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Thinking with hands
17.04.2012 / October 2012

The exhibition being organized by Fondazione studio museo Vico Magistretti during the Salone del Mobile 2012 sets out to provide some input for studies into how models were used in architecture and design firms that operated until the early 21st century.

The exhibition will allow the foundation to inform the international public about the quality and richness of its archive, in which sketches, drawings, projects for objects and architectural works designed by Vico Magistretti, are supplemented by extensive photographic repertoires, collections of magazines, work models, prototypes and even a collection of 108 products designed by the Milanese architect himself. The exhibition will be displaying 11 “models” created by the Magistretti firm to design objects that eventually went into production and became part of the history of Italian design.

Fondazione Magistretti also owns the prototypes for three of these objects (three chairs, “Vicosolo”, “Nihau”, “Selene”), which are here set alongside the models and finished objects to outline the various stages in creating the product. A three-dimensional model made of ABS using a stereometric printer was created for the “Eclisse” lamp, in conjunction with the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland, to exemplify one of the techniques now used to create fast prototypes and models of design objects.

Lastly, a set of drawings and sketches – many on display for the first time – made by Vico Magistretti and demonstrating his creative-design method, are supplemented by photographs published along with written articles for launching the various individual products on the market: this is aimed at providing the appropriate professional-stylistic background, drawing on documents belonging to the Foundation’s archive that are being made available to the general public. Design historians, designers and professional people, who actually worked with Vico Magistretti, and even a restorer have been invited to express their own personal cultural and professional point of view on the significance of the use of study models, their replacement with the latest techniques and approaches, comparisons with wooden prototypes and models, the relationship between design and business mediated through these products, and the issue of their fragility and, hence, preservation. The interviews that can be seen and heard at the exhibition retrace professional work, over an extremely lengthy period of time, in which different aims and functions were attributed to models for design objects.

The “voices” of Giovanni Sacchi and Pierluigi Ghianda have been chosen to describe their way or method of creating models at their workshop. Designers, architects and companies all turned to this workshop for models. For the exhibition, Vanni Pasca asked Konstantin Grcic to describe his own relationship with models in his design work, starting from the initial step of creating a sketch for an idea before going on to develop the product; Vittorio Venezia was interviewed as a spokesman for a new generation of thirty-something-year-old designers, who have “grown up” with computers.

Four voices conversing on the subject of models, which we hope will lead to further discussions and debates.

Curated by Rosanna Pavoni
Graphic design by Davide Fornari
With the contributions of: Alberto Bassi, Davide Fornari, Paolo Imperatori, Fulvio Irace, Vanni Pasca, Raimonda Riccini e Paola Zanolini. There are also interviews dedicated to Konstantin Grcic, Pierluigi Ghianda, Giovanni Sacchi and Vittorio Venezia

FaLang translation system by Faboba