In our January/February issue we examine some very particular interiors: projects created for enlightened clients that blur the boundaries between public and private, bringing the idea of the microcity and gardens of the spirit back into the human habitat, also with a readiness to welcome other scenarios.
One example is the greenhouse-home of Francesco Mutti, designed by Carlo Ratti and Italo Rota, organized around a marvelous 10-meter Ficus as proof that nature can shape and be shaped by construction. We also look at the renovation of a penthouse originally designed by Luigi Caccia Dominioni in Milan, in 1960- 61, now a location for the filming of an international serial, projecting the space into an utterly contemporary narrative.
Like architecture, design too has the power to tell stories, to trigger unexpected relationships, to bring together different places and times. As demonstrated by Patricia Urquiola with a collection of porcelain created in dialogue with the students of Istituto Caselli di Capodimonte: an experiment that mixes crafts and design, while updating the standards of a historic manufactory. On another front, an exhibition recently held at Triennale Milano sheds light on a less notorious side of a remarkable figure like Carlo Mollino, not just a brilliant eccentric but also a designer with a focus on function, workmanship and engineering in his creations.
It is often said that to imagine the future, we have to have deep knowledge of the past, and the ability to reinvent the traditional languages. Such as that of functionalism, by replacing orthogonal lines with curves of organic origin. We will never stop learning and taking inspiration from history. Especially when that history contains all the stimulating cultural richness of Italian design.