Italy Opens First Design Museum

Triennale Design Museum

A quick look at Milan’s new museum of design at the Triennale, which opened today.

First impression: it’s a little dark (maybe just opening night glam?) and an little sparse.
There are 400 objects, from Vespas and Moka coffee makers to Kartell plastic chairs and the Olivetti “Valentina” typewriter, that I remember seeing in just one room on a rotating basis before the new space. It’s been hailed as Italy’s first dedicated design museum, but takes up only one refurbed part (2,000 square meters, about 21, 500 square feet) of the cavernous Fascist-style building in Sempione Park.

Triennale moka

Architect Andrea Branzi, with enough rings around his trunk to have worked with many top-tier names in Italian design, curated the collection which includes pieces from Alessi, Achille Castiglioni, Ettore Sottsass and Zanuso. Instead of printed paper signs, little computer screens provide background info and dates on the works — for the moment only in Italian.

Triennale Design Museum Kartell room

The main room, which contributes much to the murky underwater feel of the place, is a multimedia “overture” by movie director Peter Greenaway, lots of naked bodies shot on transparent screens called “the body is design” (“il corpo è il design.”) Mah. Themes and exhibits will change every year during design week.

Michele De Lucchi created the most interesting part: a transparent walkway perfect for people watching.

Tickets are 11 euros, price includes a catalog.
Triennale Design Museum