Sou Fujimoto Uses Light, Mirrors for 2016 COS Salone del Mobile Installation

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Exploring the ideas of interaction and perspective, Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto has created an interactive installation at the Salone del Mobile for Swedish clothing brand COS that utilizes only mirrors, cones of light, and a specially composed soundtrack. Called Forest of Light, the piece—which will be on show through April 17 at Milan’s Cinema Arti, an abandoned 1930s theater located in the city’s San Babila district—offers an immersive, shifting landscape where light and shadow overlap, interplay, and change minute to minute.

In the installation, light beams pierce the pitch-black room and then slowly fade in and out as visitors move around the space. The illumination “represents a moment, and then is gone, without anything left,” explains Fujimoto.

The installation builds upon the architect’s forest concept, which he explored in such work as the Musashino Art Museum & Library in Tokyo, which he completed in 2011. Like the COS installation, there are no actual trees, but the layout and fluid edges blur the distinction between not only spaces, but also the built and natural environments.

Fujimoto believes the COS pavilion is his purest realization to date of the idea. “This forest is not static, but light and people interact with one another,” he says. “This interaction connects fashion, space, and forest as a form of architecture.”

(Images courtesy COS)