Island Empire. A Mining Museum in Rio Marina, Elba

Giulia Novati, Alessandro Pasero

Giulia Novati (Milan, 1990) studied at Politecnico di Milano and TU Munich. In 2015 and 2016 she worked in Berlin at FAR Frohn&Rojas focusing on interior and exhibit design. Since 2017 she works with Cino Zucchi Architetti and collaborates with various professionals on private works. She is a teaching assistant in the Interior Design Studio at Politecnico di Milano.

Alessandro Pasero (Rome, 1997) studied at Politecnico di Milano and KU Leuven. He currently collaborates with the architectural office Salottobuono and is working on his master thesis (at Politecnico di Milano) investigating the theme of ephemeral architecture in the context of the contemporary city

Elba has a geological, mineralogical and historical-mining heritage of inestimable value. Thanks to its rocks, it has been possible to understand the geological evolution of the Mediterranean basin, while the study of its minerals has been crucial for advancements in mineralogical sciences.

But it is for its iron deposits that the island has been known since ancient times. The iron deposits on the island are, in fact, among the oldest in the world and the most important in Italy, and have played a role of primary importance from an economic, scientific and cultural point of view, especially for the eastern coast of the island that, throughout four millennia, has been almost exclusively devoted to mining.

This activity inevitably affected both the appearance of the landscape, transforming it into an artificial landscape, and the development of the area around the small village of Rio Marina.

Island Empire investigates the many aspects that have contributed over time to build the imagery and identity of this landscape and unveils them through an interior design project.

The collective memory connected to these places is thus told through a series of archival documents - historical cartography, devices and work tools, minerals and extracted rocks - and unpublished materials that can exhibit a narrative that is still unexpressed.

Island Empire is a project that refuses to accept locality as touristic entertainment but rather becomes a tool to support a specific landscape and its need for representation.

Island Empire accepts the challenge of presenting an undisclosed territory by investigating the relationship between landscape, nature and material culture and the relationships between objects and tradition.

 Assume There’s a Landscape is a collective work investigating the non-urban realm                Assume There’s a Landscape is a collective work investigating the non-urban realm                 Assume There’s a Landscape is a collective work investigating the non-urban realm