210408: Design Museum Milan

Design Museum Milan Divine design, deficient presentation The location of Milan’s Design Museum is ideal. In the past years the renovated Palazzo Triennale has developed into an active cultural centre. Not only architecture-, design-, and photo exhibits as well as symposiums, book presentations, and seminars take place at the Palazzo, but it also accommodates a documentation centre as well as an extremely well assorted bookshop offering a fabulous choice of books on architecture, design and fine arts (probably the best in town). And to top the pleasantries of a visit off, you can enjoy a great dinner and a view over the Sempione Park. The choice of works of the first presentation, to be seen until 2009, is however less satisfactory. In Italy’s capital of creativity and productivity, the abundance of ideas and products, which have significantly influenced the development of international design is amazing and seemingly endless, while the space in the new museum is, however, limited. And the main impression left by this presentation is that the main Italian design products are chairs. Admittedly they are important, but since the majority of the space available is filled with chairs, other design categories seem neglected. Nevertheless, one can admire numerous examples of significant Italian design; and their impact is described by the motto printed on one of the museum’s walls: “Italian design creates what the market and the society is not yet acquainted with, but what they could become fond of”. Among these works are Giacomo Balla’s colourful vest made in 1924, making the close connection to Missoni obvious, the legendary “Vespa” (Corradion d’Ascanio, 1946), which accompanied Italy’s economic recovery after World War II, the portable featherweight Olivetti typewriter “Lettera 22” 1950, which excited Bert Brecht during his visit to Milan in February1956, the foldable and transparent plastic chair “Plia” (Giancarlo Pirretti for Castelli, 1968), the essential lamp “Parentesi” by Chille Castiglioni and Pio Manzú (1970), the Illy coffee cups by Matteo Thun (1980), and the anthropomorphic book shelf “Carlton” by Ettore Sottsass (1981 for Memphis). Employing LED-monitors to replace normal lettering, however, went totally amiss: the small signs offer information about so many different pieces of art that you are forced to wait patiently until the description of the piece your are actually interested in finally appears. DESIGN MUSEUM Palazzo della Triennale Vaile Alumina 6 Milan www.triennale.it

Triennale Bovisa
20156 Milano, Via Lambruschini 31
Tel: 02-36577801

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