Milan Public Space Festival

Temporary exhibit design

For Milan ArchWeek 2022/23, through the theme Waiting for Peripheries, the fifth edition of the event shift its focus out of the center, into urban contexts that brought out a liveliness despite a distance (more symbolic than real) , building a sphere of possibilities independent of the most central places of the city and developing a network of links towards the outside, towards the unexpected, towards the less known.

Quinzii Terna Architecture’s proposal, in response to the call organized by Triennale Milano, the Polytechnic and the Municipality of Milan, has been to organize a Festival of the Public Space: this opening towards the outside made us think that the outside is actually where everyone is, the multitude of inhabitants, actions, functions, places, which, all together, build the image of our urban community.

We believe that the new Milan, the city that welcomes people from outside, from the rest of Italy, from international contexts on a daily basis, has an even greater need for open spaces suited to new needs, new expectations, which can effectively define a new idea of active citizenship, no longer linked to the vehicular stereotype, where the external space is forced into the movements of motor vehicles: public space is the place of recognisability, of meeting, of the equality of people, of the inhabitants of the city.

The Festival of the Public Space aims, starting from this year and then annually within the ArchWeek event, to become a new reading device of the city and, through this new point of view, to propose public places in Milan that need more care and attention.
This year a event has been organized in a partially activated public space in the eastern area of the city, which actually require particular care so that it can be definitively transformed into high-quality collective place: Piazza San Materno, around the splendid fifteenth-century abbey, partially pedestrianized in following the first Covid wave in 2020.
Piazza San Materno is today a pedestrian space, but still designed as a former vehicular car park. People enjoy the sun, having an ice cream from the nearby ice cream shop, sitting on the curbs that defined the car stalls.

Here, through the design and installation of small temporary devices that adapt to the physical conditions of the place, a debate/conference has taken place which will be the starting point of a more dense program for next year.
These mobile devices can adapt to the physical conformation of the place, playing on the differences in level, on the spaces designed to distinguish the movements of people from those of cars: like the seats of honor in the ancient Greek amphitheaters, they ironically underline the need for space for citizens, for meeting, for playing, for movement and relaxation.
A step can be something more than a leap in level along the roadway: it is a hope for meeting, for the activation of open space, for the informal use of an urban community that changes the face of the city, through a sort of hacking of physical space.

During ArchWeek events, the seats welcome the guests of the talks, defining a new stage and a new arena, suggesting new uses of the square and a vision of the future of the city.

Type/Program: Public Event – Urban Design
Client: ArchWeek (Triennale Milano, Milan Municipality, Politecnico Milano)
Year: 2023
Location: Piazza San Materno, Milan, Italy
Status: Built

Event Organisation, Urban and Product Design: Quinzii Terna Architecture (Chiara Quinzii, Diego Terna)
Collaborators: Vera Bondarenko, Xin Tian
Furniture production: FRASSLEGNO S.r.l Falegnameria, QTA
Sponsors: Trattoria Mirta, Gelateria Accademia 64, NonSiButtaViaNiente S.B.A.R.L.