Io Sono Un Drago - The true story of Alessandro Mendini @ La Triennale - Photo by Delfino Sisto Legnani, DSL Studio, © Triennale Milano.

Io Sono Un Drago – The true story of Alessandro Mendini @ La Triennale – All photos by Delfino Sisto Legnani, DSL Studio, © Triennale Milano – Unless stated otherwise.

Design – “I have the feet of an artist, the body of an architect,  a poet’s tail and the head of a designer.” The Io Sono Un Drago (I am a dragon) exhibition draws on one of Mendini’s most emblematic self-portraits in which he sees himself as a quirky creature made from different parts, each representing a different creative professional. From here, Fulvio Irace has curated an exhibition portraying the multifaceted work of Mendini, starting from six key concepts that best reflect his whimsical and visionary world.

Io Sono Un Drago - The true story of Alessandro Mendini @ La Triennale - Photo by Delfino Sisto Legnani, DSL Studio, © Triennale Milano.

Produced by La Triennale di Milano and the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Io sono un drago was created in collaboration with Elisa and Fulvia MendiniArchivio Alessandro Mendini. The exhibition design by Pierre Charpin narrates the ‘Mendini method’ through an archipelago of islands representing various moments in history and the recurring themes defining the unique style and language of his heterogeneous work.

Io Sono Un Drago - The true story of Alessandro Mendini @ La Triennale - Photo by Delfino Sisto Legnani, DSL Studio, © Triennale Milano.

Visitors are welcomed by an oversized Proust armchair Mendini designed for Cappellini. The seat, which combines a baroque shape with a pointillist surface pattern, is framed by a yellow portal and overlooked by the giant, stylised head, which can be found in many design projects.

Visitors entering the large room are immersed in a unique environment structured in six thematic chapters. Identikit features the series of self-portraits Mendini created throughout his life, using different techniques and formats. The Gulliver Syndrome section comprises out-of-scale objects, such as the Petite Cathédrale and many designs for Alessi.

Io sono un drago exhibition at Triennale - Photo by Sara Foschi.

Photo by Sara Foschi.

An island dedicated to architecture features colourful maquettes of some of Mendini’s most relevant projects, such as the Groninger Museum and the Mediazentrum Madsack in Hanover, the three stations of the Naples Metro, and his most recent works in South Korea, from the Olympic Stadium to the Posco district in Seoul… but also a graphic design intervention for the Triennale itself.

A special section is dedicated to the research that led to the Fragilisme exhibition, designed by Mendini on the invitation of the Fondation Cartier: a hymn to the earth’s fragility in a world marked by war and violence.

Io Sono Un Drago - The true story of Alessandro Mendini @ La Triennale - Photo by Delfino Sisto Legnani, DSL Studio, © Triennale Milano.

Works created in the ‘70s during the years of radical design, of which Mendini was one of the principal theorists, are also on display. Born from the iconoclastic ideas of such disruptive movement are the purposely uncomfortable Scivolavo seat, the impossible-to-lift Suitcase for the last journey, and the spiritual Lassù chairs, which recall the mortal life of objects.

Io sono un drago exhibition at Triennale - Photo by Sara Foschi.

Photo by Sara Foschi.

Io sono un drago also features Covers of the magazines Alessandro Mendini directed, including Casabella and Domus, and three immersive rooms originally designed by Mendini, where references, memories, dreams, and nightmares accumulate. In the cinema hall, Francesca Molteni has created a documentary covering the life and works of Alessandro Mendini.

Io Sono Un Drago - The true story of Alessandro Mendini @ La Triennale - Photo by Delfino Sisto Legnani, DSL Studio, © Triennale Milano.

Io sono un drago exhibition – All photos by Delfino Sisto Legnani, courtesy of Triennale.