Shimadzu Exhibited at Milan Design Week
Visitors from around the World Experience Science Art

Shimadzu Exhibited at Milan Design Week Visitors from around the World Experience Science Art

Shimadzu Corporation exhibited at Milan Design Week 2024 in April, displaying science artwork inspired by its flagship “Chromatography” technology.


Milan Design Week Attracts One Million Visitors

Milan Design Week is the collective name for Milano Salone (Salone del Mobile.Milano), the world’s largest international furniture fair and the Fuorisalone, a set of events that runs concurrently. Both events are held every April in Milan, Italy.

Numerous companies and designers worldwide take part, exhibiting products and creative works that make the most of their respective technologies. This year’s Milano Salone (April 16 to 21) attracted 1,950 exhibitors and over 370,000 visitors. The number of visitors to the Fuorisalone has not been disclosed, but the Milan Design Week as a whole is estimated to attract more than one million visitors.

WONDER POWDER, a Work of Art Based on Science and Technology

WONDER POWDER, a Work of Art Based on Science and Technology

Shimadzu Corporation exhibited a hands-on science artwork inspired by its flagship chromatography technology. The work exhibited is one of the results of a research project of the same name, which Shimadzu and the design studio “we+” (Tokyo, Japan) have been working on since June 2022.

The WONDER POWDER exhibit (video shot in Milan)

WONDER POWDER production process

Each of the 15 water-filled acrylic cases contains powdered metal, rock paints, and natural stones. When the cases are tilted, the different sizes, weights, and shapes of the powders produce different sedimentation speeds, creating a gradation. Some of them were gently rotating, driven by motors, while others could be moved freely by hand. Visitors could look at and enjoy the pieces, either by simply gazing at them or taking videos of them as they moved.


With WONDER POWDER, the powder was analyzed using Shimadzu’s analytical instruments, and Shimadzu Techno-Research, our group company, was responsible for the actual analysis.

Particle size analyzer (SALD)

Using the particle size analyzer (SALD), the size of the grains and their distribution were measured.

Comments from Shimadzu Italy Employee who Supported the Exhibition

Milan Design Week is such a large-scale, international event that saying it needs no explanation is not an exaggeration. The Fuorisalone, where Shimadzu exhibited, is held at various locations throughout Milan. Recently, suburban areas have been redeveloped to allow the hosting of such events. The “Dropcity,” where we exhibited this time is the perfect location because its atmosphere matched the artwork.

The hues that the water and powder created were impressive, and I was almost mesmerized by the beauty of this fusion of nature and technology. One of our Japanese colleagues, who is part of the team that produced the piece, told us there is also a secret in the water. Considering that the mineral composition of the water influences the gradation, water from Tokyo was selected for its properties that are ideal for WONDER POWDER.

Generally, touching the artwork is restricted at exhibitions, but at this exhibition, visitors could touch and “interact” with the artwork. The Wonder Powder celebrates beauty and harmony in total synergy and let us understand that science goes beyond its own borders crossing our everyday life.

Comment from the Person in Charge of WONDER POWDER

The WONDER POWDER research project and our participation in this year’s exhibition were driven by a desire to make Shimadzu and our analytical and measuring technologies known to as many people as possible.

We want to thank the many visitors who came to our booth. Their numbers far exceeded our expectations. We were also honored to have been nominated for a special award (Interaction category) in the Fuorisalone Award 2024 out of more than 1,000 works exhibited at the Fuorisalone.

Although most attendees were not familiar with Shimadzu, we believe this was an excellent opportunity for non-specialists to experience some of the fascinating aspects of analytical and measuring technology. For those already familiar with our company, we believe that they were able to see how analytical and measuring technology can be used in a wide array of applications. We will continue our research and activities to raise awareness of the appeal of science and technology.


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