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exhibition: "Giro Giro Tondo - Design for Children"

| Designbest editorial staff


iro Giro Tondo. Design for children is on at the Triennale Design Museum, Milan from the 1st April 2017 until the 18th February next year. Set up to celebrate the museum’s tenth anniversary, Giro Giro Tondo (lit. ring a ring o' roses) is an exhibition about childhood.

Giro Giro Tondo has a playful and engaging narrative (we’ve all been kids once after all and some of us still feel that way). Explosive irony ties the whole exhibition together, designed by Stefano Giovannoni, who’s without a doubt one of the most ironic names on the international design scene.

The exhibition starts with Quadratino (lit. little square), an early twentieth century comic book character created by Antonio Rubino for children’s journal Il Corriere dei Piccoli. Quadratino helped kids with their geometry. Int he first room, Reflection by Brian Eno is playing in the background. Here, visitors will find large-scale reproductions of pieces from the 70s to the 90s, which grow on the black walls in a game of projections and mirrors.

Then, you’ll find the dreamy world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and a tribute to Bruno Munari’s children’s books. And after cutting across a soft patch of grass made from rubber (like the ones used in playgrounds), the itinerary split into 6 different sections: Arredi overseen by Maria Paola Maino; Giochi overseen by Luca Fois and Renato Ocone; Architetture by Fulvio Irace; Segni overseen by Pietro Corraini; Animazioni by Maurizio Nichetti, and Strumenti overseen by Francesca Balena Arista.

And it’s all about the twentieth century after that. This display includes toys in wood and metal, period furniture (several of them on loan from the Marzadori collection), vintage stationery and writing materials. Quintessential children’s book Pinnochio follows suit, and here visitors will find themselves surrounded by a collection of wooden and plastic marionettes.

Wonder and nostalgia seamlessly come together, chasing each other in a whirlwind of emotions and suggestions. But, beware not to be eaten by the wale; this is a cinema where old and young alike can watch cartoons together.

The exhibition itinerary turns into a jungle with: interactive videos, walls with magnetic patterns and snarky monsters, play areas with Lego and colourful cards. There are also iconic designs like gigantic rabbits by Qeeboo, gnomes by Philippe Starck, the famous Abitacolo by Bruno Munari and Piede by Gaetano Pesce. 

Giro Giro Tondo is a world tailor made for kids. It captures the nostalgia of old toys and helps us reflect and pass on a heritage, which has never been studied to date. 

A definite crowd pleaser.


Where: Triennale Design Museum 10, 6 viale Alemagna, Milan, Italy

When: 1 April 2017 – 18 February 2018


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