Discovering Design

Hey world, I’m back in town, literally. I’ve been quite busy over the last week because I moved back to England and I have started classes on Monday. Pretty tough. Being back at uni is a weird sensation: it means summer is officially over, winter is coming and I will have to start caring about my future again. SO STRESSFUL. However, before coming back to the north, I had a lovely week with my family and friends and I took the opportunity to visit a quite new museum: the Museo del Design in Via Borsi 9, Milan. So, in this post I want to briefly talk you through this beautiful experience I made. Let’s start.

I discovered the existence of this museum when I got lost (my boyfriend is actually to blame) around the area of the Navigli one hot afternoon of August. I saw a glass construction and I was intrigued by it; I looked around and I saw signs reading “Museo del Design 1880-1980”. Amazing, I thought! Finally a proper museum dedicated only to a fairly new art: design. I have to be honest with you: I don’t know much about design, but I have always been interested in it. So one of the last days I was home I went there with my mum to have a look around and enjoy a relaxing sunny day.

The Museo of Design offers a collection wanted by Raffaello Biagetti, a previous painter very interested in design in period when design was not even a thing. Biagetti, with the help of Giovanni Klaus Koenig, Filippo Alison and Giuseppe Chigiotti, created an amazing collection in 1988, involving many famous designers such as Gae Aulenti. The museum first opened in Ravenna but mainly because of its hidden location it didn’t get much notice; then last year the collection was brought to Milan for the Salone del Mobile and it became a permanent collection in summer 2015 with its personal museum. The collection has more than 130 pieces realized by the most prominent designers of the time, starting its journey from the Art Nouveau with Mackintosh and Thonet until the second postwar with mainly Italian designers.

The museum is  very well-designed (well, it couldn’t be otherwise): the space is not too big and the pieces are set in a well-organized manner on black stands. The atmosphere  is modern with a little touch of vintage in the appearance of some design elements, which have been used and consumed by the owners. Among the pieces I liked the most there is the chair “Midway” realized by Van Der Rohe in steel and textile, the Cradle designed by Peter Keler who was a representative of the Bauhaus movement and the super famous armchair by Alessandro Mendini which was one the first to be all decorated by hand.

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It is very interesting to look around the museum: I actually realized how innovative these pieces were for the time they came out and how many ideas are still used today in our modern concepts of design. Also the use of specific techniques, materials or simply shapes is something that was completely different from the style that dominated society until the end of the 19th century. I know design might sound simply part of everyday life, but I do really recommend you to go and visit the museum because it is an experience that will make you think about the changes in history and society. You will then probably need to search for some background information about the artists and the pieces they invented (I had to do it), but it is surely very stimulating to get to know more about our own heritage and creative opportunities. So have a stroll around and enjoy the beauty of design.

Address: Giosuè Borsi, 9 Milano

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Have a lovely weekend,

Giulia

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