Design | August 7, 2022 |

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Image courtesy of Triennale Milano | photo: DSL Studio

La tradizione del nuovo, 23rd Triennale Milano International Exhibition
Triennale Milano
July 15 – December 11, 2022

La tradizione del nuovo (The tradition of the new), the exhibition curated by Marco Sammicheli, director of Triennale Milano’s Museo del Design Italiano, takes up the overarching theme of the 23rd International Exhibition with the idea that Italian design has always adopted a bold, determined approach of exploration, taking on the not yet known, and facing the challenge of what has not yet been allowed or made possible by research. It has scratched away at the unknown in its attempts, failures and actions that, through trial and error, or by chance, determination or passion, have led to the acquisition of previously unknown knowledge. Tradition is found to be inextricably linked to a constant search for what is new. The exhibition illustrates some of the most significant studies in Italian design and helps us explore them in a number of chronological and thematic directions. Starting from the permanent collection of the Museo del Design Italiano and the archives of the Triennale International Exhibitions, La tradizione del nuovo puts this research into context and reconstructs its key events.

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Image courtesy of Triennale Milano | photo: DSL Studio

The works and documents on display are the outcomes of creative processes and experiments that have led to advances in society, touching on sociological, commercial, ecological, technological and cultural aspects from 194 to 1996. The exhibition makes particular reference to some International Exhibitions – from Tempo libero (Leisure), the 13th Triennale (1964) to Identità e Differenze (Identity and Difference), the 19th Triennale (1996) which examined issues that are still very pressing today, such the environment, leisure time, the social inclusion of identities, global geography, and dealing with large numbers. From the 13th Triennale, which was devoted to free time, with all its expectations and new rituals, through to the exhibitions Le case della Triennale (Houses of the Triennale, 1983), La Neomerce (1984), Le Affinità elettive (Elective Affinities, 1985) e Il Progetto domestico (Domestic Design, 1986), the International Exhibition has always shown its ability to use research to inspire new ideas in the field of industrial design.

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Image courtesy of Triennale Milano | photo: DSL Studio

It is a place where invention and production converge, where guests have come up with housing and production metaphors to imagine existing or ideal lifestyles, often with unusual and paradoxical objects bordering on provocation. The thematic display unravels through the space like an archipelago of words, projects and actions with Gravity, Human Containers, Environments, Editorial Office,’80s Movements, Horizons, and Synaesthesia and Music. Together they illustrate the research that has been carried out over the years by individuals, schools and collectives that, on their own or together with companies, have run the risk of thinking up new scenarios whose limits they did not know but for which they felt they could offer an improved quality of life.

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Image courtesy of Triennale Milano | photo: DSL Studio

Designers, companies, schools and newspapers have wanted to drive innovation and development by means of new material, a new function, a trend or a strategy, going so far as to suggest new behaviors. Just as the search for new timbres, effects, actions and mixes in music and theatre has led many composers to try out new or unusual ways to meet the need for clarity, economy, completeness, and sophisticated ambiguity. The thematic sections include detailed monographic studies – with Liisi Beckmann, Claudio Salocchi, Roberto Sambonet, the Exhibition Design Group, Fiorucci DXing, Alberto Meda, and Clino Trini Castelli – which highlight the role of the arts and technologies that have benefitted from their research.

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Image courtesy of Triennale Milano | photo: Amendolagine Barracchia

In particular, these designers brought about unforeseen phenomena, doubts, answers and technical achievements for the professional community of Italian design and the wider world. The display installation, designed by Zaven, shows a range of materials, design methods and cultural aspects that point towards new formal and creative ways of keeping alive the process of constant experimentation, discovery and research that is so much a part of Italian design.


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Image courtesy of Triennale Milano

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