Museo del Design celebrates Memphis and more during Milan Design Week 2016


By Wava Carpenter

It’s the eve of Milan Design Week 2016, and the design world’s abuzz with anticipation. Everyone’s looking forward to discovering all the fresh designs set to launch next week. But there’s also great historical design in Milan that shouldn’t be missed.

One of our favorite places to take in design history is Museo del Design 1880-1980, a publicly exhibited collection of over 120 iconic design pieces, from the Art Nouveau era right on through to the glory days of Ettore Sottsass.

Next week, Museo del Design will premiere their newly commissioned film about the history and legacy of the Memphis Group. What a lovely counterpoint to all the newness of the week! Because you can only know where you’re going if you know where you’ve been.

Titled Memphis Blues Again, this film assembles many of the original players and protagonists who formed the Memphis Group back in 1980—Barbara Radice, Michele De Lucchi, George Sowden, Martine Bedin, Aldo Cibic, and Nathalie Du Pasquier—who tell the Memphis story from beginning to end through personal, nostalgic anecdotes. This exclusive series of interviews with legends of Italian design are sure to give new insight into this massively influential moment in design history. Given the surge of Memphis-inspired trends we’ve seen over the past few seasons in young, contemporary designers’ work, this film couldn’t have come at a better time.

As always, the museum’s collection will be on view, with highlights including rare works from the Bauhaus, Italian masterpieces by Gio Ponti, and American classics by Charles & Ray Eames. And if you just can’t get enough Sottsass, the museum is offering guided tours of Sottsass designs—from his 1970s experiments to the revolutionary Memphis Group—on April 13.

Museo del Design 1880-1980 is located at Via Borsi 9 in Milan and will be open for Design Week everyday from April 12 to 17, 10:30am to 8pm. To view Memphis Blues Again, look for the Piccolo Cinema inside the museum.

  • Text by

    • Wava Carpenter

      Wava Carpenter

      After studying Design History, Wava has worn many hats in support of design culture: teaching design studies, curating exhibitions, overseeing commissions, organizing talks, writing articles—all of which informs her work now as Pamono’s Editor-in-Chief.

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