"Vico Magistretti: A Traveling Archive"

A Traveling Archive takes an in-depth look at the creativity of Vico Magistretti, one of the most significant Italian architects and designers of all times.

Magistretti’s prolific career is retraced with the intent to introduce the visitor to his ingenious process. This master's work can better be understood in the context of both the city of Milano, in which he worked and operated, and his studio.

The creative space of which Magistretti worked for his entire life is recreated in its purest and most essential elements. Walls are outlined bi-dimensionally on the gallery floor to give viewers a sense of the space. Other key elements such as his desks, three large pin boards, doors and windows are constructed using “Hexacomb,” a light recyclable material. The recreation of this space is thought as critical for a viewer immersive experience. In fact, all of Vico's design concepts would start from these desks, from which through the windows he could see and feel connected to Milano's city life.

The vivid characterization of the Milanese design culture of Magistretti's time is translated through the display of the objects. The objects are seen as characters with a personality, engaging in a dialogue with one another, disseminated throughout the gallery space as punctual yet interrelated individuals. Focusing on his iconic products, most of which are still in production today, the show also includes original prototypes of the Selene and Gaudi chairs. Over the years, Magistretti collaborated with many of the most prominent Italian design companies. The documents exhibited are narrating both the stories of the many products as well as providing additional glimpses into the personal relationships Vico established with the company entrepreneurs.

Embracing the famous quote From the spoon to the city (dal cucchiaio alla citta'), founded in the Bauhaus’ roots of Total Design, Magistretti worked his entire life at different scales of design; from objects for the domestic space to the large buildings for his city. Shown are photographs of eleven buildings as well as a large map of Milano in which the visitor can virtually wander in the streets and visit Vico Magistretti's own creations; the many architectures that today are enriching the capital of design and the location of next Universal Exposition in 2015.

Credits: design principal: i.mazzoleni | project team: e.freeman