“Indiscreet eyes” for Safilo

An installation by Michele De Lucchi in the Cortile d'Onore at Milan University during "Fuorisalone"

During the Milan Furniture Week, Safilo joined the platform of Interiors, whose theme for 2013 is "HYBRID Architecture and Design", with a special project curated by architect Michele De Lucchi.


For Safilo, a brand created in the Thirties that has always been a leader for the production of vision eyewear, De Lucchi designed a natural fir structure featuring windows (along the lines of one of his chainsaw-sculpted houses). It is reminiscent of a gallery of plaster casts, with plaster bas-reliefs on the outside - created ad hoc by Fumagalli & Dossi, a laboratory in Milan that still crafts molds in the traditional way - depicting faces, hands and noses. Each one supports a pair of glasses, contrasting and surprising elements that bring thoughts back to the present day and through which you can discover of what is hidden inside the structure.


The theme around which the project is centered could not be anything else but eyes: the outside observer looks at the statues' eyes in search of the technological heart hidden beyond them while the bas-relief plaster eyes look at the spectator...
Such observation is always from two points of view, it's a play of tradition and craftsmanship versus the contemporary world and technology.
The core of the project is also the core of Safilo's vision eyewear production: a video produced in collaboration with filmmaker Mario Greco shows the manufacturing technology –the entire production cycle from design to the finished article – in a series of kaleidoscopic images projected onto a monitor.


"I looked for the characteristics, peculiarities and strengths of Italian culture at this specific time. The theme is repeated, but each time the response is different. Now the response refers to the potential of comparing classical, Renaissance architecture and the technology that is the fundamental essence of Safilo, its philosophy and working method" (Michele De Lucchi).


The installation, which can be seen April 8 through 21 in the Cortile d'Onore at Milan University, is 5.25 meters long, 1.95 meters wide and 3.80 meters high.