2016, the year of Milan’s 21st Triennale, also marks the 90th anniversary of the Italian Embassy in Belgrade. To celebrate the occasion, the Italian Institute of Culture (IIC) in Belgrade presents the exhibition Highlights and Stories of Italian Design, which will be hosted in its premises on Kneza Milosa 56, from 30 May to 14 June.
The exhibition itinerary will include two sections: one will display the designs developed in 1926 for a competition to decorate an Italian Embassy, which was won by architects and designers Gio Ponti and Tomaso Buzzi, while the other will display Italian-made lamps that made the history of Italian design and are exhibited in museums worldwide.
The history of Italian design is closely linked to art history. Indeed, designers are trained in art subjects and are mostly architects, painters and versatile personalities whose interests are in line with the slogan “from a spoon to a city”, transposing poetry into industrial products.
Visitors to the exhibition will be able to see the 1926 designs by Gio Ponti and Tomaso Buzzi, which were entered in the competition to decorate an Italian Embassy. Note should be taken of the fact that the Italian Embassy in Belgrade was inaugurated in the same year. The itinerary through the history of Italian design continues with a selection of lamps manufactured by Italian companies with a variety of materials from designs by international designers focusing on the elegance of forms and the functionality of the item, turning them into works of art. Michele De Lucchi, Giancarlo Fassina, Philippe Stark, Ferruccio Laviani, Karim Rashid, Marc Sadler and Rodolfo Dordoni, all worked for the most famous Italian design companies: Artemide, Diesel, Foscarini, Kartell and Kundalini. One highlight in the exhibition is the iconic Tizio lamp, displayed at New York’s MET and MoMA museums, a table lamp designed in 1972 for Artemide by Richard Sapper, the winner of the 1979 Compasso d’Oro industrial design award, and another is the Bokkadesigned by Karim Rashid for Kundalini, a table lamp in blown glass: a full-fledged work of art, each copy of which is unique.
The exhibition is organised by the Italian Institute of Culture in Belgrade in partnership with Novolux and the Fondazione Sartirana Arte. Admission to the exhibition is free.