The force of storytelling is a motor that cannot be overlooked. It is the energy that makes you climb on board a book, and when you disembark something has changed. Antonella Galli and Pierluigi Masini have not simply written a “book on design,” and they have not chosen an easy path, replicating already familiar scripts: they have entered 14 worlds and plunged deeply into them, getting swept away by the “here and now” without losing sight of literary goals.
Two very different styles (Antonella is a middle distance runner, Pierluigi a sprinter by nature), which combine in a very natural way. The almost total absence of superlatives makes for a balanced but fully engaged flow. The before of every story (profound, sentimental, authentic and genuine) and the after (a snapshot to hang in one’s own display case), the first and last pieces of an ideal puzzle.
Reading these 14 diaries (seven each) is like a slow-motion slalom, like observing characters and places in a stop-action parade, relentlessly progressing to take in every angle, every gaze and memory.
The destinations are narrated by starting with a moment of “preparation,” almost a liturgy, because the gods of design (in this case Castiglioni and Magistretti) cannot be simplified with a mere trip through their spaces from the past; because the design museums (Triennale Milano, ADI and CSAC – a real discovery) should be treated with good manners; because today no one talks about the Hotel Parco dei Principi in Sorrento anymore (1961, the year zero of the modern era of hospitality); because companies (apologies to the others, but we have to mention the story of Lamborghini) should be examined with an eye on their hidden aspects. In short, because Antonella and Pierluigi tell the stories of these 14 worlds, calling their own perceptions into play.
Some may look askance at the Ode to Plastic dedicated to Kartell, and others may disagree with the approach to the MAXXI museum in Rome. But one of the great added values of these 300 pages lies in the force of the narration: a factor that is a problem for many companies, which always have to somehow repeat the same things (starting with the concept of “Made in Italy”).
This book brings out a lively way of discussing, even in great depth, also probing into what are apparently less important areas. Because beyond appearances, beyond the too well known, there is a whole world, which Antonella and Pierluigi have made available to all. Just start reading!