For this years Salone, Abet Laminati paid homage to the Mendini Brothers atelier with an exhibition dedicated to all their collaborations (spanning 50 years), even those that have never been seen before.
The two companies have collaborated almost 26 time, from which the results have often made history. 26 wooden models, 13 drawings, photographs and videos tell the long design path of the Mendini brothers and of their Atelier.
On display are wooden models and faithful reproductions where colour and an exceptional variety of shapes and functions are visually striking. Institutional buildings, museums and boats can all be viewed until May 6.
Some of these projects have only been viewed to insiders, as they were conceived as tenders and international competitions, or because they were designed for temporary exhibitions, and now finally decades later can be seen by the public.
The review includes a collection of the substantial production of theoretical writings by Mendini, who, thanks to the passionate work of Peter Weiss and the authoritative interventions of Stefano Boeri (President of the Triennale) and Aldo Colonetti (curator of the exhibition), give the atelier the status that deserves.
A distinctive model on display, which forms an important place in Milanese culture and art is the PAC, a pavilion designed in 1982 for Alcantara. The design is extremely distinctive to the Atelier Mendini.
An eye catching piece is the Universal Museum from 1987, for this project Alessandro Mendini collaborated with the Alchimia group of Alessandro Guerriero, Giorgio Gregori and Bruno Gregory.
From 1989 is the Paradise Tower of Hiroshima, a star that returns from the Earth to the sky, a symbol of rebirth for a city that could look to the future.
A 1993 proposal for the Piazza Belvedere in Moleto, sees a staircase that goes beyond three city walls and from that a star labyrinth ascends towards a golden conical obelisk (a common element seen in their architecture)
These colorful boats were first proposed in Fincantieri in 2009, as well as the Museum and Fashion School designed in 2006 with a capable team including Giovanna Molteni and Frans Haks.
Some of Mendini’s very famous and realised projects have also been represented including the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands built in 1994.
About Alessandro Mendini and Francesco Mendini
Alessandro Mendini is an Italian architect, designer, painter, journalist, critic and theorist of architecture and design, founder of theories and concepts concerning postmodern design, banal design and re-design. Protagonist of many cultural events in Italy in the seventies, he founded and joined movements and research groups such as Global Tools (in 1973) and Alchimia (in 1979).
Founder and Director of some design magazines (Modo 1977 – 1979 and Ollo from 1988), he also directed two important Italian architecture magazines (Casabella 1970 – 1976 and Domus 1979 -1985).
In 1989, together with his brother Francesco, he founded Atelier Mendini in Milan: a studio that designs objects, furniture, installations, interiors, paintings, architectures, collaborates with international companies and is a consultant for various industries in Europe and in the Far East.
Numerous writings as numerous awards and recognitions. For the value of his work, architect Mendini was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in France, he received the Golden Compass for Career, the honor of the Architectural League (New York, 1983), The European Prize for Architecture in 2014 and, among others, the Laurea Honoris Causa at the Milan Polytechnic.
An intellectual. An artist-pioneer who has been able to continue over the years a disruptive message of innovation and irony, both in the industrial world and in the craftsman and in self-production: in a word, a master of Italian design.
Francesco Mendini was born in Milan, Italy in 1939. He started his career with Rizzoli Associates. Francesco Mendini focuses primarily on industrialization and engineering in construction. He is a consultant to different building research bureaus and the National Research Council in Italy.
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.