Dezeen Magazine

Atelier Biagetti plays God with Milan exhibition fixated on money and power

Visitors to Atelier Biagetti's Milan design week installation are encouraged to gamble on the stock exchange for blocks of gold in the hope of winning a prize.

The studio's God exhibition, which was developed alongside curator Maria Cristina Didero, aims to explore society's obsession with money and power.

Milan: God by Atelier Biagetti

"The theme for the show was almost inevitable – who isn't preoccupied with money both in today's society and throughout history?" Alberto Biagetti and Laura Baldassari told Dezeen.

"Money itself, how to earn it, how to spend it, the daydream of what you can do with it – including, for many, how to show that you've got it – are some of the most time-consuming questions, and we wanted to address it in a very playful and irreverent way."

Milan: God by Atelier Biagetti

This resulted in a series of themed objects and prize-orientated experiences, each of which is designed to provoke an emotional reaction from the visitors.

Blocks of gold stacked up on a set of shelves towards the back of the exhibition space are up for sale, but fluctuate in price according to the "stock exchange".

Milan: God by Atelier Biagetti

To purchase a block, visitors first have to take a ticket from a machine that records the number of people wanting to partake in the gamble and alters the gold's price on the stock exchange in relation to demand.

"The idea is to provoke an emotional reaction connected to these elements," said the studio. "The euphoria one feels when one wins a 'grand-prize', the power and freedom one feels through possession."

Milan: God by Atelier Biagetti

God is the third in a series of projects by Atelier Biagetti that explore some of contemporary society's greatest obsessions.

As with previous exhibitions, which explored the fixtation with beauty in 2015 and sex in 2016, a number of objects are designed specifically for the exhibition.

A table named Tornello, Italian for turnstile, features a chromed steel and brass base and is a reference to supermarket consumerism, while a giant ingot-shaped bench titled Lingotto is upholstered in gold leather.

The gold blocks are stacked on a structure called Euphoria, which is half shelving unit, half chandelier – a combination the studio says "links the earth to the heavens".

The space is complete with a ceiling-mounted swing chair called The Island, a wall light entitled Caveau designed to look like a glowing safe, and two textiles in pure silk produced by Mantero featuring flying ingots and emoji patterns.

Atelier Biagetti's trailer for the God exhibition in Milan

Last year, during Milan design week the studio invited exhibition goers to take sanctuary from an over-sexualised world inside a surreal clinic featuring pastel pink furniture, clinical curtains and attendants in nurse's outfits

In 2015, they focussed on the obsession with the pursuit of the "perfect body" with their Body Building collection of fur and leather upholstered gym equipment.

The God exhibition is open until 9 April at Piazza Arcole 4 as part of this year's Milan design week.

Other exhibitions on display during the fair include a showcase of meat alternatives and a collection of furniture made from the foundations of Paul Cocksedge's London studio.

Photography is by H Delfino Sisto Legnani, courtesy of Atelier Biagetti.