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Ruskin Alumni in Milan

Ruskin alumnus Alexander Groves (BFA 2006) attended the Milan Furniture Fair in April 2017 with his design partner Azusa Murakami and unveiled a 6m high blossoming tree sculpture crafted from recycled scaffolding metal.

Studio Swine, an acronym for Super Wide Interdisciplinary New Explorers, was co-founded by Murakami – a Japanese-born architect – and her British artist husband Alexander Groves in 2011. “We see ourselves as designer agents of transformation,” says Murakami. “We transform something that could be seen as undesirable into something desirable.”

Their blossoming tree sculpture was crafted from recycled scaffolding metal. Every five seconds the tree dispensed vibrating vapour bubbles from its 30 branches, bubbles bounced on certain textiles, but popped on skin.  “We really looked into Milan as a city,” says Azusa Murakami, one half of Studio Swine. We loved the palazzos with blown glass rather than cut Murano chandeliers. That seemed to cast a new light and we wanted to capture that, but also think about this time of year, and how you can experience nature and seasonality.” The interactive installation is a collaboration with Cos. The brief from the fashion brand was entirely open, but the brand’s values work well with Swine’s: minimalism, modernity and a delight in interesting materials.

The Guardian's article about the exciting partnership of Studio Swine and their recent projects can be found here