ILLUMINA | Wood Skin


The polygonal polar bears that conquered Milan

SET DESIGN : Greymatters Milano

POWERED BY : Aadv Entertainment

MATERIAL : Mirror Laminate

Filed in:

Tailor Made



AADV Entertainment, the agency that conceived and realized ILLUMINA, the extraordinary work of art and light that brought a glimpse of the Arctic to Milan, chose WOOD-SKIN technology to create the polar bears. The set design curated by Greymatters transformed this corner of Porta Nuova into a space for rediscovering nature through cutting-edge design. The innovative WOOD-SKIN digital fabrication process generates low-poly geometries (i.e. angular geometries made from a reduced number of polygons), which are essentially the aesthetic result of the need to effectively model and render 3D shapes. The philosophy behind the design and realization of these majestic and dazzling bears runs parallel to the effectiveness and speed required to counter global warming and melting polar ice.

While small in scale compared to most of WOOD-SKIN’s “Tailor Made” creations, this was a project that posed many challenges. The life-size scale of the bears required us to miniaturize many parts of our system, resulting in a fascinating and intricate assembly process. A nature-inspired micro-architecture that we can’t wait to try out on a larger scale, also adapting it to other natural forms such as trees, mountains, and other specimens of the animal kingdom. We reiterated the design parametrically and dynamically until we got the desired result, at which point the three-dimensional shapes were unfolded and “paired” with the chosen material, a composite of aluminum and marine plywood that can withstand the elements and offer a powerful scenic presence for the protagonists of the installation.

About ILLUMINA – Stories of Nature and Light 

Conceived and curated by AADV Entertainment with the support of Enel, ILLUMINA fascinated visitors for over a month at the Library of Trees in Milan. ILLUMINA was created to draw attention to an urgent issue by representing the beauty of a nature that is in danger of disappearing due to global warming. Polygonal sculptures in the shape of icebergs and polar bears, sounds from the coldest areas of the North, and the evocative language of urban light art were the central features of the installation, created with recyclable materials and no waste.

About Greymatters 

Founded by the architect and designer Michela Alquati and Nadia Pirovano, Greymatters is a multy-disciplinary company with a global reach. We are experts in helping our clients communicate and engage audiences through live event and installations. We have a long story in set design for tv and corporate events. We create, deliver and inspire. We’re focused on small, medium and big size events.

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PRESENTING SPONSOR: Enel Italia with Enel Energia


LIGHTNING DESIGN: Giovanni Pinnald


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