07 February 2018

Exploring future housing design through virtual reality and participatory co-design. A laboratory of ideas that transforms questions into innovative solutions.

Future Nomad is the project devised and curated by Francesco Pusterla, coordinator of the Furniture Design course, and presented by the Accademia di Belle Arti Aldo Galli - IED Como for the exhibition 999 Una collezione di domande sull’abitare contemporaneo (999: A Collection of Questions on Contemporary Living), currently underway at the Milan Triennale. 

From 12 January to 2 April 2018, the Milan Triennale presents the exhibition conceived and curated by Stefano Mirti that proposes 999 questions on contemporary living. This exhibition project starts from a list of questions about the places of our living to tell the story of dwelling as we have never seen it before. 

The exhibition is a significant investigation into the concepts of home and living, into the sense of dwelling, straddling the physical and digital worlds. It represents a journey through the new imagery that transforms our existence. It is an unprecedented, wide-ranging, collaborative and mutant exhibition that evolves according to time and space. 

The exhibition has been developed thanks to a network of more than fifty co-curators from various fields with highly diverse skills and passions. 

How and who will design the house of the future? 

Among the 999 questions, this is the one posed by IED Como. Virtual reality offers us a new, intuitive way of designing in 3D, and Future Nomad is the laboratory where a new way of creating objects is being experimented with. During the exhibition “999. Una collezione di domande sull’abitare contemporaneo” it is possible to create virtual objects entirely in augmented reality. 

The workshop enables the co-design of objects and environments using two virtual reality visors: one for the designer and the other for the visitor. The works are then saved and shared in an online catalogue that includes all the spaces co-designed by students, visitors, architects, and designers invited to participate in the design workshop during the exhibition. The objects are also placed in a virtual flat. 

This generative exhibition is not just an exhibition of objects but is, above all, a community of people asking questions to which they (perhaps) try to give answers. Who better than students can raise questions, develop critical thinking, play, imagine and reconvert rules, and above all, to (not) find answers? This is why Future Nomad is transformed, week by week, into workshops designed for students and designers (but there is more). 

The events of “999” can be of two types: ongoing and best events. The Future Nomad workshop is at the exhibition every Saturday. Still, the calendar is enriched every week by the best events that link virtual reality to fields such as design, restoration, fashion, communication. 

The first scheduled event, on Saturday, 3 February, was Social Virtual Reality, during which people could socialise in a virtual reality environment. Within a virtual living room, it was possible to collaborate, draw, play games, and communicate with visitors to the exhibition and anyone connected via the web. Each visitor also had the opportunity to take a virtual selfie to enrich the Future Nomad guest book. 


Author: Michele Mandaglio 

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