Yansong Ma's work extends beyond our cherished Absolute Towers. His engulfing architectural design with MAD Architects is recognized worldwide, and he's not even 40 years old. This is part three in a series of his award-winning architectural and art works.
Back in October 2011, MAD Architects was commissioned to create a mobile pavilion for Vertu, a luxury mobile phone company.
At first glance, the pavilion looks like it could be a piece of public art. The black crystal juts out of Milan's historic Palazzo Serbelloni. But these shards never stay in one place, traveling to Shanghai, Dubai, Beijing and London. Suddenly, the context changes as the city does.
Vertu, owned by Nokia, wanted to promote their new Constellation T touchscreen phone with the help of MAD, who took the project to a whole new level. The traveling structure is made of approximately eight tons of steel and resembles something alien that crashed on planet earth. Sound familiar? The spikes -- each independent units -- can attach themselves to the basic dome-like skeleton that underlies the work.
We're seeing it everywhere in Yansong Ma's work, principal architect of MAD. He's really into the notion of "alien". Bizarre sculptures burst into our urban landscapes, overtake our cities with great energy. It is all so calculated, yet completely organic.
The Vertu pavilion exemplifies that meteor-hits-planet-earth vibe, which lies in stark contrast to the 18th century neoclassical architecture of Milan. Ma said himself that the choice of locations for this project should feel a bit "accidental," almost like an extreme collision. A collision between old and new, perhaps, or traditional and modern.