The world’s leading smart device manufacturer and innovator OPPO has partnered with Japanese architect Kengo Kuma to create Bamboo (竹) Ring :|| Weaving a Symphony of Lightness and Form. The multi-sensory installation works to the theme “Creative Connections,” fusing architecture with music, design innovation, technological prowess, and user experience to create a sense of time and space, and will be on display in Milan’s Cortile dei Bagni courtyard for the duration of Milan Design Week, until 19 September. This is OPPO’s second time participating in Milan Design Week, having previously collaborated with the Royal College of Art for the 2019 edition of the design festival.
This landmark project also marks the second time OPPO and Kengo Kuma have collaborated on a design piece together, first debuting their original Bamboo Ring exhibition at the 2019 London Design Festival. The first iteration of the Bamboo Ring installation explored the harmonious relationship between humans and nature through the envisioning of lightweight yet strong structures made with bamboo and carbon fiber. This year, OPPO’s experiential installation pushes the original project further, using pioneering technology to engage all the senses through a series of orchestral scores composed by Japanese violinist Midori Komachi with Musicity. Taking inspiration from sounds found in O Relax, OPPO’s digital wellbeing application that offers comforting nature and city sounds from around the world, Midori composed various soundscapes based on the cycle of seasons, which moves through the structure along with the viewer.
“When I design architecture, I’m interested in designing the rhythm and the tone rather than the silhouette, and contemporary music gives us many lessons about how to create new rhythms and tones in architecture,” shares the creative visionary Kengo Kuma. “This pavilion is one of the explorations into the new rhythms and tones in architecture combining visual and acoustic experiences of the visitors.”
The installation’s woven structure, crafted from rings of bamboo and carbon fiber, becomes an instrument as music travels through it via structural sound technologies originating from OPPO London Design Centre’s research. Integrating various sound technologies like haptic motors, MEMS speaker strips, and exciters, the installation produces an immersive base and a range of higher frequencies which reverberate the bamboo to create an overall effect similar to a percussion instrument.
“OPPO is a human-centric brand, and our focus is on innovating for the people. We are delighted to partner with Kengo Kuma again, an architect who is known for seamlessly integrating nature and culture,” shared Jintong Zhu, Head of OPPO London Design Centre. “Together, we demonstrate how we can use technology and design to add value to our daily lives drawing on our philosophy principles of ‘Technology as an Art Form’ and our brand mission ‘Technology for Mankind, Being Kind to the World.’”
After Milan Design Week, OPPO will donate the Bamboo Ring installation to Arte Sella Park in Trentino, Italy, a contemporary art museum with outdoor exhibits made from natural materials and backdropped by the mountainous Sella Valley, where it will find its permanent home.