The Design For Fun exhibition curated by Enrico Morteo and Maria Vittoria Capitanucci with Ling Min opened last October in Shanghai’s most important museum, the Museum of Art Pudong. In the year of bilateral relations for Culture and Tourism between Italy and China, the exhibition aimed to reinterpret the journey of Italian design as a reflection of the lightness and ability to play that characterise our country even in the most difficult times. The aim was therefore to showcase Italian Design with the intention of recognising one of the most outstanding examples of contemporary Italian creativity, as well as the ability to innovate demonstrated by a network of companies that is unparalleled in the world today. This is especially significant in a country like China where attention to top-quality Italian products is constantly growing.
The exhibition, designed by Cibic Workshop – Aldo Cibic and Joseph De Jardin – presents over 200 pieces that have shaped Italian design history. This story includes the Laleggera chair, Compasso d’Oro winner in 1998, designed by Riccado Blumer for Alias.laleggera chair, the highest expression of technology applied to design, is a stackable seat that is the result of the combination of a solid traditional material, solid wood, and the more contemporary and lightweight expanded polyurethane with which the structure is filled. The external shell in glued wood veneers or multilaminate wood veneers is finished with a transparent varnish or lacquer in various colours. The chair can be interpreted as a reinterpretation of the modernist motto “fidelity to materials”. Without openly proclaiming the technique with which it is made or attempting to camouflage it, the laleggera chair suggests comfort by combining the old and the new, without forcing the user to consciously experience it. An icon of Italian design that demonstrates that the quality of a project goes beyond the design and its form, involving materials, production technologies and technical solutions in a profound and complex way.
Design for Fun.
Shanghai, Museum of Art Pudong until 5 May 2023
Shenzhen, Design Society from September to December 2023