Undoubtedly, one of our favorite presentations in the Milan International Furniture Fair was the Peep-Show, Fishes and other Objects of Desire. The space design installation was created especially for the event by the Interior Architecture/Space Design section of the HEAD Geneva (Haute école d'art et de design - Genève). The installation was presented in Zona Tortona via Novi 5, Milan.
The project was designed in such a way that it grabbed any viewer’s attention. Despite the fact that the exterior had a subtle design it drew the viewer in to the installation by capturing their attention. The seven different shaped spatial modules invited the viewer to experience an unusual spatial elucidation which ended up being a journey of surprise! What drew everyone’s attention to the installation was the human factor of curiosity; seven closed doors created an urge to open them and quench our thirst of curiosity.
The installation which was composed of seven different shaped modules was set in such a way that when seen as a whole it formed separate mysterious chambers. Placed inside in each of these modules is the aquarium – “an object of the crystallization of the imagination literally captivating” our desire of curiosity. These chambers however had some form of communication through the peep-show, and the interaction which existed between the viewer on one side, the fish, and the viewer on the other side. Various elements interacted to create a serene feeling of satisfaction as we were trying to peep inside the fish tank. However, to our astonishment with a feeling of as if we were caught on the act, we realized that there was a viewer on the other side overlooking at us during our satisfaction of curiosity fulfillment.
The fish tank acts as the trigger of this peep show; the transparency it provides or the opacity creates various observations possible. The fish within the tanks are the protagonists of the peep-show and they transform the installation constantly. The “heart” of the entire installation suggests the setting of a 19th century museum of natural history. The installation underlies the students’ contemplation of ornament in its coherent relation to the design object. The scenography of the installation contributes to create a well presented interactive installation which creates various moods and presents multiple meanings to the viewer.
All seven modules and their fish tanks have been curated in such a way to make it distinctively unique. We only hope that whoever saw it enjoyed it as much as we did. And for those who weren’t there we hope that you can at least experience a tiny bit of what we felt through this surprising peep-show journey.