A talk with Andrea Caputo

SUPER will be held in a new exhibition space: The Mall in Porta Nuova Varesine (Piazza Lina Bo Bardi), in the heart of the city’s most dynamic fashion district, between the historic center and the starchitects’s skyscrapers.
With a completely revamped layout, SUPER will occupy an area of around 4,200 square meters. Super modern ambients and volumes, with a furnishing project by Andrea Caputo, the architecture and design studio based in Milan that vaunts excellent partnerships all over the world.
1) Andrea, tell us about the project during Super. How did the idea of the layout come about?How will it actually develop?Can you give us any sneak previews?
The project came about from the idea of creating a large abacus of essences distributed along the 5,000 square metres of the space. A sort of urban catalogue alternating plants, flowers and natural elements as punctual subjects in the setup. I find it interesting to systematise the serial nature of an exhibition facility related to fashion with another, equally modular, system: the result is high-impact, a sort of controlled chaos that accompanies visitors along the route and dismantles any hierarchy. 
2) What were your main sources of inspiration in implementing the project? 
The quality and essence of the space are reminiscent of the vision of some nurseries outside the city where the essences are arranged in a continuous line. Here we add a distinctly urban, I would say citified, component, which implements the scenario with a grid similar to that of the block system used in cities. A blend of natural and built-up environments.
3) Tell us about what your studio does... you are involved in numerous projects in Europe and Asia... what is the philosophy/concept behind your work?

The studio moves transversely between projects on an urban scale and others on a much smaller level. We operate in the same way both in Europe and in Asia (China and South Korea especially). One consequence of this double commitment, translated into very different contexts, can be found in the process and in the implementation speed. It is interesting for us to compare the retail timescales in a Shanghai mall with those of a similar project in Verona. And then when the change of scale is significant, and we are talking about thousands of square metres of buildings, the gap is intensified, generating a radically different approach to work. So behind every job there is a powerful organisational tension, which in my view translates into predominantly positive and stimulating effects.