At the 2014 Salone del Mobile, Panasonic will present its installation, Sliding Nature, designed by Torafu Architects, taking on the theme of the relationship between nature and man, between tradition and technology.
Panasonic’s project will be presented in the Feeding new ideas for the city exhibit at the University of Milan and is inspired by a classic concept in Japanese architecture, through the use of characteristic sliding doors made from either paper or fabric called fusuma or shoji, that wants to establish distinctive spaces as well as a harmonious relationship between the interior and the exterior of the home.  TORAFU ARCHITECTS (a Japanese studio that is active in various fields of architecture, installations and interior design) has an idea from which will arise many different perspectives projected towards charming panoramas, but also supports the pleasant flow of air, like lowering lighting to one’s liking.

At the center of the Cortile della Farmacia, TORAFU ARCHITECTS studio has created a structure that evokes the quintessential features of a traditional home, delimited by large sliding doors.  The doors, painted in pure white, almost render this building abstract, as if representing the primordial idea of the home; a building with evanescent outlines in stark contrast with its backdrop of medieval architecture.  Upon the slowly opening of the doors, the home’s ceiling lights up and the interior of the home talks with the surrounding environment composed of LEDs, which resemble flowers spread out in a field, and the flickering of the lights beneath the portico, seeming to want to replicate the rhythm of a gentle sigh, creating an ever-changing scene.

SLIDING NATURE is a home that “breathes” and wants to establish a new and dynamic relationship with nature, examining new possibilities in creating flexible spaces and different lifestyles by using sliding doors, like the opportunity to create different atmospheres using diverse inflections of light.
The TORAFU ARCHITECTS’ installation breathtakingly transposes the new vision that Panasonic wishes to herald in and whose purpose is to integrate active and passive energy.  Active energy involves the use of devices – like solar panels, batteries for energy storage or energy-efficient electric appliances – which combines with the use of passive energy aiming at benefitting from nature, this through the design of housing facilities expertly built up and the employment of insulating materials.
The sliding doors, exploiting the concept of passive energy, open upon the wonders of nature, allowing a pleasant breeze or warm sunlight to come in, while leaving heat and cold outside.  They are then combined with LED lighting (a part of active energy management), on one hand aiming at energy efficiency, but on the other hand giving the possibility to make the most of spaces by adapting the light to one’s own needs or to different lifestyles.  All of this helps us to live in harmony with nature, making use of the artificial energy only when necessary.

With this project, Panasonic wants to express its own commitment to design homes that are able to highlight the beauty of nature, while pursuing goals of energy efficiency by utilizing low-power electronics and technology in relation to renewable energy sources.
A space in which the private becomes public; a home that opens up to the city; a place in continuing transformation that, through sliding doors, encourages a new relationship with nature.

In addition Panasonic will present at Loggiato Ovest, a charming space on the top floor of the university, a series of products dedicated to the world of the kitchen and aimed at B2B.
The two installations are accordingly connected by a revival of the ancient “ingenuity” of Japanese tradition, combined with the desire of offering new solutions for the future. The Japanese giant has thus shown itself to be able to meet the needs of every home environment and to offer solutions for every type of living space: from solar panels, to lighting and to sliding doors and housing equipments such as kitchen products.

TORAFU ARCHITECTS was established by Koichi Suzuno and Shinya Kamuro in 2004. The duo has employed architectural thinking to create a wide range of work, including architectural designs, shop interior designs, spatial designs for exhibitions, product designs, spatial installations, stage arts and filmmaking. Their working style has always been to first pose a question to themselves, and then devise the simplest way to solve it. For every project, they place importance on leaving a “blank space” in which the receiver (audience) can take part.

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and engineering of electronic technologies and solutions for customers in residential, non-residential, mobility and personal applications. Since its founding in 1918, the company has expanded globally and now operates over 500 consolidated companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of 7.30 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2013. Committed to pursuing new value through innovation across divisional lines, the company strives to create a better life and a better world for its customers.