- Tillandsia WALL Green Wave for Fuorisalone 2022
Of the many interesting installations that graced the Fuorisalone, Tillandsia WALL Green Wave was certainly one of the greenest and most poetic, as its lightness and naturalness pleasantly contrasted the many works made with industrial materials, as recycled or sustainable as they might have been. Tillandsia WALL is the innovative proposal for vertical gardens by Michieli Floricoltura: sustainable, ready to be used and applicable on any type of surface. A creative encounter between design, living nature and innovation, as the creators define it. Roberta Filippini, an architect with decades of experience in landscape design and owner of the ROBERTA STUDIO looks after the creative development of Tillandsia WALL and its multiple expressions, while Paolo Michieli, owner of Michieli Floricoltura – who studied biotechnology at the University of Padua and abroad at the Radbout Univeristeit Nijmegen in the Netherlands – grows the Tillandsia plants.
Tillandsia is a plant belonging to the Bromeliaceae family that, in its natural state, grows on the American continent in regions ranging from tropical rain forests to the desert areas of some regions of South America and the Andean highlands. What makes Tillandsia special for use in vertical gardens – both outdoors and indoors – is not only their great decorative value and exceptional flowering characteristics, but also a practical aspect. As Paolo Michieli explains: "Since almost all species have no need for a substrate (soil) to live and grow, they absorb the nutrients and water they need through their leaves." They therefore require very low maintenance, making them the ideal plant for these applications. In addition, they have recognised beneficial properties. They absorb airborne VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) through their leaf apparatus, improving the quality of the air and the environment in which they will be placed. Research carried out by the University of Bari has highlighted the effective absorption of formaldehyde by Tillandsia, which become allies in the "bioremediation" or phytoremediation process, in other words the removal of pollutants from our living environments.
Taking a closer look, the installation for Fuorisalone 2022 for INTERNI starts with a lightweight structure and the use of specially designed fixings in the Statale portico. Thousands of small Tillandsia ionantha plants have been applied to this base, creating more of a scenic, flowing curtain than a wall which decorates the historic architecture. The choice of a single species has its reason. As the authors of the installation explain, in particular, "Tillandsia ionantha, a small, grey or grey-green epiphytic species with a rustic appearance, has excellent resistance to prolonged periods of drought. It is perfect in shape, silhouette and characterised by the fascinating feature of changing its colouring when in bloom, providing an enchanting and unique spectrum of shades ranging from green to grey with accents of colour from red to pink, for an installation that becomes a ribbon of living nature in constant movement, recreated through design, nature and innovation.”
What is certain is that the scenic Tillandsia WALL Green Wave installation enchanted the thousands of visitors to the Statale with its green and natural wave.
Project: ROBERTA STUDIO with Paolo Michieli for Michieli Fioricoltura - https://www.tillandsiawall.com/
Location: Milan, Italy
Photos: Saverio Lombardi Vallauri