Museum of Italian Design, an historic inauguration

Simultaneously with the Milanese week dedicated to design, the Milan Triennale inaugurates the Museum of Italian Design: a permanent display of iconic pieces from 1946 to 1981

Conferenza stampa di presentazione, ©Gianluca Di Ioia
Conferenza stampa di presentazione,

The hope is that in twenty years’ time, looking back, we will consider 2019 as an historic year for Italian design. In conjunction with Milan Design Week, Triennale di Milano inaugurates the Museum of Italian Design on 8 April (first day of the Fuorisalone 2019). To use the words of the architect Mario Bellini, member of the Scientific Committee that selected the products in the permanent collection, who spoke at the presentation press conference: “Now we can answer the question that foreigners always ask “Where is the Museum of Italian Design?”.

Joseph Grima, Direttore artistico del Museo del Design italiano, architetto Mario Bellini, Stefano Boeri, Presidente di Triennale Milano
Joseph Grima, Direttore artistico del Museo del Design italiano, architetto Mario Bellini, Stefano Boeri, Presidente di Triennale Milano, ©Gianluca Di Ioia

The artistic direction is entrusted to Joseph Grima who defines the visit to the Museum of Italian Design as a journey through the history of Made in Italy chronologically marked by iconic pieces, made from 1946 to 1981. The products interact with the context in which they were born, through a graphic timeline present on the walls that illustrates the most important facts in Italian and world history. The aim is to favour the simplicity of the presentation, in fact, many designs speak for themselves.

Museo del Design Italiano, ©Gianluca Di Ioia
Museo del Design Italiano, ©Gianluca Di Ioia

An interesting and pleasant aspect of the visit is the direct explanation of the designers (through interviews in repertoires) of various objects through a telephone, taking inspiration from Vico Magistretti‘s statement: “I like conceptual design, the kind that is so clear that you don’t even have to even draw it. I sent many of my designs over the phone”.

Museo del Design Italiano, ©Gianluca Di Ioia
Museo del Design Italiano, ©Gianluca Di Ioia

The exhibition aims at giving maximum emphasis to the works and provides insights into the history and context in which each object was designed, primarily through the display of previously unseen materials from the Triennale Archives: photographs, advertising campaigns, original packaging.

Museo del Design Italiano, ©Gianluca Di Ioia
Museo del Design Italiano, ©Gianluca Di Ioia

The exhibition defined by the organisers of the Museum of Italian Design – Part I, represents the first phase of a larger and longer-term project, supported by Mibac, (the Italian Fine Arts Ministry) and by the other Triennale members and agreed with ADI and Assolombarda, with whom Triennale is setting up an association.
Now the Museum of Italian Design occupies the space of the curve on the ground floor of the Palazzo dell’Arte, on an area of ​​about 1300 square metres where about 200 objects are exhibited.

Museo del Design Italiano, ©Gianluca Di Ioia
Museo del Design Italiano, ©Gianluca Di Ioia

By May 2019 an international design competition will be launched, aimed at expanding the collection and spaces, as well as a reorganisation of the Archives, for a total of 6000 square metres.
The investments are also important: the first part of the work cost about 500 thousand euro, while in the second phase it will be financed by Mibac, for a total of 10 million euro.

Museo del Design Italiano, ©Gianluca Di Ioia
Museo del Design Italiano, ©Gianluca Di Ioia

The exhibition, according to the President of the Triennale Stefano Boeri, does not run the risk of becoming an archaeology museum: “The goal is both to enrich our collection through targeted acquisition policies and new collaborations with archives, companies, schools, universities, museums, and the extension of the Design spaces to the Triennale, in order to make our institution the most important international centre dedicated to Italian Design”.

Museo del Design Italiano, ©Gianluca Di Ioia
Museo del Design Italiano, ©Gianluca Di Ioia

The Scientific Committee brings together some of the leading figures in the world of Italian design and architecture: Paola Antonelli, Mario Bellini, Andrea Branzi, Antonio Citterio, Michele De Lucchi, Piero Lissoni, Claudio Luti, Fabio Novembre, Patricia Urquiola.

Museo del Design Italiano, ©Gianluca Di Ioia
Museo del Design Italiano, ©Gianluca Di Ioia