CreativeMapping- MAD_Invisible Border_2016 Milan Design Week_Photographs by Moreno Maggi -AndreaDantrassi
CreativeMapping- MAD_Invisible Border_2016 Milan Design Week_Photographs by Moreno Maggi-1 -AndreaDantrassi
CreativeMapping- MAD_Invisible Border_2016 Milan Design Week_Photographs by Moreno Maggi-3-AndreaDantrassi
CreativeMapping- MAD_Invisible Border_2016 Milan Design Week_Photographs by Moreno Maggi-2 -AndreaDantrassi
MAD Architect’s Andrea d’Antrassi
During Milan Design Salone del Mobile, we were greeted by the stunning classical Italian structure of the Cortile d'Onore, but with a strangely spectacular touch: the entrance was adorned with a veil in a rusty palette of translucent polymer strips reaching from the arched second floor balcony to the ground. The "Invisible Border" installation was born from MAD Architects and produced by P.A.T.I to represent an artistic and architectural gesture playing with our perception of perspective and breaking any logic of form and function.
Of the MAD architects behind this striking architectural design feat was Andrea d'Antrassi. Associate Partner at MAD, the Italian architect serves as a link between the firm and Europe, and leading projects in Italy and Paris after serving as their bridge with China. To add to his international repertoire, d'Antrassi has worked in Argentina and Australia after an apprenticeship with Massimiliano Fuksas, in addition to working alongside Mario Botta and Elia Zenghelis. We met up with d'Antrassi while in Milan to find out more about the creative mind behind the Invisible Border installation and beyond...
"I think a good architect shouldn’t follow a predetermined architectural language or code, but he should follow his emotions, and the sentiments given from the site where he is called to operate and then imagine the best answers about the modern living and urban life." Andrea d'Antrassi
CM: How would you describe your style/design aesthetic?
I don’t have a style or design aesthetic, I think a good architect shouldn’t follow a predetermined architectural language or code, but he should follow his emotions, and the sentiments given from the site where he is called to operate and then imagine the best answers about the modern living and urban life. Our mission is to generate designs that work according with the needs of the people that are going to live in the our buildings.
CM: Can you tell us more about your role and work at MAD architects?
At MAD architects right now I’m an associate partner. After 5 years of living and working in Beijing, I have moved back to Europe, and I’m following for MAD architects our projects in Paris and in Rome, and some smaller scale project like the installation at the Milan university and the handle that we designed for Olivari that we presented at the last Salone del Mobile. In few words I’m the link between MAD architects and Europe, as an Italian I can explain to the main office how the architectural process works in our continent.
CM: Does your style and design execution change depending on what country you are working in?
I think that even if globalization is levelling creative activities and expressions–because the design is always a reaction to the local economic and social forces–the design itself should be different depending on where we build or operate. Construction materials, building programs, the aesthetic even the plans layouts and the interiors of the buildings change according with the areas where we are called to work.
CM: What are the most striking differences about working in countries such as China, Australia, India and Italy.
China, among all this places, is the most vibrant and crazy place to live. If Italy is the most institutional, academic, slow and somehow conservative country, China is the place where everything can happen, with the good and bad results that both conditions can determinate.
In Australia I worked when I was still a student. For me it was an unforgettable training place, where to learn how to make new architectures without be afraid to make something wrong as is sometimes the case in Italy.
I remember Australia as an amazing young country where the biggest challenge for an architect is to build something respecting and preserving the natural contexts that most of the Australian cities have.
I mainly went to India to look for more project opportunities. The Indian cities and cultures are great and touching, but unfortunately we didn’t have the chance to building anything there yet.
CM: What do you find are the biggest challenges you face as an architect?
I think the biggest challenge is to combine the design ideas with the people expectations. Execute how people will experiment our architectures not the day after the opening but after 30 or 50 years is the biggest task for an architect.
CM: Best moment(s) in your career?
The best moment is yet to come. But I remember the worst one: the day that in China I started to work for the new Shenzhen airport, without speaking a word of Mandarin.
CM: If you could redesign the buildings of the entire world, what feel/vibe/aesthetic would it have?
I don’t think you can contain the specific spirit of each part of the world. I would redesign with the same feel and aesthetic that years of history and changes have created.
CM:What ethos do you work by?
I think I can express this in 3 words: beauty, functionality and sustainability.
CM: What are your main inspirations?
Art, history and nature.
CM: How do you envision the future of architecture?
I imagine a smart architecture, that will be always less heavy and lighter in its concept but also in its components, made to respond in a better way to environmental challenges, and made using hi-tech materials that can be reused and with a low impact on nature.
CM: Dream collaboration?
I have studied with Mario Botta and Elia Zenghelis, I worked with Massimiliano Fuksas in Rome and Ma Yansong in Beijing, so my ideal collaboration is a real dream: to work toghter with one of the biggest masters like Le Corbusier, Luis Kahn or Frank Lloyd Wright.
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