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DESIGN
The Dwelling Lab
Reinterpreting BMW's Gran Turismo in a dramatic textile installation
by Paolo Ferrarini
on 19 April 2010
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One of the most interesting proposals (both visually and conceptually) at the recent Milan Design Week, BMW, Flos lighting and Kvadrat fabrics teamed up to produce a sculpture called "The Dwelling Lab." The German carmaker and the Danish textile manufacturer asked Patricia Urquiola and Giulio Ridolfo to create the installation, using the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo as the starting point. The upshot, an expanded car made of unconventional materials, reveals a multidimensional environment full of curious objects.

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Internationally acclaimed textile and color adviser Giulio Ridolfo, who has worked with Moroso, Vitra and Fritz Hansen and has a relationship collaborating with Kvadrat that dates back to 2004, kindly guided us on an exclusive visit to Lab, discussing his work on the project with us in fuller detail.

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"We began from the concept of Gran Turismo since it's an old-fashioned concept, but still close to our daily life," Ridolfo explained. " We spend hours in our cars, especially in big ones intended for very long travels. We decided to use monochromes to make the environment more harmonic and cozy—as similar as possible to a real living room."

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"Regarding the materials, Patricia and I used Kvadrat's existing range of textiles, which have been padded and layered through a particular technique, revealing a pattern created for this occasion. We also added some other materials like leather, but only where it was useful and necessary, like in the belts holding the books."

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"The 'exploded' surfaces are covered with everything that we can find in our cars after a long journey. Each section is linked with yellow elements, in this case the fluid details are not real colors, but warning elements, since our desire was to give the feeling of a real construction site."

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