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Marco Zanuso and Alessandro Mendini: the two faces of Made in Italy

| Designbest editorial staff

E

lecta is publishing the catalog of the exhibition Marco Zanuso Alessandro Mendini Design and architecture which is dedicated to the two great masters of Italian design.

The retrospective taking place at the ADI Design Museum in Milan until June 12, 2022 is an homage to the different attitudes of Zanuso and Mendini, which were linked by the same determination to highlight the relationship between design and architecture. In the museum and the pages of the book, you can instantly recognize that relationship between objects, people and dwelling spaces that were so dear to the two designers and which still defines Italian design today.

The book offers a comparison of Mendini’s postmodern and Zanuso’s modernist visions: two extremely different ways of doing design which were somehow complementary. On the one hand, there is Mendini’s attitude which offers a critical demonstration of one’s own work; on the other hand, there is Zanuso’s belief in the capacity of persuasion in the work itself. Divided into 12 themes, images and quotes from interviews and writings help us understand the relationship which links the two methods.

Iconic objects, constructions, drawings and collaborations trace out two distinct portraits which speak of a common story—“the sum of our design even if we are really different” as Roberto Sambonet stated in 1993.

“Emotions and rules,” explained Luciano Galimberti, the president of ADI, “Italian design is considered today to be the joyous synthesis between these two attitudes towards the world of design.” This can also be clearly be seen in the critical contributions in Marco Zanuso Alessandro Mendini Design and architecture, which explore and look closely at two artistic paths in a confirmation of a shared attitude: the desire to overcome the constraints of a discipline to find new and adequate solutions for the evolution of style and thought, tastes, and a diversity of visions that remains incalculable resource for Italian culture.

Thus, among references, comparisons and influences, the catalog traces the exhibition’s emotional journey with the addition, from April, of a special edition which includes photos of the exhibition designed by Giovanni Chiaramonte.

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