Milan 2017 – in 1965, Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni joined an exhibition on future living habits and created a dining room suggesting a less bourgeois lifestyle and more informal attitude. Over 50 years later, with the Dimensione Domestica exhibition, Fondazione Achille Castiglioni nests the 1965 project within the former studio of the Italian architecture masters. A chance to walk into a forward thinking design project that somehow anticipated today’s more relaxed attitude of living the home environment.
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“The original setting was created few years before the revolutionary spirit on 1968 that shaped also a more casual and less formal way to stay at home” says curator Beppe Finessi to Archipanic. “The room shows an apparent disorder, a controlled disorder I would say. Only two chairs are properly disposed, the table is partially set while a stepped cabinet is not aligned with the room plan”.
“The Castiglioni brothers seem to invite to move around the room in a less proper attitude. Today, of course, we have different needs, but at the time it was necessary to shake up a traditional bourgeois lifestyle”.
The living room setting is faithful to the 1965 project but it is encased in a raw carpentry case nested within the real working space of the Castiglioni studio. Along the walls, drawings, magazines and original files fill the rooms from floor to ceiling. Prototypes of iconic designs like the Arco lamp for Flos stand next to never realized projects. Welcome to Fondazione Archille Castiglioni!
“We wanted to create a harmonic contrast between the dining room project and the place where it was conceived” Says to Archipanic Marco Marzini who designed the exhibition setting. Special display cases hosts comments, letters and studies of the project.
At the entrance, Marzini added a special installation that welcomes guests like they were entering a dining room which works also as independent home environment. “A table with a table cloth are like a shed. A small house lasting the time of a dinner”.
“My dad, Achille Castiglioni, was born almost 100 years ago… And he would be thrilled to explore Milan Design Week today” Says Giovanna Castiglioni to Archipanic. “He would definitively visit Salone Satellite, he never missed one, really, and would definitely look for functional products that aim to surprise… In particular, he would be very interest to know if curiosity is still considered a fundamental ingredient in design”.
Dimensione Domestica is on show by appointment until December 30 in Piazza Castello 27 – M1 M2 Cadorna, firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos by Federico Ambrosi, courtesy of Fondazione Achille Castiglioni