enrich an area featuring numerous innovative formats. It will also be an opportunity for major Italian and international contract furniture companies to showcase their products. This year, a true design and artistic performance will highlight an important topic: “L’Italia fatta a mano” (Handmade Italy). An evocative use of surfaces and materials will make us travel through the evolution of mankind and its natural inclination towards hospitality. This aptitude has been perfected throughout the history of Italy’s towns and villages, from its very earliest manifestations to the modern-day concept of hospitality, with a common thread linking ancient pottery and jars to glasswork and tableware, and everything else that is part of the modern-day hospitality industry.
This way, each of the four walls of EXIHS 2017’s cube, which are free from edges, will be made of a material that hints at a crucial stage in our evolution: stone, the first material used by humans during the passage to the erect position, prelude to the ability to modify the surrounding environment; wood, representing the stages of civilisation with the use of an increasing number of natural materials; steel, symbolising the shift towards an industrial and technological society, with its increasingly complex installations; waste, symbolising humankind’s new challenge: sustainability. Survival does no longer involve natural elements alone, but also our ability to consume resources.
Davide Rampello and Dante O. Benini – Leader, Partner, and Chairman of Dante O. Benini & PartnersArchitects – wanted the walls to be 40 cm thick and made with solid material and not simply coated to provide an immediately tangible value to the entire journey. Black is the common denominator and will be the external backdrop for italicised words that aim at reminding key moments of Italian culture. Italian history will be celebrated with videos showing Italy’s beauties both inside the cube, thanks to a monitor, and outside the cube, with four 60 cm screens placed on the walls. And at the centre of the cube, the last element: water. The quintessential fluid conceived to mark the passage of time from one element to the other. Water becomes the primary element in a deck level pool, on which a drop hose (15 m long) will be protruding from the pavilion roof. Every time a drop of water will fall into the pool, an echo will draw the visitors’ attention to the force of nature and the eternity of its cycles.
In the lounge, the background wall parallel to the corridor will be the distinctive element of the entire event. In the first edition of EXIHS, this side was covered with photos representing the shelves of the Braidense National Library. In 2015, it was completely green. This year, the wall will be entirely occupied by square compartments containing genuine products from the Italian food and wine tradition: from cheese to cured meats and wines, and a composition created using 2000 real eggs.
“This is a strong concept, a breakaway, which, for the first time in 40 editions, will be bringing an artistic-design performance to Host, with no further commercial motive. The aim is to help bring foreign visitors to Italy, and to Host in particular, allowing them to learn more about the Italian culture that permeates our leading role in the hospitality industry. We also want to bring this concept around the world by attending numerous international art and architectural events.The first event will be the Beijing International Art Biennale, which has already confirmed its interest in the project», said Dante O. Benini, co-creator and designer of the EXIHS space for the third consecutive year.
“Italy is the country that most expresses the ability to combine materials and shapes and create unique welcoming areas that go beyond space and time. That’s why “l’Italia fatta a mano” is the leitmotiv of this cultural performance, which fits into and transcends from the exhibition to become a message to be presented at art and architectural events, starting from important international Biennales», commented Davide Rampello, stage director and former president of the Triennale Foundation, as well as director of Pavilion Zero at Expo 2015, and the person who developed the idea of EXIHS exhibition space.
For further information, visit www.host.fieramilano.it, @HostMilano, #Host2017 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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