Towards glocal digital

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Ludovica + Roberto Palomba produced the digital project for the Elle Decor Grand Hotel exhibition, pointing the way towards a new approach to temporary installations. Much more than just an exhibition, this is a real architectural project in the historic context of Palazzo Morando in Milan.

Showing how the pandemic can generate new opportunities for human ingenuity. To enable everyone to keep their usual autumn date with the exhibition centred on the contract, hospitality and interior design sectors, Elle Decor commissioned Ludovica + Roberto Palomba to create a 100% digital installation. From Grand Hotel to IperHotel, the exhibition became an opportunity to reflect on the potentials technology offers and new temporary installation formats.

“First and foremost,” Roberto Palomba told us, “digital media enable us to tell a story not only to the Milan public but to a specialist international audience, who are able to discover a new (real) Milan location. And also to expand the concept of the temporary exhibition, which intrinsically implies an event with a local, physical dimension. In the future, we can be more ‘glocal’: we can connotate the physical installation with an online entertainment experience that opens out scenarios for the imagination, with none of the limitations of real space. Nowadays, the level of simulation is so sophisticated that it provides a very realistic, even hyper-realistic, perception of spaces. Simulation retains the empathy and the emotional content of the discovery of interiors. Real and virtual are two levels of storytelling that can be combined to provide something new.”

About the interiors designed: “The IperHotel is a genuine architectural project, which we tackled as if we were really faced with designing a hotel. We started with the concepts of distancing and separation and transformed them into positives: here, the filtering and barrier features are attractive walls of greenery and theatrical backdrops that add quality to the space. For a more intimate, poetical response to the current problems. The lounge zone becomes a sequence of three rooms, in which the spatial elements open out to hypertextual links, establishing a correlation between the specific character of the architecture and Milan’s cultural scene. We reached beyond the scale of space into that of objects and furnishings. The Marazzi collections enabled us to give the digital project a physical and tactile character: the glossy marbles reflect the colour of the light, while the stone look, specifically Grande Stone Look Ceppo di Gré, evokes the stone most widely used in Milan’s city centre, and gives a sense of substance to the two-dimensional image.”