MILAN DESIGN WEEK 18 // COS × PHILLIP K. SMITH III OPEN SKY INSTALLATION

cos design installation milan empty

For the seventh year that COS is participating at the design fair Salone del Mobile in Milan, the Swedish brand partnered up with American artist Phillip K. Smith III to create a light and reflection-based art installation. Housed in the historic Palazzo Isimbardi and the surrounding garden, Open Sky was a beautiful way to view the sky framed within the reflections of mirrors.

I have visited the COS installations for the last three years of Milan Design Week, and each year they create beautiful and unmissable installations with big international artists and designers.

This year was the first time COS has done an installation outdoors. Open Sky was inspired by the Italian Renaissance architecture, the Milanese sky and the design aesthetics of COS. I visited the installation at the start of the week, a very hot and clear day with no clouds in sight. Although it would have been nice to see the reflection of clouds in the mirrors, the blue sky gave a minimal feeling that fits the brand perfectly.

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cos design installation milan details

Phillip K. Smith III is known for his immersive, light-based installations that challenges viewers to slow down and align themselves with it. He wanted to pull the sky to the ground – to make it physically present.

“Every person’s experience will be unique because the angle of reflection, the changing environment, and the shifting light of the day are all in a constant state of flux.” – Phillip K. Smith III

cos design installation milan my reflections

cos design installation milan detail

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cos design installation milan coffee

A great way to get the visitors to slow down and let the environment fully sink in was a cart serving free coffee in the garden. It created the perfect time to sit down, watch the sky and relax for a moment.

If you want to see more, here is a video by COS:

“Open Sky is an installation that can never be seen the same way twice.” – Phillip K. Smith III

// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad

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