The kitchen as a work of art, where stone is the majestic focus of an extraordinary geometrical equilibrium. Visitors to the minotticucine showroom on Via Larga will discover a cameo of interior design in the heart of Milan: an angular form created by two tall windows and an interior divided across the ground and basement levels. The challenge of this asymmetrical architecture is tackled with a skilled design that positions exclusive luxurious furniture in unique environments.
We welcomed the Fuorisalone as an occasion to experiment with digital signage,- explains Silvano Bonetti, the minotticucine showroom manager. – It is a technology that has always intrigued us although we hadn’t explored it until now. Our two partners, M-Cube and Videomobile, helped us to find the right solutions for this context. Technology should be a service component that helps make the most of the product. We were pleasantly surprised by digital signage during this Design Week 2019: it allowed us to create coherent and dynamic storytelling both inside and outside the store and positively reinforce our communication.
Thanks to a large LED screen, the main showroom window was given a voice. Discreet and elegant digital panelling replaced the glass with a series of illuminated frames. Careful multimedia direction created an original gallery of images. Like the pages of a sophisticated catalogue, the flow of content not only showed the kitchen collections but also contributions from those who helped to make this project, now part of design literature, so unique. White on black aphorisms and reflections from renowned names such as Alberto Minotti and Claudio Silvestrin as well as the students of maestro AG Fronzoni (who designed the minotticucine brand) alternate with the best pieces from the monochromatic and mono-material collections that characterise the style that has now become a creative philosophy. Behind this perfect digital façade is a technological wall formed of a modular composite. The installation is a calculated series of cabinets mounted on top of each other and Surface Mounted Devices (SMD) are at the heart of the LED technology used here.
The advantage of using SMDs is that the electronic components for the assembly of the printed circuit boards can be applied to the surface without making any holes,- explains Roberto Segato, commercial director of Videomobile. Giant leaps have been made in the evolution of manufacturing techniques in the past 10 years: we’ve gone from the first 10 mm pixel pitch screens to 6 mm and have achieved interaxial distances that rival more consolidated technology such as LCDs. Not only does research and development continue to improve the resolution in terms of pixels but design techniques have also focused on strength and safety to guarantee optimum operation from this type of screen.
Digital signage therefore offers the ideal solution to create installations in any format in a short time, with maximum results. Digital dynamism transmutes the static nature of the store itself by bringing new intelligence to communication. Technology becomes strategy, reinforcing the value of suggestion and information while harmoniously integrating into the architecture continuum of solids and voids. Behind the scenes, M-Cube developed the project with a sharp focus on customisation.
This was a really interesting project to work on,- emphasises Stefano Airoldi, Account Manager for M-Cube. Bringing technology into what is, to all effects, a temple of design and luxury required particular analysis. For the basement level, our design team had to study a solution that would balance the available space as best as possible, without having any impact on the exhibition itself. Along with Videomobile, we installed an LED screen at ceiling height, positioned above a block of black wall cabinets, and selected LED technology to eliminate what is known as Colour Shifting. This means that the viewing quality will remain unchanged regardless of the angle or location from which a visitor observes the screen.
“We chose a superior screen type,” adds Segato, “characterised by the use of chip on board (COB), the advantage of which is that the LEDs are not encapsulated but applied directly to the base. This allows a considerable reduction of the pixel pitch size and a modularity that allows the creation of unconventional shapes and dimensions that would be impossible to achieve with other technologies.”
In the ecosystem of the showroom, movement emulates that of a museum route. Light and shadow help to create proportions and emotions in the mind of the contemplative observer.
The interactive content shown on the display can all be managed via a smartphone or a tablet, thanks to customizable solutions such as apps or web pages: a command line makes it possible to remotely recall images, texts and videos through a single command as well as turning one or more monitors on and off. Simple and intuitive, the platform for managing the content shown functions using tags: associating a button with a keyword enables the associated event to be displayed on the screen, launching not only the image slideshare but sounds and fragrances too, offering visitors a truly immersive experience.
Digital is an exciting opportunity,- concludes Daniele Lupo, Showroom Architect. The screens act as a strategic connection point that enables more innovative and effective storytelling. Our concept of the living space is minimalist: the void loses its negative connotation to become a moment of reflection. Digital signage perfectly emulates the purification of space that is the foundation of our approach; it is no longer a piece of furniture but a tool that allows us to introduce a non-invasive communication style that respects the aesthetic value of our collections.
Laura Zanotti, Journalist and Technical Writer