Creatures on display at the Triennale Design Museum

Carnival of the Animals

This month, the Triennale Design Museum in Milan launched ANIMAlità, showcasing never-before-seen, character-driven ceramic works by Sam Baron, Matteo CibicJaime Hayon, Sebastian HerknerMinale-Maeda, and many others. The exhibition is the continuation of a research project first brought to life over a decade ago by museum director Silvana Annicchiarico (starting with the exhibition series Le Parole e le Cose), exploring the relationships between names and designed objects.

The objects shown in ANIMAlità are delightful creatures loaded with symbolism; every one offers the audience another opportunity to imagine the fantastical stories—and imaginary worlds—behind them.

Describing the creatures he designed for the exhibition, Sam Baron says: "[They] are a fusion of mythology and personal memories, where a bull becomes a Minotaur, the ram is seen as an honored, sacrificed animal used to celebrate gods, [and] the horse becomes a fantastical figure like the unicorn. . . this unique but universal association of animals unites religions, legends, [and] even astrology."

We also love Matteo Cibic's story of the zoomorphic Garden of Eden, where race and dimension have no boundaries: "Dogs with webbed paws and bright ears, dragons with human feet and two-faced birds…There are no limits to the erotic and reproductive fantasies in the inhabitants of this garden. The art-freak characters who come out of it are the best companions and bear witness to a memorable loving effusion."

Sebastian Herkner's Compagnos, meanwhile, subtly reference the diversity of nature: “Beetle, Fish, and Bird are the ambassadors for the elements earth, water, and wind. They remind us to live responsibly in our environment and [to respect] its resources and creatures. The three objects sit smoothly in your hand like worry stones."

The exhibition's designs were realized in cooperation with the renowned Italian ceramic company Bosa.

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