Ian Ritchie Architects

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Notes on a Monument, 1998/1999

The optical fibre cable in the foreground has the equivalent information-carrying capacity of the copper cable in the background. Optical fibres are dielectric. I.e. it is an insulating material and non-conductive The dielectric nature of optical fibre can eliminate the dangers found in areas of high lightning-strike incidence.

Alba di Milano draws her symbolism from Milan’s weaving and industrial design qualities,
and attempts to humanise the Piazza Duca D’Aosta.

Alba di Milano is visible during the day as a transparent cloth,
her changing light is scintillating at night, her curved form concentrating the emitted light.
She springs like the water from the ground conducting the wavelengths of visible light.
She is light that bends, and she moves gently in the wind.
She is a sunshade and she humanises the Piazza .

Alba di Milano is an image which conveys the idea of the hand of the weaver, the
designer, the screen world and the deluge of information we have to live with today.
Her underlying metaphors are made manifest .

She is made from randomly fractured optical glass fibre, 40 fibres encased in each
transparent sheath and woven with a fine stainless steel wire weft to produce a unique light
emitting fabric.

Alba di Milano reflects the spirit of our age in which light is image, material and the
information carrier of the 21st century.
The photonic age is here, and through optical communications and lasers, the synthesis of
telephone, television and computer is imminent.

Alba di Milano is unique.
We have synthesised optical glass fibre, one of the most perfect solids ever manufactured,
with poetry of intent to give Milan an icon at the dawn of the third millennium.