Design is not a serious affair

 |  Events

On the evening of October 4th 2018, discussions has been held explaining the past, present and future of the disciplines that brought “Made in Italy” around the world, presented through a series of thematic lessons entitled ‘’Design is not a serious affair’’. This will be a new informal method of communicating the cultural aspects of a project to the professionals, students and enthusiasts in the sector.

‘’Design is not a serious affair’’, but we hear about it all the time.

Magazines and blogs share inspiring images every day, representing eclectic, classical, modern or transitional styles. The growing success of the Fuorisalone has made it easier for the general public to view such design projects, installations and furniture while explaining the essence, meaning and inspiration behind these designs to their viewers.

But are we sure everyone can explain ‘’what design is’’?

Design is often associated as being something ‘’beautiful’’ or “artistic”, while those who work in this sector are seen as ‘’modern day inventors’’. While in reality, modern day design requires an understanding of various different processes, techniques, cultures and theories.

In 1979, Charles & Ray Eames, two visionary designers who were marked by their contributions to the history of modern design, were interviewed by Madame L’Amic from the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, for the occasion of the exhibition “Qu’est ce que le design?” (What is design?). From the long list of questions posed to Charles Eames a film was produced entitled Design Q & A (Design Questions and Answers), which provided answers to questions and situations still applicable in modern-day design. Questions such as what their definition of design was, Eames stating that “Design is the organization of various elements brought together to achieve a particular purpose, and though not originally intended as artistic expression could go on to be considered Art if designed in a proper way.” Additionally, the question of who design was intended for was equally important. “The masses? The experts? Enthusiasts, privileged social classes?” asked Madame L’Amic, Eames responding by saying “Design addresses needs“.

After studying these testimonies, Level’s staff considered the need to pass down the culture of Italian design through a simple and informal language. The goal is to explain to everyone the methodology and philosophy that forms the basis of Made in Italy culture using knowledge from Brianza, a region internationally known for its artisan tradition.

The ‘’Design is not a serious affair’’ project was proposed for this reason, the name bringing to mind an earlier publication by Cristina Morozzi, but rather than reading a biography of a single protagonist in this field, the event hopes to share information and culture through a night of discussion and a series of thematic lessons open to the public.

On the 4th of October 2018, during a meeting at the Rotary Club in Merate Brianza, the cultural project has been presented by Massimo Gianquitto, CEO of Level Office Landscape and Contemporary Art History professor at IED Milan. Also in attendance was the architect Matteo Moscatelli, IED and Politecnico di Milano Professor, and the designer Antonio Facco. Carlo Lodovico Russo, Director of DDN Editorial group has been a speaker, and a special guest as the MoMa NY’s Senior Curator of the Architecture and Design, Paola Antonelli, has shared her experience,  anticipating the XXII Triennale International Exhibition, host in Milan in 2019 and titled “Broken Nature, Design Takes on Human Survival”.

The evening has been only a starting point of four lessons regarding Design hosted at Level HUB in La Valletta Brianza, including theory as well as testimonies of experts and a practical lab with moodboards to gain an understanding of materials and finishings.