Opened in 2019, the Museo del Design Italiano is located in the curved space on the ground floor of the Palazzo dell’Arte – seat of Triennale Milano –, a space of about 1,300 square meters.
The Museo shows about 200 objects, selected from the 1,600 items in the Triennale Collection. The exhibition spans from 1946 to 1981.
The objects on display tell the story of thirty 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 in chronological order, with corresponding information about the history of each one and the context in which it was designed, with many previously unexhibited materials from the Triennale Archives, including photographs, advertising campaigns, and original packagings.
In some cases, items are shown together with the wooden models made by master modelmaker Giovanni Sacchi – on loan to Triennale Milano from Lombardy Region – to illustrate the evolution of the design, from the study and development stage through to its creation and production.
The path includes the voices of some of those who created the works on show. They have been asked to explain, in a simple, direct manner, the cultural conditions to which each creation responded, and what it was that gave rise to their objects.
Some objects are accompanied by telephone interviews with their authors. It is a kind of homage to the designer and architect Vico Magistretti, who once said: “I like concept design, the kind which is so clear you do not need to draw it. I have passed on plenty of my projects over the phone.”