Milan 2016: Atelier Biagetti invites people to take sanctuary from an over-sexualised world inside a surreal clinic featuring pastel pink furniture, clinical curtains and attendants in nurse's outfits (+ slideshow).
Milanese designer Alberto Biagetti and artist Laura Baldassari described their No Sex exhibition as "a sort of innocent pleasure house or even a happy clinic" where people might go to receive treatments or cures to reestablish their sexual equilibrium.
"It could be a 'detox' treatment or even a 'retox', it depends on each individual," Biagetti told Dezeen. "It could simply be a place to cleanse oneself of the external bombardment of sexual references from the media."
The designers see their design as a reaction against a world where sex is difficult to escape. They claim that virtual sex is taking over from physical sex, and the body has become an "object of ever more manipulation and excess".
They believe their "pink clinic" could provides a suitable retreat.
"It is a little corner of a sort of transcendental or futuristic paradise which gives us a sense of liberty and of clean, fresh unprejudiced equality," said Biagetti.
On the opening night, attendants dressed as nurses guided visitors through the doors and into a corridor lined with white vertical blinds, where two "twin doctors" stood welcoming them inside.
A pair of champagne-pink stools with leather accordion-like seats, a mirrored side table and a large leafy plant form a waiting area by the entrance.
Further inside the dream-like clinic, other pieces from Atelier Biagetti's No Sex collection – including a chair, stool and plump daybed – wait to receive patients.
The studio's round-backed chair and stool are reminiscent of traditional doctor's chairs, with each standing upon an eight-wheeled base. Both pieces have pink-leather seats paired with pink polished-brass details.
A matching daybed with thin brass legs features a top made from plump leather-covered rolls.
"In the No Sex happy-retreat you will find a daybed of doctor, beautician or masseuse, a post-ergonomic piece in pale leather and fine natural rubber for laying back and relaxing – designed for one, wide enough for two," said Biagetti.
Two floor lamps with circular heads and beak-like details stand over these treatment areas while a chandelier made of LEDs and a latex curtain illuminates the whole space.
Atelier Biagetti also designed two full-length mirrors for the show. Large red letters arranged like an optician's eye chart cover the mirrors with the words 'no sex' spelt in the largest font across the top two lines.
Another pink cross-shaped mirror produced especially by Seletti for the show was hung in the stark white entrance corridor, along with a neon 'No Sex' sign.
Biagetti and Baldassari champion natural materials with their No Sex collection, including mirrored aluminium, polished brass, poured silicone rubber, natural caoutchouc, and pink- and vanilla-coloured leather.
"We wanted to use sensual materials that have a strong impact on the senses either to the touch or to the eye," Baldassari told Dezeen.
Last year for Milan design week, Atelier Biagetti focussed on the obsession with the pursuit of the "perfect body" with their Body Building collection of fur and leather upholstered gym equipment.
"Our method is kind of scientific – we like to think that we extract the DNA from specific situations of contemporary life, then we re-interpret and re-work it so that it becomes a very personal vision," said Baldassari.
"This process filters and distorts one's perception of the world, conjuring up a kind of dreamland or a sort of parallel universe at times 'too close for comfort' which creates a sort of short-circuit between the senses of the body, the preconceptions of the mind and the physical reality of our surroundings," she added.
Atelier Biagetti's No Sex exhibition teaser video
No Sex was curated by Maria Cristina Didero and is on show at Piazza Arcola 4, Milan for the duration of the city's design week, which runs from 12 April to 17 April.