19.10.2023 12:00

Introducing Design Philology and Design Convivio

An innovative platform for historical and cultural valorization and an exhibition dedicated to great Masters of design

Yesterday, Rector Donatella Sciuto introduced Design Philology | 1963-2023, a project promoted by the Department of Design in conjunction with the School of Design and the POLI.design consortium.

Philology is an historical and philological research project that, starting from a reflection on the memory and cultural roots of the design discipline, narrates its evolution with the aim of restoring the complexity and richness of the design culture at Politecnico di Milano. It celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of the inauguration of the first Industrial Design Degree programme (October 1993), thirty years after the establishment of the first teaching in Artistic Design for Industry (1963) at the University.

The project curators, Paola Bertola, Agnese Rebaglio, and Giampiero Bosoni, discussed the extensive collaborative work that led to the creation of a new digital archive, a place for in-depth research and cataloging designed to enhance and make accessible documents, texts, images, historical and current testimonies, videos, and data. An evolving platform which tells the "polytechnic history of design". "Philology explores, in addition to the digital archive, a narrative dimension, offering the possibility of anchoring to the timeline ever-new paths of investigation by different 'curators', within a plural and multiple vision of history. That is, we did not want to create a nostalgic reconstruction, crystallizing a certain vision in time. Rather, to create a palimpsest of evolving narratives, as history also evolves when we look at it from the present to direct our steps toward the future.

explained Paola Bertola, Deputy Head of the Department of Design.

Also the Design Convivio exhibition was inaugurated yesterday, at the Historical Library of the Leonardo Campus: it was born within the Design Philology project, curated by Giampiero Bosoni and Paola Bertola. The installation stages an imaginary conversation among eight Masters who played key roles in the design culture at Politecnico: Gio Ponti, Franco Albini, Carlo De Carli, Marco Zanuso, Achille Castiglioni, Vittoriano ViganĂ², Alberto Rosselli, and Raffaella Crespi, all architecture graduates and later Professors of Politecnico. 
The dialogues, curated by writer Gianni Biondillo and actress-director Paola Albini, draw inspiration from original writings and quotes from the Masters. 
The exhibition design is conceived and created by Ico Migliore, Associate Professor at the Department of Design.

Telling the story of Italian design also means entering the academic and cultural life of our Politecnico di Milano (which celebrates its 160th anniversary this year). The main theme, therefore, was for us to make this story come alive through the words of eight protagonists in dialogue with each other, all bound together by a common passion for the quality of design, particularly in a polytechnic sense. Tracing and making alive such an interweaving of Design thoughts and projects was the bet that we, as curators and exhibition designers, tried to face with passion and, above all, with a vital curiosity we hope will reach and be transmitted to all visitors of the Design Convivio exhibition/installation.

highlighted Giampiero Bosoni, Full Professor at the Department of Design.

The Design Philology platform is available here.
The Design Convivio exhibition will be open for visit from 19 October to 22 December, 2023; reservations are required on the Department of Design's website.