Kartell, the excellent brand of Made in Italy design, celebrates 70 years with the exhibition Kartell Land – Celebrating 70 years of Italian Design History at the iADC—International Art Design Center in Shenzhen, China. China’s largest mall (one million square meters) will be Kartell’s new home until May 2020. The first Italian company to be hosted in the Chinese design center, Kartell has put together an exhibition itinerary curated by art director Ferruccio Laviani which tells the story of Made in Italy design and the evolution of the Milanese brand.
The exhibition starts before entering the museum with an installation with large disconnected three-dimensional letters leading us towards the nine thematic areas. Each stop brings together a selection of products taken from the company museum’s permanent collection: on the ground floor there is Through the Year with photos, ads, catalogs, posters and drawings exhibited on easels as if they were paintings; The Invention of Italian Design, which can be found under a hall of golden arches, tells the story of the company’s debut and development through archival footage and the symbolic objects that make up its history.
Go upstairs to meet all of the designers (from Castiglioni to Ron Aras, Philippe Starck and Patricia Urquiola) who collaborated over the last 20 years with Kartell in Design Speaks; or let yourself be taken in by the play of light that celebrates the brand’s international color in The Invention of Colour until arriving in the surreal landscape of The Invention of Transparency, which is composed of clouds, blue sky and transparent products that seem to soar through the air.
Past and future are linked in this story suspended between imposing installations and dreamlike splendor, upending traditional exhibition frameworks, even focusing on the brand’s creative path from an emotional perspective. All of this without forgetting to focus on sustainability with one eye on the future in The Invention of Future: Bio Recycled Plastic and Wood where the latest designs by Philippe Starck stand out; and there also references to collaborations with the most important fashion houses in Kartell à la mode.
The exhibition could only be closed out by Kartell Icons, the bestsellers that have made Kartell famous throughout the world: from the Componibili by Anna Castelli Ferrieri (now also in a bio version) to the Bougie lamps by Ferruccio Laviani, and the pieces immortalized in the photos of great masters like Helmut Newton and David LaChapelle.
If creativity and innovation have always been at the center of Kartell’s DNA, the choice of celebrating 70 years in Shenzhen is certainly not by chance. This city is renowned throughout China as a center in the development of creativity and design; and the collaboration with the Milanese brand further confirms this.
Where: iADC, Songfu Avenue ang. National Road 107, Songgang, Baoan district, Shenzhen, China
When: until May 2020