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February 29th – April 7th

Curated by Mario Trimarchi

Produced by the ADI Design Museum

Through the testimony of 17 renowned Italian designers, the “New Poetic Activism” exhibition aims to tell the story of the historic collaboration between creativity and industry that has always typified the idea of Made in Italy, attentive to the quest for expressive new poetry while often being independent of the commercial logic behind products.

This unusual group of designers, from different generations and with different design approaches has found a common purpose in bringing together the fragments of a deliberately syncopated poetic discourse which has given rise to simple, hermetic, dream-like and disobedient projects that are nonetheless constantly discordant.


Andrea Anastasio | Federica Biasi | Francesco Binfaré | Andrea Branzi | Maddalena Casadei | Lorenzo Damiani | Michele De Lucchi | Francesco Faccin | Formafantasma | Marta Laudani | Giovanni Levanti | Francesco Librizzi | Raffaella Mangiarotti | Francesco Meda | Elena Salmistraro | Valerio Sommella | Paolo Ulian

The exhibition poses the question of whether that typically Italian attitude of seeking unexplored design territories independently of the world of production is still relevant. Historically, design in our country has not only been a profession at the service of the manufacturing system, but also a critical voice when looking at industry. “This tireless poetic activism has always sought means of expression that go beyond function” according to exhibition curator Mario Trimarchi. He continues by saying that “the objects on display represent the richness of this design attitude: some reveal themselves instinctively, others appear through a haze, others inside a rainbow, some are very silent while others are so full of meanings that every every time you look at them you get lost in the unpredictable.”

This attitude prompts a critical reflection on the relationship between people and objects, and between things and houses. In terms of that part of the world which already has everything and which questions the ethical responsibilities connected to the multiplication of products, it would be high time to delve deeper into the meaning of these new poetic objects, which seem to us to be perhaps few in number, perhaps eternal and perhaps inevitable.

The exhibition therefore is intended to identify potential scenarios and directions in which the poetic activism of Italian design could surprisingly redesign our way of living in the near future, hypotheses contained in a volume, published by ADI Design Museum which testify to the shared intuition of this diverse group of today’s designers.

“Industrial design” according to ADI president Luciano Galimberti “has always worked to combine constructive rationality and sensation, function and beauty. This exhibition aims to explore the path that has opened up in relatively recent years which leads to the poetic vocation of many leading Italian designers: there is a specific need that has always been present – the direct appeal to the user’s sensitivity – which generates objects that more than ever before, are both life companions and a source of ideas, but which go beyond function.”

Following the museum’s intent to promote the excellence of Italian design abroad, the exhibition of the 17 activists/designers will arrive in Algeria in November, like other exhibitions produced by the museum currently on international tours in Europe, Asia and the United States.