Mediterranean project

The midsummer issue of Interni focuses on the Mediterranean, the historic muse of design that continues to act as a center of major cultural contaminations. This status is revealed by the initiatives of Palermo Italian Capital of Culture 2018 and Manifesta 12, the nomadic biennial of contemporary art held this year in the Sicilian capital (from 14 June to 4 November 2018).

We take our cue from these important events to set off on a journey that starts in Palermo and takes us on a tour of Sicily. From the history of the island and its unique architectural heritage, we reach projects with a contemporary spirit, but still linked to the character and colors of the island.

Two examples represent the noble past and future of Palermo: Palazzo dei Normanni and Palazzo Butera. The first is a site listed by Unesco, while the second is a true symbol of the city. Both have been carefully restored, bringing back public access to spaces and treasures that were concealed for decades, bearing witness to the commitment of governmental and private institutions to make the Sicilian capital an “artistic attraction and a generator of creativity.”

In the field of design, the Mediterranean prompts reflections on the ‘classical’ roots of Italian style: a very timely theme, as demonstrated by the works of many designers who draw on the imagery of our oldest traditions to investigate their own origins and to express a specific design identity. But the Mediterranean also, and above all, implies multiplicity of languages and values.

 

Photo by Alberto Ferrero

 

In a period of forced migrations, the stimulus this theme transfers to design culture is precisely this: a focus on relationships, contaminations, and integration. The invitation to adopt a new viewpoint in which diversity can become a precious resource.