Design. The Syndrome of Influence
Triennale Design Museum
6 APR 2013 - 23 FEB 2014
Design contributions of a variety of origins are detached from their original settings and subjected to unexpected processes. New, imaginative spaces are created out of an “erroneous” but creative interpretation of precedent. This is where the “syndrome of influence” comes into action: it is made possible by the ability of each visual language to act upon any other, in a never-ending process. In order to convey the complexity of this phenomenon, the sixth edition of the museum is arranged in three parts, corresponding to three areas of the display and three moments of the story, which is told from the post-war period through to the present. This is a choral, polyphonic tale involving 22 Italian and international designers who have created highly original site-specific installations. First part: The Invention of Italian Design The first part presents ten installations devoted to the masters of the “golden age” of Italian design. The installations are the work of contemporary designers and each one is dedicated to a master of the 1950s and 1960s and to their artistic sensitivities, inquisitiveness, sources of inspiration, travels and encounters. They thus take us back to the origins of a journey that turned Italian design into the international cultural phenomenon that we have come to know so well. It is also a particular way of interpreting the approach adopted by these architect-designers who escaped from a climate of cultural autarky in post-war Italy and entered into new areas of experimentation and new formal research, introducing a multidisciplinary approach and a new trust in modern architecture. The ten rooms: Blumerandfriends / Marco Zanuso Paolo Ulian / Vico Magistretti Lorenzo Damiani / Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni Formafantasma / Roberto Sambonet Sonia Calzoni / Carlo Scarpa Alessandro Scandurra / Ettore Sottsass Matilde Cassani, Francesco Librizzi / Bruno Munari Martino Gamper / Gio Ponti Marco Ferreri / Franco Albini Italo Rota / Joe Colombo Second part: Creative Destruction The installations devoted to the heritage of the post-war masters is followed by an oral account of the events in the subsequent period, in most cases by those who were there at the time. In this section, the theme of memory is replaced by that of heritage. Here the installation uses a play of mirrors to multiply the objects and the screens with the interviews, which give an idea of the world of design after the 1960s. The aim is to illustrate the context of the cultural and political-economic transformations that shook the elitist post-war circles and the figure of the designer in his special relationship with a particular system of production and symbolism. This crisis that rocked the “system” affected many aspects, leading to new forms of behaviour as well as to innovative responses from industry. Italian Design became a component of the emerging “Made in Italy” label. Here we see the transition between the two periods of design, also evoking the “creative destruction” from which, surprisingly, innovative content emerged, along with the situations that come to the fore in the third part. Interviews: Alessandro Mendini, Enzo Mari, Mario Bellini, Paolo Deganello, Paolo Rizzatto, Ernesto Gismondi, Alberto Alessi, Claudio Luti, Franco Raggi, Vanni Pasca, Joseph Grima and Giulio Iacchetti. Third part: A New World The third part shows how the new design brands found their place in the world of the “Made in Italy” label. The installations are designed to illustrate the philosophy of the leading brands, the way they establish their production strategies and how they choose their corporate image and their designers. The inquisitiveness and the sense of adventure we find in the designers of the 1950s and ’60s are now transferred to these organisations in a sort of reversed approach, which aims to examine the inner workings of Italian design at the point of convergence of all the different aspects that led to it. The ten showcases: Alessandro Mendini / Alessi Margherita Palli / Artemide Antonio Citterio / B&B Italia Mario Bellini / Cassina Matali Crasset / Danese Miki Astori / Driade Ron Gilad / Flos Ferruccio Laviani / Kartell Paolo Rizzatto / Luceplan Matteo Vercelloni / Magis Patricia Urquiola / Moroso Pierluigi Cerri / Unifor After answering the question “What is Italian Design?” with The Seven Obsessions of Italian Design, Series, Off Series, The Things We Are, Dream Factories and TDM5: Italian Graphics, Triennale Design Museum, the first museum of Italian design, has reasserted its dynamism and its capacity for constant renovation, offering the visitor a whole series of new, original journeys. An exciting, intriguing museum. A living, ever-evolving organism with an innovative formula that each year manages to ask probing questions without ever giving set answers.
Director Silvana Annicchiarico
Scientific curator Pierluigi Nicolin
Exhibition design Studio Cerri & Associati
Catalogue Corraini Edizioni