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OPPO x Kengo Kuma Bamboo (竹) Ring to appear Milan Design Week until 19th Sept; gets a permanent home after event

OPPO has partnered with Japanese architect Kengo Kuma to create Bamboo (竹) Ring :|| Weaving a Symphony of Lightness and Form which will be displayed in Milan’s Cortile dei Bagni courtyard for Milan Design Week, until 19th September. The multi-sensory installation works to the theme “Creative Connections” made by fusing Architecture with Music, design innovation, technological prowess, and user experience to create a sense of time and space.

This project is an evolution of Kengo Kuma and OPPO’s Bamboo Ring exhibition which debuted at the 2019 edition of the London Design Festival and explored the harmonious relationship between humans and nature through the envisioning of lightweight yet strong structures made with bamboo and carbon fiber. For this year, OPPO’s experiential installation uses pioneering technology to engage all the senses through a series of orchestral scores composed by Japanese violinist Midori Komachi with Musicity.

The composition is based on the cycle of seasons and moves through the structure encouraging the public to walk around and be captured by its aural narrative. The changing soundscapes integrate the sound of Midori’s violin (built in Milan in 1920 and enhanced with carbon fiber itself) from O Relax, OPPO’s digital wellbeing application that offers comforting nature and city sounds to relax your mind taken from locations around the globe including Reykjavik, Beijing, and Tokyo. 

Jintong Zhu, Head of OPPO London Design Centre, said, “OPPO is a human-centric brand, 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. 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.” 

The installation’s woven structure – crafted from rings of bamboo and carbon fiber – becomes a musical instrument as music travels through it via structural sound technologies originating from OPPO London Design Centre’s research. Innovative technology including new haptic motors, MEMS speaker strips, and exciters work together to produce an immersive base and higher frequencies which reverberate the bamboo with Violin’s vibrato and the effect of a percussion instrument.

Kengo Kuma, Architect, said, “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. This pavilion is one of the explorations into the new rhythms and tones in architecture combining visual and acoustic experiences of the visitors.” 

After Milan Design Week, OPPO will donate Bamboo Ring 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.

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