Galleria Subalterno 1 in the Ventura Lambrate zone is one of the most interesting and visionary spaces set aside for independent design, capable not only of punctually opening windows to present scenarios of contemporary making, but also of looking ahead to new horizons.
In five years of existence it has kept appointments that were missed by many other public and private institutions: as in the case of the exhibition “Analogico/Digitale,” or the early focus on “Italian Self-Producers.” For Design Week in 2016 the gallery presented Microfacts, a show that represented an Italian design based on meaning, time and form.
The concept is clever and disarmingly simple at the same time: the director of the gallery, Andrea Gianni, and its curator Stefano Maffei, chose 15 projects from a series of Italian self-producers of the 2000s, with a single constraint: they had to fit into a cube of 6x6x6 centimeters. Namely: how to react to a hyper world: hyperactive, hyperconnected, hyperpopulated, hyperexpanded.
The little artifacts in this collection respond to a range of perspectives to brilliantly take stock of the possible and useful contemporary coexistence of different visions of Italian design: inventive, poetic, technological, analog, functional, paradoxical, traditional, universal.
So objects that are emblems of anonymous design, like dice, wall anchors, tops, magnifying glasses, come to terms with hypotheses of rewriting and functional adaptation that coexist with the virtual updating of typologies like the piggy bank (revised to read credit cards) or the postage stamp (produced with thermodynamic ink).
Or with exercises of speculation/provocation (a container for non-objects, a memory display, a generator of aphorisms, a spaghetti dispenser made with salt), or with old and new typologies mixed with an intuition (the micro table lamp with a sheet of paper for the shade, the balloon that becomes furniture thanks to a magnet, a stopper that becomes a portable light, a transport container for seeds that become flowers that become trees that become tables, etc. etc.).
Text by Chiara Alessi