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Franco Albini and the design of the ephemeral (1936-1958): archival sources as traces of the evolution of a method

This paper refers to two research studies, based on primary archival resources, developed through the study of the materials collected by the Fondazione Franco Albini, an institution that considers one of its primary goals to be the enhancement of its extensive archival heritage dedicated to the work of one of the most important Italian architects of the twentieth century.
The first concerns the author’s work on the project for a “Virtual Museum” of Franco Albini’s exhibition designs. A research study that became the opportunity for an in-depth examination and discovery of previously unpublished works by Albini, in which the author brought together all the drawings up to a scale of 1:1, including project reports, photos and available documents, in an attempt to restore the memory of his exhibition designs, lost by virtue of their ephemeral nature. The second research study, still underway, unveils a folder from the archives titled “Furniture Prospects”, which casts light on a previously undisclosed story. Developed during the war years, it constitutes a precious collection of objects and furniture designed by Albini, confirming this as a decisive and prolific period in his career. These two sources reinforce the thesis that views the Thirties and Forties as a time of fertile experimentation, and a founding basis for his major architectural works and industrially-produced furniture of the postwar years.

This article is only available in Italian.


Questo articolo è stato pubblicato in AIS/Design Storia e Ricerche, numero 10 dicembre 2017

Chiara Lecce

Chiara Lecce received her MA in Interior Design (2008) and her PhD in Interior Architecture & Exhibition Design (2013; with the thesis: “Living Interiors in the Digital Age: the Smart Home”) from the Politecnico di Milano. Since 2008 she has been engaged in teaching activities, in History of Design classes and Interior Design studio, at the Design School of the Politecnico di Milano, collaborating with professors Giampiero Bosoni and Ico Migliore. Since 2013 she has been managing editor of the scientific journal PAD (Pages on Arts and Design) and member of AIS/Design (Italian Association of Design Historians). She is the author of several articles featured in various design journals. She is currently research fellow and lecturer at the Design Department of the Politecnico di Milano, with a focus on exhibition design history and methodologies. In 2016 she was a tutor within the H2020 European project “Design for Enterprises”. Since 2009 she has been collaborating with the Franco Albini Foundation and with other Italian design archives, while continuing to work as a freelance interior designer.

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