Tongji's "Fly Me to the Moon" at Milan Design Week 2024

The Milan Design Week 2024 and the 62nd edition of the Salone del Mobile opened to the public in the Rho Fiera Milano spaces from April 16th to 21st. Tongji University was once again official invited to showcase at the SaloneSatellite, while to celebrated its 25th anniversary.

This Tongji Design exhibition is organized by College of Design and Innovation and Shanghai International College of Design and Innovation. With the theme of “Fly Me to the Moon”, the exhibition is curated by Prof. SUN Jie, featuring 27 design works from 107 designers and artists from Tongji University.

As a world-renowned design school, College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University is one of the 22 universities invited to exhibit in the core area. The Tongji exhibition venue is adjacent to that of the Royal College of Art and Rhode Island School of Design. It brings the audience both forward-looking innovative Works and design ideas.


The Fly Me to the Moon exhibition can be visited on-site or via the Internet. The 27 design works are presented in 5 sections, that is Friends, For a Better Life, Dreaming & Reality, Science & Fiction, and Becoming New. The content ranges from romantic imagination to direct expression. Together with the storytelling techniques, the exhibition is presented coherently. It emphasizes that sustainability is a fundamental value to promote creativity and design. It explores the impact of technology, such as digitalization and artificial intelligence, on "future lifestyles" and "social innovation". Meanwhile, it also reflects the global perspective and forward-looking thinking of Tongji design. This exhibition as a whole is a fusion of design thinking and practice, which is creative, sustainable, and visionary.



Prof. LOU Yongqi, Vice president of Tongji University, addressed in the preface, “Imagination and empathy are the most essential parts of creativity, and also the most important parts that should be done by humans in the era of artificial intelligence. ‘Looking up to see the bright moon’ is a motivational quote that prompts us to unleash our imagination and empathy. Fly Me to the Moon is, to learn and create, for a meaningful life and a better world.”  

Dean of College of Design and Innovation at Tongji University, Prof. HU Fei added, “To proactively address to the challenges of deglobalization and emerging technologies, designers should make visible and effective contributions to the sustainable development of the real world.”

As the curator, Prof. SUN Jie described, “ ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ is an evocative and classic song.  In 1969, Apollo 11 took a record of this song to the moon. When it was played on the moon, the sound was sent back to the Earth via an electrical signal. Since then, ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ has taken on new meaning and appeared more frequently in space and science fiction works. Even after half a century, ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ still carries the romantic feelings of several generations and yearning for the future world. I think these seemingly simple yet thought-provoking ideas contributed to the concept of this Tongji exhibition.”

Prof. SUN Jie emphasized that the curatorial concept of the Fly Me to the Moon exhibition can be linked to "transcendental meditation", as it is not only a place for displaying 27 design works, but also an installation work as a whole, or a dramatic immersive artistic space. Visitors to the salon exhibition queue up to enter the designed "space capsule". The Tongji team explored in an original way how design can shape and empower the audience's experience, to provide a profound and effective appreciation experience.


The installation presents a huge golden "space capsule" with a U-shaped structure. It has two entrances to the space. Standing outside, one cannot see the layout of the interior, which arouses great curiosity among viewers about this golden installation. Viewers need to wait in line.  Then the curator guides them through the black hatch. At the same time, viewers are required to wear specially designed space goggles and wristbands, and step into the cabin with bare feet. This preparation will make the viewers isolate themselves from the raucous crowds at the fair.


There is bright cold light inside the cabin, creating a strong contrast with the dim warm light outside. The interior ground is designed to be air charging device that is elastic, and viewers will subconsciously feel an inexplicable sense of "weightlessness" and "time and space travel". The space also plays recordings of the real universe. All these sensory design makes the viewers feel as if they were in a cabin in outer space, completely "isolated" from the external environment. They can independently wear headphones to enjoy the design works "from Earth" on the wall. The Fly Me to the Moon exhibition creates a completely refreshing viewing experience in a limited space of 30 square meters from the four emotional design perspectives of vision, hearing, touch, and taste. It shows the curators and designers' thinking and aesthetics.


Visitors in Italy reported that the immersive installation of the Fly Me to the Moon had something in common with other impressive exhibitions at Milan Design Week. That is, it would get into your mind, allowing you to remember your viewing experience inside this "spacecraft" even after watching thousands of exhibitions.

Known as the 'Olympics' in the global design industry, Milan Design Week 2024 created a stunning collision between art and design, which was undoubtedly the most attention-grabbing design festival this April. Cutting-edge designs and classic works from all over the world gathered in Milan, a city that combines classical and modern elements. Under the theme “Where Design Evolves”, Milan Design Week 2024 is to explore the artistic creation of true emotion and sustainable life through evolution and innovation, and to seek harmony with nature in design details. It advocates a human-centered, sustainable lifestyle and technology development along with unique and engaging experiences.



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