Maurizio Lai ArchiTALKS. Masterclass for architects - ISPLORA

Trailer Designing with light

Not eligible for AIA CES Credits

Architect Maurizio Lai’s is a journey through architecture, design and scenography, following his education and experience. From his beginnings in television, to the creation of his first architecture and art atelier, up to the foundation of LAISTUDIO, a dynamic, multidisciplinary and constantly updated firm.

A tension towards the ephemeral, where matter plays with light, intrinsically characterizes Lai's work over time. Lines that are obsessively orthogonal, light installations and infinity mirrors dress space with pictorial intensity, defining illusory perceptions that are at times indecipherable. Reflection, refraction, diffusion. A dynamic light, the expression of a personal language, becomes matter, a building element of the project capable of changing the emotional conditions of physical space. An indirect light capable of exploring and defining delimited spaces, excavating and shaping surfaces, modeling volumes and revealing atmospheres.

In the background, a magnetic Milan where time flows following a precise rhythm. The rhythm of doing, of learning by doing, in balance between shapes and places. This is evident in the firm’s ideas for the Food  field, where compositional research moves through the design of a luminous space as a three-dimensional, physical and perceptive element capable of interacting synergistically with the context. Some examples are Iyo Aalto, Feel, Aji or the work for SushiClub, restaurant spaces where the formal analysis of the luminous dimension becomes cause for reflection for the regeneration of sensitive places through quality design and the creation of an identity reference not only for the brand, but also for suburban neighbourhoods.

The role of light thus becomes a theme for urban transformation, as well as for the organization of volumes. The COIN project in the historical center of Verona stems from a constructive debate with the Superintendency and has the shape of a lantern that illuminates the space of the city from the inside, giving a new image to the scenic backdrop of the urban space where it is inserted as a transparent object, with a permeable and open envelope.

At the same time, the design of Spazio Forme was born within FICO, EatalyWorld in Bologna, where the compositional study stemmed from a deep knowledge of the product - wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano DOP - which led to the creation of a tailored space, capable of telling its story by exploring the potential of a territory, respecting the place and its values.

In this sense, technical research on effects, installations and luminaires introduces the theme of measure as craftsmanship precision, as the ability to quantify and translate an ephemeral image into numbers, the sketch on a sheet of paper. By building images through signs, the project materializes pragmatically in the tension towards a nearly numerical balance, where proportion, symmetry and asymmetry break the boundaries of space, extending it to infinity in the creation of parallel realities.

Finally, the research for Scuola Futuro Lavoro, a school for children with Asperger's syndrome developed in multidisciplinary collaboration with psychologists and experts in the field of experimental training, explores the theme of education by organizing space in compliance with principles such as sensitivity, perception and inclusion. An obsessive, pinpoint and empathic work, capable of giving shape to quality spaces, between listening, dialogue and freedom.

Learning objectives

  • The issues of design in the field of urban transformation through architectural, Retail and Food & Beverage works will be addressed through specific case studies; 
  • The applications of techniques for interior finishes will be illustrated, from research on materials to its experimentation, up to installation, paying particular attention to technical solutions for lighting equipment;
  • The negotiation processes and dialogue between architects, Superintendency, workers and clients will be studied in depth in the definition of an ad hoc branding image for each project, from the architectural scale to urban interventions;
  • The planivolumetric solutions of spaces will be explained, from concept to execution, from diagram to practice, in the relationship between the interior of the premises and the city that hosts them.


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