MAD Architect’s Invisible Border

In case you missed this year’s Milan Design Week—the world’s largest annual furniture fair that draws in design aficionados from all edges of the earth—this is the one installation you need to see.

Beijing-based firm MAD Architects, known for creating contemporary structures that are in harmony with their natural environments, has designed an installation in the courtyard of the Università degli Studi di Milano. MAD’s “Invisible Border” is a boldly hued, translucent structure that evokes the natural motion of wind and water. It is situated between the façade of the building and the courtyard, acting as an in-between space and disrupting our understanding of definitive borders. “Architects usually creates borders by defining spaces—what is inside and outside, what is nature and the artificial —but today’s society already has too many invisible borders,” explained MAD’s principal architect and founder Ma Yansong. “As architects we should instead focus on how can we blur those borders and encourage interaction across them.”