city renowned for its incredible architecture, Porto inaugurated its first design biennial last September its first Design Biennale: a reflection on the relationship between contemporary and modern design in the last millennium. The indisputable protagonist of this edition is Italy, which was invited as the first foreign representative (each year the Biennial will host a different country) to explore the main theme, Post Millennium Tension.
A wise choice for a nation like Portugal, which sees designs as an important subject for the development of the country. Who better than Italy could represent forward-thinking design? The Porto Biennial revealed itself to be the perfect occasion for exploring and getting to know the prestigious history of Made In Italy. Among the many programmed initiatives, we stopped by Abitare Italia– Icons of Italian Design, one of the three exhibitions dedicated to this theme.
Italian design has always been at the forefront of socio-cultural changes throughout every era. The exhibition shows this using design icons of the sector’s main brands from yesterday and today: from the Pratone sofa by Gufram to the Arco lamp; from the Olivetti typewriter to Sacco by Zanotta; from the Proust by Mendini to the legendary Vespa. Pieces that are part of the collective imagination pass by in a kaleidoscope curated by architects Paolo Deganello and Maria Milano. Nearby, more recent projects appear, ones that have already earned a place of honor on the design scene, having received plenty of national and international recognition.
These are the last days to visit the exhibition, but it’s worth catching. It takes us on a journey through the essence of Italian design, through projects, culture, territory and innovation. It gives us a chance to visit Porto, a city that offers a lot from an architectural point of view: from Sao Bento station with its immense azulejo to the great bridges that have made the city famous; from the picturesque medieval quarter of Rivera to the renowned Baroque church of Sao Francisco; and finally, the not to be missed fishermen’s port of Matosinhos where grilled sardines are served along the street by fish restaurants.
When: until 8 December 2019
Where: Porto Design Biennial, Rua de Brito Capelo 243, 4450-073 Matosinhos, Porto, Portugal