The Triennale, the Milanese multidisciplinary center for Italian design, architecture, fashion, and visual and performing arts, began its expansion project with the inauguration of the Museo Del Design Italiano (Museum of Italian Design) in new exhibition spaces where the entirety of the 1,600-plus-piece permanent collection can be displayed at once.
The new museum is curated by its director and British architect Joseph Grima, who explained: “Even more than a place where the historical memory of Italian design is preserved and protected, the Museo del Design Italiano aspires to be a place of inspiration, in the most ancient sense of the word ‘museum.’
The most intense and influential forms of inspiration often do not come from inanimate objects but rather from the voices of those who created them, and from the stories behind apparently mundane details that led to decisions of fundamental importance for the history of design. With this in mind, we have decided to include the voices of some of those who created the works on show.” For this reason, visitors can pick up a phone and listen to artists and designers like Paola Antonelli, Antonio Citterio, Michele de Lucchi, Piero Lissoni, and Patricia Urquiola describe their work.
The creative talents called were asked to explain the “cultural conditions to which each creation responded,” providing an interesting auditory complement to the physical object, Grima explains.
Chosen from the Triennale‘s permanent collection, 200 objects are currently on display, sourced from 1946 to 1981 and organized chronologically to “tell the story of 30 years of radical experimentation in which new materials, new techniques, and new aesthetic codes revolutionized the established order within the domestic sphere and beyond.” The objects are supplemented with not-before-exhibited materials from the archives, including photographs, advertising campaigns, and original packaging; as well as, for some pieces, wooden models created by master modeler Giovanni Sacchi.