The Milan Triennale is an Italian State institution which, together with the Municipality of Milan and the Lombardy Region, is charged with preserving and promoting Italian Design as well as carrying out research in framework programs focusing on town-planning, architecture, handicrafts, industrial production, fashion, new media, etc. In its long history, the Milan Triennale has always followed developments in the field of applied arts; from the thirties to the post-war years, during the reconstruction years and the country’s economic miracle and later during the economic and energy crisis of the seventies. Since the eighties, Milan has increasingly become an international centre of design. The Triennale played a leading role in organizing important qualitative events that have enhanced the city’s image. Last but not least, the foundation of the Museum of Design. To achieve its goals, the Milan Triennale has established its own Research Centre and a Permanent Collection of Italian Design. The 100 objects of Italian Design on show in this exhibition have been selected from the Permanent Collection, a unique qualitative and quantative ensemble of Italy’s design legacy. The Permanent Collection is used as a basis for all exhibits on Italian Design at the Triennale or around the world: its intention is to shed new light on the history of industrial production in Italy. The pieces in the Collection illustrate the heterogeneous history of Italian design, the innovation and experimentation that have made it famous and immediately recognisable thanks to the works created by its master designers. Italy is a country with a thriving manufacturing industry that focuses on quality design and products: in fact, design represents one of the country’s strategic economic resources. Its “good fortune,” and niche position on the international stage and world markets is primarily due to the “system” that has gradually been developed. The system unites design culture and production which are influenced, on the one hand, by the still unrivalled works of the past – for example, those by Leonardo da Vinci – and, on the other, by the vision of a future that goes beyond mere technique and the exploitation of natural resources. The exhibition 100 Objects of Italian Design, organised by the curator of the Collection, Silvana Annicchiarico, uses the objects that have made Italian design famous all over the world to tell this story. The exhibition is a way to discover the history of a country which, thanks to its creativity and design, is once again a leader on the world stage; a role it intends to pursue and develop by welcoming all and every contribution.
President of the Milan Triennale