Search History: Space Popular at the MAXXI with Alcantara


The artistic duo of Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg pay homage to Aldo Rossi through Studio Visit in collaboration with Alcantara and the MAXXI.

MAXXI. Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo (national museum of 21st-century art)December 2022

The partnership between Alcantara and the MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo (national museum of 21st-century art) continues with the fifth edition of Studio Visit, with a programme curated by Domitilla Dardi that invites contemporary designers to put forward a personal interpretation of the works by the masters in the MAXXI Architecture Collections.


Aldo Rossi, references and Metaverse

For this special occasion, Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg, founders of the Space Popular architecture and art studio, explored and interpreted the work of Aldo Rossi, one of the 20th century’s most influential Italian architects, with Search History: the project aims to reflect on Rossi’s concepts of ‘urban artefact’ and ‘analogous city’ as a point of reference for the collective creation of the contemporary virtual city.

In The Architecture of the City, Rossi considers subjective experience in time, presenting the city as a sequence of spatial events that, despite being unique for each one of us, remain “permanent, universal and necessary artefacts”. In the view of Space Popular, this concept bears a greater similarity to what the true experience of mobility in virtual spaces should be than what the so-called Metaverse platforms have proposed thus far.


Search History therefore offers an annular structure, made up of many layers that transform to the rhythm of a soundscape, with original music composed and produced by the Spanish duo San Jeronimo.

In a continuous movement, the Alcantara canvases immerse us in a soft and changeable architecture, the fluid motion of which constantly composes new landscapes, looking beyond the physical limitation of the material to glimpse new perspectives. Alcantara brings out this reading by crossing boundaries, lending itself to bold cuts, unique prints and complex textures.

Search History is at once object, threshold and environment,” comment Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg. “Its continuous motion encompasses an abstract landscape of stratifications. It reflects Rossi’s ideas on the building as an entity that absorbs, records and renders the history of the city.


The Space Popular: Search History exhibition

The Space Popular: Search History exhibition was inaugurated with a special pre-opening dedicated to an audience of personalities, professionals and media from the world of art and lifestyle.

Guests were able to see a preview of the work in motion accompanied by a live performance by San Jeronimo.

The work by Space Popular is a part of the MAXXI Architecture permanent collection, as in the previous editions of Studio Visit, and will be open to the public from 7 December 2022 to 15 January, 2023.

The partnership of more than 10 years between Alcantara and MAXXI, focusing on research into contemporary design issues, defines a new form of cultural collaboration in the world of art.

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