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The Voice of students on the walls of Milan’s Politecnico

The Poli Urban Colors street art project at the Bovisa campus, realized with the support of Vans

The Voice of students on the walls of Milan’s Politecnico
The Poli Urban Colors street art project at the Bovisa campus, realized with the support of Vans
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The Voice of students on the walls of Milan’s Politecnico The Poli Urban Colors street art project at the Bovisa campus, realized with the support of Vans

The Voice of students on the walls of Milan’s Politecnico

The Poli Urban Colors street art project at the Bovisa campus, realized with the support of Vans

Milan is the city of fashion and design, most often associated with elegant ateliers, shopping districs or new foundations that mix different disciplines. Among the various neighborhoods, hubs and areas, Bovisa is perhaps the one that has undergone one of the most surprising transformations in recent years thanks above all to the Politecnico campus and the students who populate it with their dynamism and ideas. The pandemic has had a very strong impact on the university and students, and the return to normality needs above all through the reappropriation of the common spaces of the campus and the neighborhood. Following this philosophy, the second edition of the urban design festival Poli Urban Colors 21 took place: a project that in the words of the curator Luca Mayr "has enriched the Bovisa district with another 2000sqm of Urban Art, so that urban design flows into contamination from the Politecnico to the surrounding grey areas".

The aim of the project - realized with the patronage of the City of Milan and the support of Vans - is to enhance one of the neighborhoods where the culture of design is built every day and from which the designers of the future and also the writers who have filled the walls of the entire city with their works, helping to build their current identity and appearance.

For us, Bovisa remains a reference district: it would be nice to transform it into the republic of design. It can become a new center in Europe for design-related research and development, a point of aggregation for young people who come to this world finding young people who want to do and are projected towards the same goal. Beatrice Riva explains that together with Federica Guida and Matteo Paolo Ambrosini were the students that won the Vans open call to create a graffiti inside the campus inspired by the imagery of the Old Skool.

We met the trio in a total Vans look right in front of Voce, their work now featured in the middle of campus and inspired by the values of feminism: "We tried to do something that was inclusive and in which everyone could recognize themselves regardless of gender. The keywords are energy, cries and voice: the idea is to push people to make their voices heard with energy, positivity and colors. The fact of representing a girl who picts and skates - for us who attend engineering - also wants to be an incentive to break down categories and activities considered 'masculine' and push other girls to take an interest in these disciplines”.

Among the graffiti made around the campus what is most striking is the variety of styles and colors used by the various artists who collaborated on the project. Even Voce which decorates a concrete cube stands out for its purple palette, as Federica Guida explains: “In terms of style we were inspired by our world - that of industrial design - and the aesthetics of pop comics: playing with shapes and proportions and using a bright color palette. it was super interesting to see established writers working and noticing the differences in style."

The transformation of the Bovisa district more generally reflects the change of the city of Milan, which today finds itself having to relaunch a positive trend stopped by the pandemic. The perspective and time horizon with which to plan the future of Milan must be that of students, a fundamental component for the cultural growth of the city, through synergies similar to that of Poli Urban Colors, where brands and public institutions leave room for the creativity of those who live urban spaces and imagine their future.

Credits

photography Laurent Bentill
words & editorial coordination Filippo D’Asaro
artwork Caterina Novaro
production nss factory