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Projects in common: towards an Italian design museum in Milan, between 1980s and 1990s

Like a Pandora’s box, the foundation of a design museum in Italy, has repeatedly been, for over fifty years, the object of numerous debates, projects and hypotheses, at least until 2007, when the Triennale Design Museum opened its doors in Milan. This article aims to reconstruct some of the episodes in this long story, focusing on two proposals that were elaborated by diverse teams of experts, between the 1980s and 1990s, at a particular moment of transition for the capital of Lombardy. Both found support within the municipal administration, but each from different institutional figures. Neither, however, became effective. One project was the initiative developed starting in 1986-1987 by Assolombarda (Industrial Association of Lombardy) and Amici della Triennale (Friends of the Triennale), involving various personalities from the Italian design community, and which was eventually supported by the mayor of Milan; the other, was a project for a museum and archive elaborated by a group of experts led by historian Anty Pansera, and supported by the deputy mayor of the city. Adding a piece to a long history which has yet to be fully documented and narrated, this article also intends to be an invitation to renew discussion on what a design museum in Italy is or could be.

Questo articolo è stato pubblicato in AIS/Design Storia e Ricerche, numero 3 marzo 2014

Maddalena Dalla Mura

Maddalena Dalla Mura (Udine, Italy, 1974) carries out research in the fields of design and graphic design history and museum studies. With an MA in Preservation of Cultural Heritage (2000), in 2010 she received her PhD in Design Sciences from the Università Iuav di Venezia. She has since collaborated with the Design and Museology research group at the same university. From 2012 to 2015 she collaborated on several research projects at the Faculty of Design and Art of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, where she has also taught Languages and Theories of Visual Communication. Since 2016/2017 she teaches Design history at the Università degli studi di Ferrara. She is associate editor of the design history journal AIS/Design: Storia e Ricerche. / www.maddamura.eu

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