museums all day everyday

Hello again!

I’ve had a super busy week already! We’ve fit so much into our days; no time lost. Ever. We’ve still been walking about 6-8 miles a day. So, I don’t feel bad about eating a gelato then and again. My favorite flavors so far are lemon and strawberry. A nice gelato is so refreshing on a hot day after walking forever. Kate (professor) and Jessica (IES program coordinator) use gelato or espresso as a bribe to keep us walking when we get tired, haha!

We’ve been focusing on Fascist Design this week. Mainly looking at the architecture and product design that came out of this time. Major players were: Portaluppi, Castiglioni, and Terragni.

Fondazione Portaluppi

Portaluppi was a prominent architect in Milano. He designed several buildings throughout the city. We got a tour of his foundation, located in his studio. He designed furniture as well, but only for family and clients. His thing was marble. Marble on everything, everywhere. My favorite part about his studio was the floor. He used the floor as a catalog of the types of marble available to his clients. Clever, huh? I love that thinking!

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Then we went to Villa Necchi–a home he designed for the Necchi family. It was used in the film; I am Love, featuring Tilda Swinton. It’s on Netflix if you’re interested! They were a wealthy family, so there was no limit or budget for the project, which gave Portaluppi a vast array of options. Think of all the marble!!

Fondazione Castiglioni

This was probably the most inspiring trip we have had yet. The foundation of Castiglioni does a wonderful job of telling his story and his design process. This man used every day mundane objects as inspiration for his designs. He was an industrial designer, who built chairs, lights, and kitchen objects. But he kinda dabbled in everything. He was a very clever designer and truly embodied the idea that design is a solution to a problem. Need a spoon that reached the bottom on the mayo jar and gets the sides?? Well, our friend Castiglioni has our backs. Design thinking guru!!

Fondazione Terragni in Como

Our trip today was to Lake Como, yes, the place where George Clooney has a villa, and no, I did not see him there. Terragni was an architect and designer as well. We started at the monument he built after WWII (below). We went to the top, up 140 steps, ugh. But the view was wonderful.

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We also went to a government building that Mussolini commissioned and worked in. It’s still a government building for finance, I want to say. But in it’s day you could open all the bottom windows/doors and the whole army could march in rank to receive orders. Just crazy.  It’s a beautiful building, though.

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That’s all I have time for tonight! It’s already 11:40 pm here! I have to wake up early for a trip to the design factory, Alessi, in the morning. YAY!

Buona Notte!

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