"La Triennale" in Milan is a foundation aiming at research and exhibition of architecture, design, visual art and industrial production.
In its Museum of Modern Design, a new exhibition called "Serie fuori serie" has just started and it will be there for a year.
It revolves around the debate about the way contemporary Design is going and how important are prototypes in Design History.
Realization of a serial product (which was the historic prerogative of industrial design)
Creation of single piece or limited edition (which was the historic prerogative of art)
Some Designers go from serial reproduction to work of art (one of Marc Newson's chairs sold for USD 968,000 at Sotheby's)
1988 "Embryo" Chair by Newson for Cappellini
Some Artists instead go from the original piece to serial production (Brit-Art's Damien Hirst for instance has a collection of his interpretation of Levi's Jeans at Corso Como 10 in Milan, a store well known for the blend of fashion, art and culture)
They are designed after his work "For the love of God" apparently sold in 2007 for USD 100,000,000 (yes, zeros are in the right number) and other jeans have his famous tropical butterflies...
Another example is Jeff Koons, Pop-Star artist who fetches astronomical high prices for his work but at the same time realizes "witty things" in limited series like the "Inflatable balloon flowers" made of PVC in series of hundreds or "The incredible Hulk" series.
These are proofs that now borders between Art and Design are more and more fluid. Architect and Designer Carlo Mollino projects are exposed in Museums, while the artist Muramaki works for big fashion houses like "Vuitton". Some critics are sceptic about this fusion of art and design and they see in it a creation of an artificial market instead of a real research in Design.
Future will tell.
Below are some prototypes displayed at "La Triennale" latest Exhibition on Design
Fridge "Oz" by Roberto Pezzetta for Electrolux
Jacopo Foggini's "Chandelier" (more on this brilliant designer on a future Post)
Object of daily life: Who has not seen one of these so well designed Italian coffee maker?
Moka Express by Alfonso Bialetti for Bialetti
The sculpture... or is it a vase? The vase... or is it a sculpture?
"Flow" designed by Zaha Hadid for Serralunga
Chair "Up5" by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina representing a female figure tied to a ball shaped ottoman "symbolizing the shackles that keep women subjugated"
Packlight" designed and self produced by Lorenzo Damiani is a genial use of an electronical bulb and the regular bulb's packaging (with a few dollars you can have a work of art)
Chair "Maralunga" by Vico Magistretti for Cassina offers comfort and versatility due to the adjustable headrest.
"Maui" by Terry Dwan for Riva Industria Mobili made of scented cedar. Its sinuous lines make it a piece of art
Phylla, experimental car designed for Fiat in 2008
"Serie fuori serie" is a fascinating trip through four major themes:
Grande serie (mass market)
Piccola serie (handcrafted)
Fuori serie (unique pieces, extreme technology or design)