Museum design is the focus of the architectural projects featured in this issue, with Mario Cucinella Architects in Milan, David Chipperfield Architects Milano in Rome, and Ramos Castellano Arquitectos in Cape Verde. This is a challenging theme, because it involves rediscovery of important stories from the past, updating them in the present with captivating narration. A face-off between containers and their contents, with spatial solutions that are surprising in their specificities. The various projects stimulate us to think about our roots, the evolution of our cities, the future that will originate from the extraordinary accomplishments of the civilizations that came before it.
These thoughts are also shared by the projects of various designers, like Fabio Novembre, Roberto Sironi, India Mahdavi, Luke Edward Hall, who draw on classical Greek-Roman imagery - columns, busts, mosaics and ruins - to create furnishings and objects with a personal interpretation. The signs of the past and the references to the ancient world give rise to an aesthetic language that rediscovers the pleasure and value of connection with history. We might talk about neo-neoclassicism; but actually the approach is much more radical than it is nostalgic. It is the desire to interpret the contemporary world through the reference points of Mediterranean culture, often in a provocative way.
The idea of modernity
A formula - that of provocation - that Italian design has always applied, ever since the days of its remarkable rise to prominence. All this comes back to light in our portrait of Dino Gavina, for the centenary of his birth. An enlightened entrepreneur, he was the first to grasp the fact that to get beyond Rationalism we would have to bring the lessons of the masters into the present, and make them our own. And that to free furnishings from the form-function mechanism, it would be necessary to graft the language of art onto industrial production. Gavina taught us that the idea of modernity is not immutable, but continues to be redesigned and reinterpreted, time after time.