Storie is the exhibition at the Triennale di Milano that explores the history and stories of Italian design told through 180 iconic twentieth century objects. The 5 themes being Geography, Communication, Politics, Technology and Economy – and an analysis of the contemporary design scene.
180 works spanning the years of 1902 to 1998 – most of which come from the Permanent Collection of the Triennale Design Museum – have been selected as the most representative of Italian design. The choice is based on their innovative technology and shapes, their aesthetic qualities, experimental nature, iconic appeal, and success among the public.
They introduce the debate about which pieces no museum of design should ever be without and which ones can be considered as “icons” – and also if this term is actually appropriate when talking about design.
The special thematic areas are those of Politics, curated by Vanni Pasca, Geography and Economics, both curated by Manolo de Giorgi, Technology, curated by Raimonda Riccini, and Communication, curated by Maddalena Dalla Mura.
Power and Forms. When designers do politics focuses on some key moments in the development of Italian design, from the fifth Triennale in 1933 to the economic boom of the 1950s, through to the counter-design of the 1960s and 70s and on to globalisation and world design, which began to take shape in the 1980s. This puts the emphasis on policies developed by designers or by the design system, as opposed to politics as the prerogative of public institutions.
Maps. Shifting Geography looks at the manufacturing districts dotted around Italy and the particular aspects of their local areas, which constitute a unique setting for particular processes and uses of materials.
Stock Market. A carousel of numbers analyses Italian design through the data that refers to it: from sales to royalties, to commercial successes and dismal flops.
From the Transistor to the Moon. Design and Technologies concentrates on the ability of Italian designers and companies to interpret innovation in the field of electronics and experimental materials, turning them into quality products both for mass consumption and for top performance.
Images and Imagery: through photography and magazines shows how the history of Italian design is also the history of the construction, projection, and multiplication of its image, as well as of its dissemination through the media. Here the visitor is taken through magazines and photographs from the 1950s, when an “Italian line” was established, to the 1980s, before the spread of digital images.
The marketplace of design presents a selection of the most interesting experiences, illustrating the huge variety of contemporary Italian design, can be seen in a series of showcases where visitors can experiment with various forms of sale, purchase, distribution, funding, and personalisation applied to design projects in recent years.
This is the expression of a movement in which close interaction between processes, experiments, new business models, and new takes on historical approaches acquires greater, more relevant weight than that of individual designers or products alone.
About the Triennale di Milano
The Triennale di Milano is a design and art museum in the Parco Sempione in Milan, in Lombardy in northern Italy. It is housed in the Palazzo dell’Arte, which was designed by Giovanni Muzio and built between 1931 and 1933; construction was financed by Antonio Bernocchi and his brothers Andrea and Michele.
The Milan Triennial, an international exhibition of art and design, was held at the museum thirteen times between 1936 and 1996 and – after a break of twenty years – again in 2016.
A permanent museum of Italian design, the Trienniale Design Museum, was opened in 2007.