Expo2015 in Milan: Moleskine The Future of Human Space

Artists, designers, futurists and even the eminent First Lady Michelle Obama assembled en masse in Milan this summer to experience EXPO2015, an exposition introducing the sublime dreams of how we will use space in the future, comprised of over 100 pavilions with a cultural acuity spanning the world. It debuts a future whose space reflects the progress of an increasingly globalized human identity, sans national and ethnic divides.

With a list of attendees whose reputations nearly render Obama’s quotidian, those of us too busy to make it may have missed something spectacular. But fear not, for Milan-based Moleskine invited a dollop of architects, designers, illustrators and drawing enthusiasts to sketch the Expo pavilions in addition to Milan’s beautiful landmarks, for an architectural point of reference.

Designed with Adobe, the Moleskine Smart Notebook sketches were uploaded in real-time for the rest of us to fest in tense with this artistic vision, giving us a future lens of our own. Let’s have a look!


The Italian Pavilion is sketched by Muscogiuri. Its entrance curves into space straight out of Kubrick’s vision of the future. Resembling a spacecraft visiting for the day, it echoes the 1960’s drive to expand human perception, to grasp the world firmly, by the joints, snugly interfacing the best of humanity with nature’s uncanny wonders. But inside, we see a reflection of how this drive to interface with the world alters our own structure in the jagged walkways, layered pylons and redundant superstructures that come together perhaps to critique the aesthetic worth of pragmatism.



Emilie Romano’s Moleskine drawings of the Nepal Pavilion screams vitality from the far reaches of time. Inverted square pyramids supporting more pyramids rising into the sky in shrinking succession to a singularity exclaimed by King Kong’s war cry. This part asian, part sub-continental expressionist rendering seems to limn a cryptobiologic–a logic of life from a time before history, before time was time and life was perhaps more vital, and un-quantifiable.



In Christiana Donzelli’s Moleskine depiction, Uraguay’s Pavilion gives us our first taste of human life. Long arching pergolas shade an amalgam of homonids collecting around what could be a town well. Massive pylons stretch into the sky at relaxed acute angles, bringing focus to the megalith which reads the name of the nation on wood in the midst of human bustle and excitement.


The Angola Pavilion feels as if it were perhaps erected in a desert, as if Burning Man were a cultivated architecture of its own. A long passageway, possibly 20 by 30 meters, and a city block deep, is shaded by alternating loose wire frame canopies, allowing the thin human forms below to walk over the group’s newest find in shade or sunlight: a wave rising out of the ground, giving explorers a better view of this spacious oasis. Christian Gerasolo just gave this writer a dream to look forward to.


The Belgium Pavilion, sketched to beautiful detail by Misia Design’s adept use of Moleskine, reflects something of a more self-conscious cosmopolitanism, bringing together disparate uses of space into one block; a restaurant is crammed behind a Belgian Fries fast food store. Canopies and giant umbrellas shade humans discussing themselves over coffee and snacks. The aqueduct of the future rises out of the far left in nine pipes which turn down back to the planet in discontinuous shifts, creating an arch. Behind glows a blue superstructure, rising up to support a massive canopy, a sail really, a sail pointed up at the sky, carrying this space up into the future. Behind, in the distance, is a silver skyscraper, reminiscent of the twin towers, watching things develop from afar, both behind and ahead of us all.



Caffe Cluster, a massive space enclosed by wooden planks rising more than 30 feet to the ceiling. A single yellow stripe, one meter tall carries pertinent information across the space for people to study and note below, perhaps for coffee, perhaps for what one could hypothesize is happening here: the transiting material of human business; goods exchanged for projects transporting human interests and speculation into the creation of new spaces, into the future.



Andrea Battistoni renders the dualism inherent in architecture clear. On the left we see the hustle and bustle of transiting persons of varying professions, age and class. Some converse, others wait, while one baby carriage rests unattended in front of a man, perhaps homeless, rests equally unattended against the edge of the central structure, which appears constructed of thin, overlapping planks. Conscious of this sea-worthy effect, around the corner are three levels of red doors, all open to human activity. A single human face nearest our vantage is mid-double-take, turning back perhaps to view the space as its represented on the right of the image; sans humans, sans color; the central structure rests mysterious.


Daniela Tediosi’s Caffe Cluster seems to limn something of human consciousness in view of new space. A short yet tall hallway is decorated with paintings. One features an exhausted boy resting against a wall with one leg out, clamping his eyes shut. At bottom, we see a man turning his attention to us in a multiplicity of overlapping outlines endemic of the paradox in generating space, that it flows forward, turning away and back at itself, its innate difference from itself folding outward into time.


Arianna Franchi’s rendition of architecture shows us that Moleskine can also be endearingly modern. The same space displayed by Battistoni’s sketch is displayed again in black and white. The central wooden structure’s doors are not all ajar here, but the ones that are contain some stockpiled material. Pairs of legless human figures stand around in noir style, speculating below giant rectangular screens which hang from above. In the center of the ceiling hangs a globe, perhaps to show that this too is under the gaze of the Earth; a panopticon to human life.


Moleskine is a classic for sure. Check their travel notebook out on Clapway Trends: