Preview Studiopepe’s Immersive Installation For the 2019 Milan Fair, Inspired by Tarot Cards and Divination

During last year’s Milan fair, we got asked more than once if the mysterious, invitation-only, hidden-location presentation “Club Unseen” was somehow our doing — we had to decline, of course, because it was in fact a seven-room sensory overload designed and organized by the Italian power-duo Studiopepe, but if we’re being honest, we secretly sort of wished it was ours. An immersive installation of works by some of our favorite designers and brands, staged inside a lofty apartment with a theatrical cocktail bar, three lounges, and heavy, heavy styling, it was the perfect setting in which to experience design in the way it’s meant to be experienced. Which is why we’re excited to announce that during next month’s fair, Studiopepe will stage a second presentation that, while it will feature a totally new concept and an entirely different look, will have the same immersive feel.

Called Les Arcanistes and taking place in a large industrial space used in the 1900s for manufacturing gold, the project will feature, among many other things, a new series of ceramic tiles by Studiopepe for Bardelli, new colorways of the pair’s Pastilles furniture for Tacchini, and lighting by one of our favorite brands, Areti — all pictured in the three exclusive preview images you see here. Those works will join “new editions of historic pieces, artists’ multiples, and a wunderkammer of materials in a sequence of installation spaces that open up into a vast hall which acts as a backdrop to showcase the rituality of contemporary living.” The name is a reference to arcanists, 18th century craftsmen who possessed secrets needed for the production of certain materials and objects, as well as a reference to the Major Arcana cards in tarot decks. “[The cards] represent the collective unconscious,” the designers write. “This led to our highly personal interpretation of the interplay between matter and divination.”

It appears from the press release that the show will have a space for actual tarot readings, though like Club Unseen, the veil of secrecy around it makes it hard to tell. Unfortunately, also like Club Unseen, Les Arcanistes is a by invitation-only event. But if you aren’t able to visit, we’ll of course have a full report, with images, after the Milan fair draws to a close. (Pictured at top: Rendering of Studiopepe’s Pastilles series for Tacchini)
Studiopepe_Alchemist_Preview_BardelliCeramic tiles for Bardelli
Studiopepe_Alchemist_Preview_AretiBonhomme lamps by Areti