Not at all invisible: pop-up installation INVISIBLE
Interview with Prof. Tina Kammer from InteriorPark, Dijane Slavic and Uwe Bresan from JUNG and Nils Krutmann from ERCO
What makes the Design Week in Milan or in the Brera Design District special for JUNG? What makes the event special every year?
Dijane Slavic, JUNG: The time of the (Fuori)Salone in Milan is a special occasion every year because we have the opportunity to meet guests from all over the world. And we have the chance to show another side of JUNG: creative, unusual and breaking new ground. We want to offer visitors a great experience that will be remembered. We want to make people curious to find out more about JUNG.
Tina Kammer, InteriorPark: I have been travelling around Milan for 13 years in terms of sustainability, but so far not in Brera, where the established brands are, but rather in off-spaces. It’s great that JUNG has agreed to take up the topic of sustainability spatially in its installation and has given us as curators, i.e. InteriorPark, a free hand to do so. This is a great opportunity to show what is possible and feasible. Sustainability is often equated with longevity, but this aspect is by definition not given in a temporary exhibition. So instead of transporting concrete components or melamine resin panels across Europe, it had to be about breaking new ground. A rethink is urgently needed here. Milan is also about seeing and being seen. Why did JUNG decide to be “invisible” with INVISIBLE?
Dijane Slavic, JUNG: Both the issue of sustainability and the new, smart products are about marketing something that, strictly speaking, cannot be seen. The novelty of the JUNG HOME system is the intelligent way of communicating wirelessly via Bluetooth Mesh. But you can’t see that in the switch. It is not the switch itself that is new, but the technology behind it. The same applies to the sustainability processes. These, too, are not necessarily visible from the outside, but run hidden in the background. We see the installation as a hook to talk about the things that are important to us, about responsibility for people and the environment in a beautiful setting. With INVISIBLE, we want to show that sometimes it is necessary to look behind the scenes in order to recognise what is not on display in the front line.
Tina Kammer, InteriorPark: Sustainability issues can no longer be divided into “jute or plastic”. If you want to, you can give things a sustainable look, but you don’t necessarily see the degree of sustainability in most products or processes. In this respect, the invisible technology and the hidden sustainability of JUNG fit together well thematically.
What can one imagine by “INVISIBLE Sustainability” and “INVISIBLE Smart Solutions”?
Uwe Bresan, JUNG: “INVISIBLE Sustainability” is a quiet way of dealing with sustainability issues. “INVISIBLE Smart Solutions” deals with high-tech technology without getting technical. There are different approaches to both topics. Either one formulates striking statements or one thematises aspects without, however, putting them in the foreground. With INVISIBLE, we have opted for the second approach. Those who want to can delve deeper into the JUNG sustainability report, those who are interested can get to know the JUNG HOME products in the adjacent room. But the installation is primarily about creating “positive vibrations”. Sustainability is a benefit. JUNG HOME makes life easier. Both can be simple and authentic and should above all be fun.
Tina Kammer, InteriorPark: The concept behind INVISIBLE is well described by the slogans developed. The overriding motto is “Keep it simple. Make it smart.” “Be transparent” is the real core question of sustainability. How openly and honestly does a company deal with the issue? “Be connected” stands for the Smart Home network, but also for the fact that we can only master the tasks of sustainability together. And “Reflect yourself” means not pointing the finger at others, but asking yourself what and how you can contribute. All three slogans can also be found graphically and artistically interpreted in the installation: as QR codes to the JUNG sustainability report, which reveals all aspects very transparently; as graphic networks, which symbolise the smart links; as mirror walls, which reflect the space, but also the people in it. All appeals thus become intuitively spatially graspable.
The installation plays with perception, with the dissolution of spatial boundaries – what is behind the design concept? What is to be expressed?
Tina Kammer, InteriorPark: Sustainability and technology are changing our lives and opening up new worlds for us. Smart home technology in particular has changed rapidly. Whereas a few years ago large screens were still necessary for operation, JUNG HOME is controlled from a smartphone. We don’t need screens, servers or walls. The users have the technology in their hands. We dissolve the room with graphic elements and fixtures, with mirrors, colour and light. Corners and room edges disappear. Spatial irritations are created.
How/where are JUNG products to be found in the exhibition? And if not, why deliberately not?
Tina Kammer, InteriorPark: The JUNG HOME switches are symbolised in the square patterns, the intelligent communication in the suggested networks, innovation and action are made clear by the lighting concept. The scene, artistically accompanied by sound effects and painted by hand, is charged with mood and emotion that are ultimately detached from the real product. The installation would not be a suitable place to talk concretely about product details, technical features or planning projects – all this takes place in an adjoining room. INVISIBLE wants to be experienced.
Dijane Slavic, JUNG: We have created a separate room to be able to talk explicitly and in a concentrated way about products and the JUNG sustainability report. You walk through this room after you have been immersed in the shapes and colours of the actual installation. With the sustainability report, we show our customers and partners very openly and transparently how we work and what is important to JUNG.
Why is the exhibition itself sustainable?
Tina Kammer, InteriorPark: Walls are made of 100 % recycled cardboard with two top layers and painted with colour. The material is very light and does not take up much space. For the transport to Brera, free truck capacities of another company were used. The mirrors are made of adhesive foil. The walls are open at the edges so that you can see the cardboard honeycombs. We see this as a statement, a plea for the simple material, for traces of use, for authenticity. It really is time to give sustainable and simple materials a push and to show what is possible with them. The flooring in particular is an experiment. Various papers didn’t take well to the painting, room humidity and use in the test, so we have now developed a prototype together with a manufacturer. The floor tiles are made of the top layers of the wall panels, so they are also made of 100 % recycled paper. The result is a beautiful unit with the rest of the fixtures, nothing has to be filled or screwed.
Dijane Slavic, JUNG: The furniture and seating cubes come from the JUNG trade fair collection and were only repainted. The seating elements in the adjacent room consist of storage boxes from JUNG production. The source codes are still on the boxes so that they can simply be used again in production after their trip to Milan. The luminaires and light strips from ERCO actually come in part from last year’s FARBDURST installation as well as from the trade fair fund.
Uwe Bresan, JUNG: In addition, it was also important for us to do without print brochures. The sustainability report is only available digitally via QR codes. Instead of a giveaway, we decided to hand out a digital souvenir. Every visitor can receive a free JUNG NFT based on POAP technology. The idea is based on the idea that every encounter between people is unique.
With the JUNG NFT, the visit to INVISIBLE can be captured forever as a digital collector’s item or digital work of art. What role do colours, materials or even techniques play?
Tina Kammer, InteriorPark: Colour plays an overriding role. The colours should have a cheerful effect and radiate a positive experience. The lighting concept reinforces the colour concept: blue becomes a radiant blue, red a luminous red. The complementary colours were chosen to have the strongest possible colour effect, and the dark setting provides the appropriate backdrop for this.
Dijane Slavic, JUNG: We really appreciate that InteriorPark brought Jay MT, an artist, onto the INVISIBLE team to hand-paint the coloured superstructures. That gives the installation a special quality. But it is also an experiment. We have no experience with the materials and the surfaces and cannot predict what the installation will look like after a week of use.
Tina Kammer, InteriorPark: We want to create far-reaching qualities and make people think. It’s okay if the installation shows signs of use after a week. A temporary structure doesn’t have to be made in such a way that it could last 50 years. We are breaking new ground for this.
How does the lighting concept support the installation?
Nils Krutmann, ERCO: The lighting concept was developed jointly by InteriorPark in cooperation with ERCO. The lighting sets highlights and supports the energetic mood of colours and shapes. The pulsating play of light breathes life into the installation. It was important that the luminaires do not alienate the original colours of the exhibition but make them shine. Square spotlights from ERCO now set the scene for the colour squares theme. The luminaires and batten luminaires will be dismantled after their use in Brera and subsequently used for other trade fairs and exhibitions.
The exhibition was completed on site by mural artist Jay MT. Is this process also part of the exhibition?
Tina Kammer, InteriorPark: Yes, the craft, the art is definitely an important part of the exhibition. The entire installation was previously set up in a warehouse and painted by hand by the artist and her team in the freezing cold. Then, on site in Milan, the finishing touches were made, everything was put together and some parts were spontaneously added. For example, we were able to optimise the dissolution of the room boundaries and edges once again. What sensations, moods and feelings are to be conveyed by the installation?
Dijane Slavic, JUNG: We want to make visitors curious. And we want to encourage them to think about the issue of sustainability. At best, we can inspire and motivate with INVISIBLE.
Tina Kammer, InteriorPark: We want to appeal to all the senses. In architecture – generally in our “Instagrammable” age – visual impressions usually predominate. But it is also important how a room feels, what emotions it triggers, how it smells, how the air through it Dissolution of the actual room is to be taken a new perspective with INVISIBLE. The reflection plays with perception. The small basement room of the ballet school becomes a spatial experience that triggers irritation and stimulates reflection or empathy.
What is the message of INVISIBLE?
Tina Kammer, InteriorPark: The focus is on the experience. It’s about having a good time, getting to know something new. You don’t have to understand INVISIBLE, you don’t have to dive into the deeper level of interpretation of smart home technology and sustainability report, you can just linger for a few minutes, listen to the music, pause and take some photos. Every now and then, DJ Jens Herzberg speaks sentences into his rhythms; if you want, you can also just let yourself drift with these wave-like sounds. The slogans actually say it all: Let’s connect. Be transparent. Reflect yourself. INVISIBLE is something everyone has to fathom for themselves.
InteriorPark not only designed the INVISIBLE exhibition, but also developed the sustainability report together with JUNG. How do you work out such a complex topic together?
Tina Kammer, InteriorPark: My colleague Andrea Herold, who as a consultant prepares sustainability strategies and reports for companies according to international GRI standards, was in charge of the sustainability report. This is, of course, a very intensive process in which the companies themselves often analyse all their measures in the areas of economy, ecology and social issues for the first time under guidance and sometimes begin to question them. That is always good and always right. The point is not to prove that one can already do everything perfectly and optimally, but to show that one is making an effort to make the processes transparent. A sustainability report is therefore always a step in the right direction.
Dijane Slavic, JUNG: The sustainability report was the original basis for the cooperation between JUNG and InteriorPark. This then also led to the conception of INVISIBLE. For us, this is just the right combination, because it shows that dealing with sustainability issues is fun, that something unexpected can come out of it and that you win when you give something new a chance. We are very curious to see what comes next!