In the season which, together with spring, brings designers, architects and international visitors to the Salone del Mobile and the Fuorisalone to Milan, five titles (including new releases and a reprint) to keep with you so as not to lose your bearings among the many stimuli, appointments and new suggestions

For this "spring" column, it is impossible not to start from the catalog (already in bookstores for a few weeks) of a beautiful exhibition on the design of Olivetti which debuts on April 13th in Cesano Maderno, precisely on the occasion of the Salone of Mobile.

The journey through the most interesting titles of this month continues with a book that tells well how the entry of women into architecture studios has created new (and stimulating) relational and creative geometries and with a volume- box set dedicated to the history of products awarded with the Compasso d'Oro created in the cradle of two industrious provinces such as Bergamo and Brescia.

Finally, to return to architecture, a book homage to the genius of three architects such as Gardella, Vietti and the lesser-known Menghi and a reflection on how museums and exhibition spaces will change.

1. Olivetti. Stories of a collection, curated by Sergio Polano and Alessandro Santero (Ronzani editore, 50 euros)

We begin our selection of titles with the reprint of a book released a few months ago and which, on the occasion of the Salone del Mobile in Milan, is transformed into the catalog of the exhibition of the same name "Olivetti. Stories of a collection” which, from 13 April to 2 June, will be open to the public at Palazzo Arese Borromeo in Cesano Maderno .

«We must do things well and make it known», said Adriano Olivetti. And the book, together with the exhibition, tells how many things Olivetti has managed to do well in the fields of design, communication, graphics and advertising.

Enriched by over 500 images, the book retraces the most significant graphic and advertising materials created in the approximately ninety years of Olivetti's history through projects, drawings, posters, brochures, letterheads, books and manuals to which names such as Marcello Nizzoli, Luigi Figini and Gino Pollini, Ettore Sottsass, Carlo Scarpa, Bruno Munari, Erberto Carboni, Giovanni Pintori, Albe Steiner and Walter Ballmer contributed.

Who will like it Graphic designers and designers but also fans of the "humanistic utopia" represented by Adriano Olivetti, capable of involving the best cultural energies of the country in business strategies.

2. Good News. Women in architecture, curated by Pippo Ciorra, Elena Motisi and Elena Tinacci (Marsilio Arte, 28 euros).

This book takes a good snapshot of the change that is taking place in the world of architecture and retraces the history of the organization of architectural studios starting from the last century, describing well the transformations that have occurred thanks to the entry into the ateliers of couples, collectives and - in an increasingly strong and authoritative way - of women.

A book which, in recent days, during the Italian Design Day in Athens has also become an exhibition (Women Changing Architecture, in collaboration with the MAXXI of Rome) and which, chapter after chapter, presents the protagonists and their stories from the point of view of the architectural quality that distinguishes them.

Both for the diversity of context and for the variety of professional geometries: designers leading large studios who work alone, collaborate with other women or with a partner, members of collectives or active in the most diverse political and cultural realities.

Who will like it Those curious about the history of architecture who want to understand how - from the twentieth-century pyramid with one (or more) men at the top of a studio - we have arrived at a plurality of "professional geometries" that , even in architecture, today allows us to address the gender issue.

3. The thinking factories - Stories of Compassi d'Oro from Bergamo to Brescia, edited by Davide Pagliarini (Tumulti editions, 38 euros).

380 pages to tell the business stories of Bergamo and Brescia awarded with the Compasso d'Oro: 32 products to which a 33rd prize is added: that for the symbol of the Lombardy Region, designed by Bob Noorda, Roberto Sambonet, Pino Tovaglia and Bruno Munari.

After the success of the Future Of exhibition, which ended in autumn at the Palazzo della Ragione in Bergamo, the Thinking Factories project completes the journey with the release of a volume in a box set and a podcast on the stories of the 33 winners of the Compasso d'Oro produced between Bergamo and Brescia.

Designed by DimoreDesign, with the patronage of ADI-Associazione per il Disegno Industriale, and curated by the architect and photographer Davide Pagliarini, the volume tells the story of the awarded objects through images, insights and interviews with the protagonists. And, in doing so, it traces some of the productive excellences of our country, from leisure to travel, from mobility to catering, from industrial and mechatronic production to school education and health, from furniture and lighting.

Who will like it Who in Italian design loves above all the concreteness of objects that contain the best of our country's industrial and design capital. In this case, from Bergamo and Brescia.

4. Ignazio Gardella, Roberto Menghi, Luigi Vietti. Architectures for the Mediterranean, curated by Enrico Prandi (Electa, 32 euros).

Three protagonists of architecture, different but all in the foreground on the national scene from the fifties (Vietti, in truth, much earlier) until almost the end of the twentieth century. Yet two of them, Roberto Menghi and Luigi Vietti, have not yet been sufficiently studied, while the work of one, Ignazio Gardella, the time has come to do a re-reading through the many unpublished materials.

The book edited by Enrico Prandi, professor of architecture at the University of Parma, which takes inspiration from the materials preserved at CSAC - fills this gap in the professional history and creative style of the three architects. >Study Centerand Communication Archive of the University of Parma.

Thus we discover a common Mediterranean sensitivity to architectural design, combined with a great interest in the evolution of construction technologies within that particular typically Lombard cultural-productive climate.

Who will like it Given that the book collects the proceedings of the conference with the same title which was held in November 2022, young researchers, teachers and scholars will really like it. But the theme will also fascinate those who want to go beyond the (usual) great names of modern architecture in our country.

5. Museum Seed. The futurobility of cultural places, by Ico Migliore and Mara Servetto (Electa, 29 euros).

Living in cultural spaces today requires a new planning approach, capable of integrating architecture, design and graphics projects in the encounter with the evolution of technologies, neuroscience and artificial intelligence.

The volume signed by the couple of architects Ico Migliore and Mara Servetto addresses this theme through interviews with professionals and images of museum displays and environmental installations created by Migliore+Servetto, such as - among the most recent - the interventions for the Natural History Museum of Milan, that for the new headquarters of The Human Safety Net, foundation within the Procuratie Vecchie in Piazza San Marco in Venice, 2023 ; the project for the Egyptian Museum in Turin and for the Chopin Museum in Warsaw or for the Italian Pavilion of the XXII International Triennial Exhibition in Milan “Broken Nature”.

Who will like it Who wants to reflect on how the architecture of these "third places" (not private or work) which are represented today by museums and exhibition spaces are changing (and must transform) public.