Aldo Rossi. Design 1960-1997 at the Museo Del Novecento

Aldo Rossi. Design 1960-1997 at the Museo Del Novecento


29 april – 06 november 2022

350 items, including furnishings, drawings, paintings and models in an unprecedented exhibition that explores and reconstructs the highly imaginative world of design of one of the 20th century’s masters of architecture.

Throughout his production, and starting from the very first items of furniture designed in 1960 with the architect Leonardo Ferrari, Aldo Rossi reflected on the relationship between architectural and urban scale and monumental and object scale and, from 1979, he approached the world of industrial production and quality handicrafts, making furniture/furnishings and objects of everyday use first with Alessi, and then with Artemide, DesignTex, Bruno Longoni Atelier d’Arredamento, Molteni&C|UniFor, Richard-Ginori, Rosenthal, Up&Up.

The exhibition, staged by Morris Adjmi – MA Architects, Rossi’s collaborator and later business partner in New York, illustrates Rossi’s design universe in nine rooms, each room a world in which the relationship between graphic designs and handcrafted and industrial products emerges, with references to Aldo Rossi’s architectural structures and his private space.

Aldo Rossi and the Molteni Group

Molteni&C | Cabina dell’Elba (1980) Molteni&C | Cabina dell’Elba (1980)

1980, the Milan Salone del Mobile: in the Molteni stand there is a curious object, a sort of beach hut, named Cabina dell’Elba and defined as a wardrobe. It was designed by Aldo Rossi, probably the Italian architect best known on the international scene and the most controversial in Italy. Thus began the twenty-year cooperation between the companies of the Molteni Group and the great maestro, brought to Giussano by his friend Luca Meda, then art director at Molteni&C.

Within the space of some 20 years Rossi designed items of furniture for Molteni&C and UniFor that became part of the history of design. Among others, the neoclassical Teatro chair (1982), later to become a small armchair and divan, designed with Luca Meda. The Milano chair (1987), simple and almost deliberately basic, but precisely proportioned, over the years it became the company’s symbol.

Molteni&C | Teatro chair (1982) Molteni&C | Teatro chair (1982)

A tall bureau, with a sliding door, Carteggio (1987), which achieved great success. “A presence in the room, a character, an allusion to bygone rites such as writing letters, and keeping them in special little drawers“ wrote Vanni Pasca on that subject.

Molteni&C | Piroscafo (1991) Molteni&C | Piroscafo (1991)

Then came Piroscafo (1991), with Luca Meda, a modular and adaptable glass system. Conceived as a reference to a precise structure, the Fontivegge Centre in Perugia designed by Rossi himself (1982-89). “Piroscafo looks at the world of architecture, removes the figures of the buildings from their landscapes and takes them into a world of rooms and interiors”, wrote Daniele Vitale in the presentation catalogue.

For UniFor, the highly functionalParigi chair (1989), which met the demands of office spaces, interpreted by Rossi as a domestic space in which to work. Then the furniture for Maastricht’s Bonnefanten Museum (1990-95), Cartesio, Consiglio, the Museo chair, reproduced recently by UniFor. Lastly the big Contract projects, such as rebuilding the Teatro della Fenice in Venice (1996- 2003).

UnFor | Chair Parigi (1989) UnFor | Chair Parigi (1989)

“With Rossi, homes become places featuring items of furniture like architectural shapes, which contain objects inside them, coffee pots, for instance, which also look like architectural shape. Here there is the idea of a design for the home where history and memory, present and tradition link up together in an uninterrupted chain. This idea of home soon becomes the underlying theme of a series of residential proposals, of “Molteni homes”, and thus of the same identity as the company”

Vanni Pasca, That time when… ; M&C 01, 2007.

Museo del Novecento

Aldo Rossi. Design 1960-1997
Curated by Chiara Spangaro
Museo del Novecento, Piazza Duomo, 8, Milano
29 April-06 november 2022
Production Silvana Editoriale

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