MILAN – The buses, trams and metro trains of the city stood at a standstill, but in the Aesop Corso Magenta store, conversation and fresh orange juice were flowing as freely as the waters of the dainty Vedovelle Fountain window installation designed by Sabine Marcelis.
As part of its 20th anniversary celebrations at Milan Design Week, St-W empowered Dutch designer Sabine Marcelis to demonstrate spatial design excellence with the installation for Aesop. Displayed exclusively in the Corso Magenta store, Vedovelle Fountain explores how water in motion can affect perceptions of materiality, light, and space while improving its environment.
Consisting of two transparent monolith cylinders illuminated from within by blue neon, Marcelis’s Vedovelle Fountain was inspired by the traditional Milanese vedovelle drinking fountains that provide thirsty citizens and travellers with a continuous supply of fresh water. Here, water flows down from the tops of the monoliths and up again through transparent tubes, playing with the neon light and air bubbles along the way. The constant motion of the water also gently purifies the air, and releases negative ions – just as waterfalls and ocean waves do – creating a sense of relaxation and restoration in everyone in the store.
Aesop Corso Magenta hosted an Energy Breakfast on 5 April to launch the Vedovelle Fountain window installation, but on the very same morning Milan’s public transportation workers went on strike, causing major disruptions all over the city. Undeterred, the international design crowd made their way to the store – arriving from all over the city to enjoy healthy breakfast options, discussions on design, and to experience the relaxing effects of the installation’s gentle ripples and splashes playing with sunlight and neon.