The project plays out over time, on an urban stage for the piazza.

For Carlo Pazolini, retailer of women’s and men’s shoes and accessories, this 386 square meter flagship location in Milano’s Piazza Cordusio will be their first western European opening, with a redefinition of their store concept.

There is an ambiguous distinction between our bodies and the things we wear. Like the buildings we inhabit, we shape our clothing and it shapes us. As newborns, our toes quickly take on the shape of the shoes we wear, but for a brief time they are remarkably dexterous, like plaster ready to be cast by muscle memory. With this in mind, we used the shape of an infant's foot as a kind of iconic "cell" in an emergent network of display shelving and seating. Swarm Intelligence algorithms are used to illustrate the formation of loose cellular structures that negotiate an ephemeral distinction between object and space.

The project plays out over time, on an urban stage for the piazza, or as color compositions shift as one moves through the space. Cells also trace out their paths over time, and form larger, semi-ordered compositions. These paths manifest as metal tubing or dashed wood slat wall panels. The cellular shelving system peels away from a plaster wall, while both are reshaped by existing cast-iron columns.

The plaster wall remains like a molded remnant of this activity; an over-scaled cast of some unknown sculptural detail reminiscent of the Platonic human form. The new installations wrap into each other, but, also through the historical found conditions, each shapes the other. Reinforcing this synthesis of old and new, natural and technological, the shelving and seating cells use an innovative and glue-less molding process, which bonds natural wool felt (one of the most ancient materials) with the polymer at a molecular level, thus forming a new structural composite.

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