It has been design week in Milano.
The Salone del Mobile is the most important event the city hosts during the year.
The energy and vitality of the Salone becomes a point of reference for the world of design and adds to the excitement here as so many interesting people arrive for this ongoing series of events throughout the city; and always presentations of new works to visit and new re-editions to see. In the book on my desk you can see a photograph of Ettore Sottsass, Enzo Mari, Andrea Branzi, Alessandro Mendini, and Vico Magistretti – the gods of design all gathered together! The picture is by Ramak Fazel.

Re-editions are a dream when something of beauty is again able to be seen.
Molteni & Co. made re-editions of a few Giò Ponti pieces – a chair, a bookshelf, a table, and some frames, but this rug from1954, seen here, is a must.
A design object of desire.

Opening at the Novecento Museum, is an exhibition dedicated to Bruno Munari
– with works from the Association Jaqueline Vodoz and Bruno Danese. It is there until September and should be seen. Munari was an artist, designer, and inventor. We have been dedicating a table to him in our bookshop since day number one, and his works always attract much attention. While he started by following Marinetti and the Futurist movement, he later dissociated for political reasons. He dedicated many years to graphic design and children books. Here, “Struttura continua” made for Danese
in 1961 in nickel silver.

 Here, a rare block sculpture of Enzo Mari for Danese,1959. Made of transparent polyester resin, it contains elements that give an amazing optical cinematic effect. Mari was constantly researching and experimenting. He is a living treasure of Italian design.

 There is a book I cherish – Marcello Nizzoli by Germano Celant. Nizzoli was an industrial and graphic designer, architect, and an important figure in Italian design from the 20’s through the 60’s made famous by his works for Olivetti and poster campaigns for Bitter, and Campari. Here, three beautiful objects at MoMA, letter openers
in melamine resin from 1959.

The moon in a room: this lighting fixture of Vico Magistretti for Artemide is in the history of design. A single hemisphere repeated three times, from full moon to full eclipse, designed in 1966; the name is of course “Eclisse”.

The exhibition at the Triennale this year is perhaps the most important statement on Italian design presented in a single space. “Italian design beyond crisis – Autocracy, Austerity, Automation”. It is a review of the history of Italian design from the 30’s to today. As architect Beppe Finessi quoted in his forward, “necessity is the mother of invention” and surely Italian design is well represented in this show of over 600 works. Here, a drawing by Mendini from the beautiful exhibition catalogue.


This is more than a mirror. This is the only mirror I have always wanted.
Ettore knew light reveals beauty. A new and comprehensive retrospective of Sottsass’ work is soon to be published by Phaidon. Soon here too.


Posted on: Sunday, April 13th, 2014

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