Milan

Birds

I designed this small balcony in 2007 and not only it was one of my first jobs, but it was also for my house.  At that time I was living in Milan in a pedestrian street that, during the Milan Design Week, becomes one of the hottest spots in the city: people from all over the world gather there because the area has plenty of showrooms, studios and installations.

Even if the space I was dealing with was small, I wanted to design something edgy, artsy and extremely creative.  The inspiration came from observing the birds on electric wires and in particular the swallows; they make me think immediately to Spring. I also like their black and white feathers, and I find poetic when they stand next to each other on the wire.

For conjuring the shape of the birds I used watering cans that seem to have a kind of long beak. I paired two watering cans for creating a pot: one black and one white to evoke the colour of the feathers. I put one watering can inside the other so that they would be more resistant. Plus, the external watering can works as a saucer and it’s a reserve of water useful especially during the hot Italian summer. Finally, I hanged the pots on the metal balustrade of the balcony.

The plant palette was chosen to express lightness, freedom, joy: all the things I feel when I see the swallows flying. That’s why I used a grass called Imperata cilindrica ‘Red Baron’, Variegated Iris and Cortaderia selloana ‘Aureolineata’ (Pampas grass).

I left that house and Milan in 2014, but if you end up in walking in the Naviglio Pavese next to the Darsena (the old harbour designed by Leonardo Da Vinci) ‘my balcony’ is still there.