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Air Supply installation by Muthesisus University students at Alcova at Milan design week 2022

Industrial design students create inflatable products using air as their "main material"

Industrial design students from Muthesius University in Kiel, Germany, have created ten inflatable products including a transparent suitcase and a blow-up seat for an installation called Air Supply at Milan design week.

Currently on display as part of an exhibition by design platform Alcova, the pieces range from functional to conceptual and explore using air as a material.

See-through suitcase by Muthesisus University students at Alcova at Milan design week 2022
A transparent suitcase is among the ten products in the Air Supply installation

Created by 17 students, working either individually or collaboratively, all of the pieces have an inflatable element made from sheets of recycled plastic.

This ranges from the seat cushion of the geometric Alpha Stool to the see-through bubbles that encase the LED rods in the adjustable StrappedLight system by Christa Carstensen and Friederike Haeuser.

Overview of inflatable products in AirSupply installation
Each piece has an inflatable element

The products were created with the help of digital fabrication techniques such as CNC welding, which was used to attach the plastic sheeting.

Air Supply explores "air as a main material of construction," according to the students.

"The idea was to make different kinds of structures using the CNC welding machine and look at the idea of: what can I build and how stable will it be," Carstensen told Dezeen.

More conceptual pieces include a downscaled prototype for a "modular swimming island" by Greta Lola Lauk, which could playfully connect people in the water.

In the Air Supply installation, the projects are arranged on a curved metal frame designed by co-curator and graduate student Benjamin Unterluggauer.

Unterluggauer curated and art-directed the installation with Martin Postler.

StrappedLight by Christa Carstensen and Friederike Haeuser
Cartensen and Haeuser created the StrappedLight

Various architects and designers have used inflatables in recent projects.

Design collective The Decorators has created blow-up furniture that encourages humans and bacteria to intermingle through the process of food fermentation, while SOM designed conceptual inflatable structures for people to inhabit on the moon.

As Milan design week kicks off this week, see our roundup of 12 unmissable exhibitions and installations presented in the city.

Alcova will run from 5 to 12 June as part of Milan design week 2022. See our Milan design week 2022 guide on Dezeen Events Guide for information about the many other exhibitions, installations and talks taking place throughout the week.

The photography is courtesy of Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design.

Project credits:

Students: Julius Bahl, Jonas Bendlin, Bent Bischoff, Christa Carstensen, Christin Großmann, Friederike Haeuser, Jesse Jacobsen, Gunnar Kähler, Hansol Kim, Lotta Kunft, Greta Lola Lauk, Arista Meier, Paul Meyer, Karl Sperhake, Jannick Steffen Tjard Tensfeld and Ben Wesch
Curators: Martin Postler and Benjamin Unterluggauer
Scenography and art direction:
Martin Postler and Benjamin Unterluggauer

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