From exposition to exhibit. Connections between electronic technology and design in the case history of IBM Italia

The historical contact between electronic technology and design, established at least since the fifties of the twentieth century, has not yet been investigated in depth, unlike what happened to art, music, media. Without specific literature on the subject and starting from archival sources, the text provides the first track of a story poorly documented in its beginnings and little known in its developments, revealing a piece of this connection. Looking at IBM Italy´s activity in the field of exhibitions and museums – from exhibitions at the Museum of Science and Technology in Milan in 1959 to an Exhibition Tour in 1984 to introduce the personal computer – it suggests that the politics of this American corporate, dedicated mostly to technological innovation and mainly driven by commercial logic, found in Italy for over two decades features that are more distinctly cultural and design oriented. This happened also thanks to exhibit and communication.