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Opening time

Today we are open from 10.30 am to 8.30 pm

Opening time

Today we are open from 10.30 am to 8.30 pm

Triennale Design Museum
Il design italiano

14 APR - 16 SEP 2018

9 Euro
Tuesday - Sunday
10.30 am - 8.30 pm
Triennale Design Museum
The history and stories of Italian design told through 180 iconic twentieth century objects, 5 main themes -  Geography, Communication, Politics, Technology and Economy - and an analysis of the contemporary design scene

The eleventh edition of the Triennale Design Museum tells the story of Italian design by using a whole series of stories, which together illustrate its complex nature.

The display goes in two directions: on the one hand, the story unfolds diachronically, while on the other, five themes are examined in a way that allows design to be interpreted through the lens of other disciplines.

180 works dating from 1902 to 1998 – most of which come from the Permanent Collection of the Triennale Design Museum – have been selected as the most representative of Italian design. The choice is based on their innovative technology and shapes, their aesthetic qualities, experimental nature, iconic appeal, and success among the public. They introduce the debate about which pieces no museum of design should ever be without and which ones can be considered as “icons” – and also if this term is actually appropriate when talking about design.

The materials on show appear in chronological order, covering five periods: 1902-1945, 1946-1963, 1964-1972, 1973-1983, 1984-1998. The decision to keep 1998 as the end of the selection, intentionally leaving out the past two decades, allows scholars to analyse the discipline from a distance, in terms of time and criticism. It also highlights today’s great change in parameters, which makes it difficult to express opinions about a panorama that is still very fluid.

The special thematic areas are those of Politics, curated by Vanni Pasca, Geography and Economics, both curated by Manolo de Giorgi, Technology, curated by Raimonda Riccini, and Communication, curated by Maddalena Dalla Mura.

Power and Forms. When designers do politics focuses on some key moments in the development of Italian design, from the fifth Triennale in 1933 to the economic boom of the 1950s, through to the counter-design of the 1960s and 70s and on to globalisation and world design, which began to take shape in the 1980s. This puts the emphasis on policies developed by designers or by the design system, as opposed to politics as the prerogative of public institutions.

Maps. Shifting Geography looks at the manufacturing districts dotted around Italy and the particular aspects of their local areas, which constitute a unique setting for particular processes and uses of materials.

Stock Market. A carousel of numbers analyses Italian design through the data that refers to it: from sales to royalties, to commercial successes and dismal flops.

From the Transistor to the Moon. Design and Technologies concentrates on the ability of Italian designers and companies to interpret innovation in the field of electronics and experimental materials, turning them into quality products both for mass consumption and for top performance.

Images and Imagery: through photography and magazines shows how the history of Italian design is also the history of the construction, projection, and multiplication of its image, as well as of its dissemination through the media. Here the visitor is taken through magazines and photographs from the 1950s, when an “Italian line” was established, to the 1980s, before the spread of digital images.

The installation at the Museum opens with a reflection, curated by Chiara Alessi, devoted to the Contemporary Design. Pay per Design. The marketplace of design presents a selection of the most interesting experiences, illustrating the huge variety of contemporary Italian design, can be seen in a series of showcases where visitors can experiment with various forms of sale, purchase, distribution, funding, and personalisation applied to design projects in recent years. This is the expression of a movement in which close interaction between processes, experiments, new business models, and new takes on historical approaches acquires greater, more relevant weight than that of individual designers or products alone.

In Pay per Design distribution is also a special fully automated store: 20 products have been specifically designed for this year’s Triennale Design Museum, and they can be bought online until January 20th 2019 at www. and picked up locally by scanning a barcode.

Visiting the museum will be like penetrating a city: this is the metaphor chosen by Calvi Brambilla as a guide for the exhibition design project, because the history of Italian design is an interminable array of experimentation, innovation and reconsiderations and only the urban fabric has a similar level of complexity.

To communicate the stories of Italian design Studio Leonardo Sonnoli designed a series of metaphysical “miniature theatres”, in which, among absolute forms, the objects produced by the greatest Italian designers peep out.




Concept and Direction: Silvana Annicchiarico
Curated by: Chiara Alessi, Maddalena Dalla Mura, Manolo de Giorgi, Vanni Pasca, Raimonda Riccini
Exhibition Design: Calvi Brambilla
Graphic Design: Leonardo Sonnoli


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