n May 2015, La Balena, Italian for whale, opened its doors: this is the children's corner of the Triennale Design Museum. Riccardo Blumer, the architect who built this space in partnership with the design studio Blumerandfriends, describes La Balena as: “A place inspired by the stomach of Pinocchio's whale, the gangway of a galleon and the wings of a theatre”.
In fact, La Balena has a whimsical feel, inspired by fairy-tales and distant lands. Its timber-framed structure and woven shell in wicker protects visitors and filters light, almost like when the sun filters through leafy branches around an unexpected clearing. In this game of light and shadows, we see the distinct touch of Castaldi Lighting and its Sled lamps. What's more, for its little guests, Blumer and friends designed long winding tables which are paired up with Laleggera stools by Alias; simple, lightweight and functional. And what could be more appropriate than this to help the youngest members of the public explore their own creativity and the fantastic world of design?
Bruno Munari is another designer who spent the last few years designing for kids: “they are our future”. And a similar statement was also made by Silvana Annicchiarico, director of the Triennale Design Museum, who set up the brand TDMEducation, which has its headquarters right here in La Balena. TDMEducation leads workshops, videos, activities of every sort, which have been devised by psychologists and pedagogics to develop kids' intellectual curiosity, especially in relation to product design and the use of objects. Obviously, kids can also visit the rest of the museum, under the watchful eye of expert guides. Consequently, design is no longer a bizarre art form exclusively for adults and becomes a fascinating and playful world which can be discovered by all.