Phillip K. Smith III’s Reflective Open Sky Installation

Open Sky
Lance Gerber

Swedish clothing-retail company COS has enlisted the help of American architect-turned-artist Phillip K. Smith III to create a mirrored structure in the heart of the 16th-century Palazzo Isimbardi for Salone del Mobile.

Using giant sheets of mirror-polish stainless steel, Smith’s structure reflects the ever-changing sky. He describes that ‘Open Sky’ is “inspired by the constant shifts in light, color, and form that are presented in the natural and built environment.” The piece is designed to get visitors at the design week to interact with the natural environment and to spark a sense of adventure. “We have been inspired by the way Phillips K. Smith III’s works interact with their natural surroundings allowing us to experience spaces in unique new ways”, says Karin Gustafsson, creative director at COS.

Smith was given near total artistic freedom with ‘Open Sky’ — being handed a brief that simply asked him to create something within the inspiring architectural landscape of Milan. He decided to make the most of the surrounding historic architecture and Italian spring weather conditions, making a faceted mirror installation that comes in at nearly 14-meter diameters. The design reflects a sky in a constant state of flux, meaning that no two visitors will have the same experience.

‘Open Sky’ will be open to the public from 17th — 22nd April 2018.


All images © Lance Gerber