At a time of economic travails in Italy and for its rich artistic heritage, Aliantedizioni and Superstudio Group
are promoting an investigation and exhibition dedicated to Italian museums.
The encroaching of commercial activities within museums is currently quite widespread and accepted as a
necessary aid to the financial health of the individual institutions. One of the more difficult aspects found over
the years is in choosing what products to offer alongside the books and catalogues, and how they could relate
to the exhibited works. Aliantedizioni and Superstudio Group have therefore sought to set out the conditions
for a reflection on this theme and for an opportunity to investigate, in cooperation with the world of Design,
some possible alternative proposals for those responsible for museums and their internal sales points. So, a
study and show that are meant to be a small homage to Italian art, its history and its precious treasures.
Some interesting designers, selected also on the basis of the sensitivity in their work to themes of a cultural
nature, have been invited to reflect on what might sell in Italian “museum stores” and to provide innovative
ideas. Each designer has been matched with one of the most major national museums so that every project
proposed would immediately be relevant. The list of museums was compiled by following a logic that considered
some important factors contemporaneously: the prestige of the collections; an appropriate representation
of the various artistic periods; visitor numbers per year; as equal a spread around the country as possible.
All the designers, from the young Cut&Paste to established maestro Riccardo Dalisi, were asked to present a
sample item in the form of an actual-size prototype that would meet a few basic requisites:
- the object would have to be able to carry out a practical function, even if minimally ;
- it would have to necessarily demonstrate some form of relationship, even if slight, veiled or ironic, with the
associated museum or with some of its specific works;
- the presented project or prototype should be conceived and made in recycled paper or cardboard, and also
consider the energy saving aspect in any eventual mass production;
- the object would have to be of limited volume and weight so as to be easily transportable for the museum’s
visitors and tourists.
The suitably created prototypes will feature in a show curated by Alessandro Loschiavo, and will be exhibited
in a minimalist designed setting, it too transportable and recyclable so that it can easily be moved to other
possible sites. The setting project will be by Makoto Kawamoto. The first exhibition will take place during the
Milan Design Week, coinciding with the Salone del Mobile furniture show from April 17 to 22, 2012, within
the “Temporary Museum for New Design” show at the Superstudio Più venue (accessed from Via Tortona
The show will be accompanied by a new bilingual website, www.museidicarta.it, created for the occasion.
Besides illustrating all the prototypes entered for the show and citing all the designers taking part, the site will
devote a page to each of the museums involved in the initiative. This will thus let international viewers see
what can follow the “Milan Design Week”: a sweeping and variegated panorama of what Italian museums offer.