The "Quantomais" cornfield by A4A Savioni Architetti will set the right tone just before preparation for the Milan Expo 2015 begins. Inspired by the Expo's "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life" theme, the pop-up installation features 1,500 sheaves of corn that were cultivated in a nearby farm and then transported to the ExpoGate at the end of July.
Currently on display at the Milan ExpoGate until August 31, Quantomais is also a hint at A4A's larger urban scale project that A4A will create once the Expo begins next May.
Read more about it below.
"quantomais is an unusual pop-up conception, an innovative example of urban geometry next to one of the city’s landmarks, the Sforza Castle, at the entrance to the Expo 2015. Inspired by the theme of the event - Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life - the field catches the eye of locals and visitors for its significance and spectacular nature. Conspicuously alienating, it undermines perspectives, presenting a different perception of the urban spaces in which people live and meet.
This agricultural passage transforms places and habits into a new experience to be shared: a living space in which meetings, artistic interludes, appointments and minor rituals unobtrusively accompany residents and passers-by.
Conceived as an urban installation, quantomais progresses into a collective multi-disciplinary work bringing together institutions, architects, farmers, companies, technicians, artists, poets and educators with a common goal: to create a green and hospitable area in the city, a place waiting to be cultivated, in more than one sense of the word, a stage for social relations and culture. And not just a question of agriculture."
"The life of an urban mobile field: Planted in the first decade of June and cultivated on a farmstead close to Milan, the corn will be moved into the centre of the city overnight at the end of July. The next day it will be a field of mature corn: 360 square metres on the Expo Gate square right opposite the Sforza Castle, where it will continue to grow for the entire month of August.
Inside the plantation there are areas which will be used for performances, readings and improvisations as well as for cultivating vegetables and seasonal plants. At the end of August the field will be dismantled into the original 231 sections (beds measuring 80 x 120 x h50 cm) which will be redistributed into small city plots for local green areas, schools, universities and public areas.
The choice of corn sparks reflection on one of the Expo 2015’s Clusters “Cereals and Tubers: Old and New Crops”, basic foodstuffs for a large part of the world’s population. But above and beyond the inspiring principle, and the evocative suggestion of a field of corn, A4A’s choice is functional to the installation for its aesthetic, visual and spatial impact."
"Other activities and events: A4A Rivolta Savioni Architetti is also organizing and coordinating various activities inspired by the project. For the month of August, a series of daily events will alternate between the outdoor corn field and the nearby indoor Spazio Sforza: readings, musical and artistic performances, special events, games and laboratories for children focusing on nature, as well as meetings and debates on agriculture, nutrition and nature."
Expo Gate Milan, via Luca Beltrami
Project and realization: A4A Rivolta Savioni Architetti, Milan
Commission: Expo Gate
Conception: Giovanni Rivolta and Nicoletta Savioni
Technical sponsor: Toro Ag Irrigation for the micro-irrigation system
Cultivation: Azienda Agricola Marco Cuneo
Production consultants: esterni, Milan
Agricultural consultants: Antonio Corbari, Azienda Agricola Corbari; Bruna Heidempergher, Agronomist; Alberto Verderio, corn-cultivation specialist
Size of the field: 360 square meters divided into two parts
Basic module: wooden bed with sides
Size of basic module: 80 x 120 x h 50 cm
Number of beds: 231, of which 191 sown with corn and 40 with garden plants
Weight of each module with earth: 300 kg approx.
Total number of corn plants: 1,500
Irrigation system: micro-irrigation
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