On the occasion of the opening of the celebrations for Bergamo Brescia Italian Capital of Culture, the Lights on project by designers Objects of Common Interest, specifically designed for Bergamo’s Piazza della Libertà, was presented to the city.
The Lights on installation, selected as part of an international contest launched by Confindustria Bergamo, the City of Bergamo and GAMeC, dresses up Piazza della Libertà with a temporary intervention geared toward interpreting the theme of the cultural capital “The Illuminated City.”
Entirely supported by Confindustria Bergamo, the project combines the iconic character of the sculptural element that interacts with the facade of the Palazzo della Libertà with a need for community participation, going on to create a welcoming and functional space for all those who will experience the square in this year of celebrations.
The work involves public space on multiple levels and is based on three key concepts: reuse, reactivate, renew. The project stems from the desire to rework the relationship between the community and the resources it already possesses, and to propose innovative solutions from the heritage of the city and its territory.
The centerpiece of the intervention is a light sculpture, a sinuous and seemingly soft, but actually very robust work of art, placed in close connection with the architecture of the building overlooking the square.
The fountain in the center of the square will be able to be observed from an unprecedented close-up perspective, thanks to a raised pavement––a kind of “hill”––made from recycled tires that will allow a panoramic view of the entire area.
A series of seats made from reclaimed polychrome marble and recycled resin completes the installation.
All of the components of Lights On––the light sculpture, the seating, the paving––are placed in dialogue with the urban context, and form a public artwork that encourages community interaction. Each element is designed to be recycled and reused. Both the lighting elements and the seating can in fact be reassembled in different ways and in other contexts.
“With this installation,” says designer Eleni Petaloti, “we thought of reactivating a public space that appeared underutilized by transforming it into a more lively environment, into an ‘enlightened city square’ that is inspiring and brings joy to its inhabitants. We also developed the theme of the relationship between the community and its natural resources, enhancing a city that ‘invents’ based on what it already has, drawing solutions from its past and cultural heritage.”
“Technology, vision of the future, and attention to sustainability,” underlines Giovanna Ricuperati, president of Confindustria Bergamo, “are some of the key elements of the installation in Piazza della Libertà, a symbol of a territory open to dialogue and contamination, sensitive to the contribution of the languages of art and culture that identifies in the wide-ranging innovative approach its main driver of growth.
“Lights on,” continues the Mayor of Bergamo, Giorgio Gori, “represents to the general public some of the most characteristic values and themes of the Enlightened City: the industrious soul of the territory, its creative and entrepreneurial fabric, and the drive for innovation and renewal proper to our identity. On the other hand, it allows the city to shine a light on a square that during 2023 will enlarge the city “center” thanks to culture, with the restoration of Palazzo della Libertà and its destination as a place of cultural excellence under the agreement that the City Council has made with the State Property Agency. Confindustria is to be thanked for its commitment to the Capital of Culture and the city.”
“The Objects of Common Interest have created a reconfigurable modular work, tacking a dialogue with the city that goes beyond the single experience of the Italian Capital of Culture,” concludes Lorenzo Giusti, Director of GAMeC. “The installation, in addition to a reading of the context of Piazza della Libertà and the desire to open up new possibilities for the use of this specific public space, in fact stems from the idea of a possible multiple regeneration of the artifact. In the future, when it will be rearranged, Lights on will be able to open new looks at new contexts, integrate with other environments and architectures, and illuminate them.”
The Objects of Common Interest studio consists of Eleni Petaloti and Leonidas Trampoukis, who live and work between Athens and New York. Architects by training but designers by first occupation, their research focuses on the ability to create experiential environments and objects through a conceptual elaboration of material and an intuitive approach to form.
Their projects have been exhibited in institutions, galleries, and art and design fairs, and they have presented solo exhibitions at institutions such as the Noguchi Museum in New York, the Brussels Design Museum, the Venice Architecture Biennale, and the Salone del Mobile in Milan. Among the nominees in the “Designer of the Year” category for the Dezeen Awards 2022, they won the Wallpaper* Design Award 2022 and the Design Prize 2021 in the “experimentation” category.