De Signo – Before and After Leonardo @ Salone Milan 2019

De Signo – Before and After Leonardo @ Salone Milan 2019

DE-SIGNO . The culture of Italian design before and after Leonardo

To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo, the Salone del Mobile.Milano is paying homage to the eclectic Italian Renaissance genius not just in the city but also at the fairgrounds, with an installation that celebrates his work and especially his legacy to the art of design and savoir-faire, in Pavilion 24

DE-SIGNO is an immersive installation that marries the languages of film and theatrical scenography in an inclusive and exciting way.

Conceived by Davide Rampello and designed by the architect Alessandro Colombo, the installation occupies a 400 square metre space.

It houses a show of images and music illustrating Leonardo’s approach to design and the industriousness of the Renaissance workshops and laboratories as related to the savoir-faire and design of contemporary design companies: all under the Italian banner of the art of beauty.

It is characterised by a monumental set, dominated by two portals made entirely by hand by master sculptors and painters and inspired by original drawings and original studies by Bramante, the most prestigious architect in Milan during Leonardo’s time.

The theatrical set is counterbalanced by 4 cinema-sized screens enveloping visitors in a show of music and images, narrated by the inimitable voice of Italian cinema and theatre actor and cinematographer, Diego Abatantuono.

Inside, two theatre stages standing facing each other depict perspectival studies of ideal Renaissance cities, Florence and Milan respectively.

They are framed by a colonnade of corner pilasters and vegetal festoons in bas-relief running right along the octagonal inner perimeter of the structure, reminiscent of the decorative patterns in the Sala delle Asse at the Sforzesco Castle.


Creative and Executive Production Davide Rampello & Partners
Curated by Davide Rampello
Architectural Project – Alessandro Colombo
Project Manager – Tania Di Bernardo
Set Design – Mekane
Light Design – Aldo Solbiati
Sound Design & Soundtrack – Alessandro Linzitto
Video Content & Editing – Natia Docufilm




About David Rampello

University professor, cultural adviser and manager for national and international institutions, artistic director and curator, Davide Rampello has started his career in RAI Italian National TV during the 70’s as historical researcher, author and then director of cultural programmes and tv director.

From 1992 to 1994 he worked as artistic director of the Carnival of Venice and during the 90’s he was the curator of important art exhibitions that took place in locations such as the Biennale and the Galleria dell’Accademia in Venice or the Diamanti Palace in Ferrara.

From 2002 to 2003 he worked has head of communication, promotion and cultural events of the Teatro Massimo in Palermo and he was the artistic director of the Municipality of Palermo until 2006.

In the academic field, he has been professor of “Theories and techniques for the promotion of the image” at the Literature and Philosophy Department of the University of Padua (1999- 2004) and at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan (2004-2006).

From 2004 to 2013 he was professor of “Promotion of image, cultural and art event organization” at the IULM University in Milan.

He has been the President of the Triennale art foundation in Milan from 2003 to 2012, almost ten years in which he relaunched and renewed the image and the activities of this Milan institution at a global level.

In 2010 he was the curator of the Italian Pavilion at the Expo 2010 in Shanghai with an exhibition entitled “The City of man. Living the Italian way” and in 2011 he also curated the exhibition “Tradition and Innovation” at the same Pavilion which, after the Expo, has become a permanent venue for the promotion of Italy in China.

From 2011 to 2015 he was the artistic director of the Carnival of Venice,

From 2012 to 2015 he was the creator and the curator of Pavilion Zero at Expo Milan 2015.

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