Postwar Italian Design was influenced by shortages and cost considerations that encouraged Italian designers to think of design as a vehicle for social change. You get to see objects from design powerhouses like Patricia Urquiola and Gae Aulenti along with ambitious and sometimes eccentric works from relatively ignored Italian designers of the past—the presentation intentionally presents no hierarchy between the two groups, again for the purpose of highlighting ideas as opposed to names and singular authorship.
Work from big female names in design – such as the recently passed Zaha Hadid , Gae Aulenti, Gabriella Crespi, Patricia Urquiola and Elsa Peretti – are all represented and mix easily with now anonymous talents. As for the Triennale itself, the design museum is packed with programming associated with the Esposizione Internazionale, as well as single-themed exhibits of note. I think we have to move back to the origins of Italian design in the 50s and 60s – doing beautiful and useful objects. The style was extremely provokative and kitsch and it became in a few time the guiding style of the new Italian design.
Moroso has produced some of the most iconic chairs of recent years – such as design legend Patricia Urquiola’s Smock (as seen in the lobby of Melbourne’s Crown Metropol) and super-sexy leather Fjord; Supernatural (the cute little alien by British designer Ross Lovegrove is one of the most-copied cafe chairs); and Tord Boontje’s psychedelic and curvy Shadowy.
We are interested in design practices that are accessible and visible in space and time. At my first Milan Design Week in 2007, I was mesmerised by an installation – commissioned by Moroso – by Tokujin Yoshioka, where thousands of waxed drinking straws created a dream-like cloudscape. Aside from Urquiola, Moroso has championed design celebutantes such as Dutch maestro Marcel Wanders, Japan’s Nendo and London-based duo Doshi Levien.
As Jonathan Martin, International Directory of Company Histories once said: A preoccupation with design developed into a comprehensive corporate philosophy, which embraced everything from the shape of a space bar to the color scheme for an advertising poster.