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The Recording Machine at Milan Design Week

Recording Machine Rafel Oliva RCA Paradise Milan

Hosted in Milan’s Ventura Lambrate, RCA Paradise challenged students to “contemplate the discovery of something or somewhere more wondrous.” The products they presented are all inspired by a “quest for a better future.”

One of my favorite pieces was Recording Machine, which splatters paint onto the walls in response to noise – creating a visual representation of sound.

Recording Machine Rafel Oliva RCA Paradise Milan

Rafel Oliva, who is studying MA Design Products at the RCA says “The performance space becomes a container of all the expressions, desires, words and sounds from the audience that participate – freezing the sound on the wall and collapsing all the inputs into one space and time.”

Recording Machine Rafel Oliva RCA Paradise Milan

I liked the translation from one sense to another; from audio to visual, and I think it’s really interested to see how much of the meaning comes through – even in the abstract.

Recording Machine Rafel Oliva RCA Paradise Milan

I was also really fun to see something the audience could really get involved with and become a part of the design process.

Recording Machine Rafel Oliva RCA Paradise Milan

And on a completely subjective level – I  loved the colors and the resulting “painting.”

Recording Machine Rafel Oliva RCA Paradise Milan

Our trip to Milan was supported in part by Airbnb.com.

Katie Treggiden is a purpose-driven journalist, author and, podcaster championing a circular approach to design – because Planet Earth needs better stories. She is also the founder and director of Making Design Circular, a program and membership community for designer-makers who want to join the circular economy. With 20 years' experience in the creative industries, she regularly contributes to publications such as The Guardian, Crafts Magazine and Monocle24 – as well as being Editor at Large for Design Milk. She is currently exploring the question ‘can craft save the world?’ through an emerging body of work that includes her fifth book, Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure (Ludion, 2020), and a podcast, Circular with Katie Treggiden.