By  on November 19, 2007

After four long years of work and lots of anticipation, Italy’s first museum dedicated entirely to design will be unveiled in Milan in December.

The Triennale Design Museum abuts its namesake, the famed contemporary arts center La Triennale. To travel between the two is a simple crossing over a suspended bamboo bridge, designed by well-known Italian furniture maker Michele De Lucchi. But make no mistake, while the two buildings are close physically, the new institution has a mission distinct from its parent organization.

“This museum aims to show that the history of design is, in many ways, independent of that of art and architecture,” says Andrea Branzi, curator of the design museum. And it does not plan to limit its scope. “The history of Italian design has never been just about objects, but rather the history of thoughts, religions, politics and even men,” he

“What Is Italian Design?”—the debut exhibit in the 20,450-square-foot space—will be curated by painter and film director Peter Greenaway and architect Italo Rota. Though the Triennale is mum about the details, iconic pieces of 20th-century design (including some from the museum’s permanent collection) by Italian legends such as Ettore Sottsass, Vico Magistretti and Gaetano Pesce are likely to be among those on display. The exhibit also will feature video installations by Italian film director Ermanno Olmi and emerging Italian film directors.

“What Is Italian Design?”

Dec. 6–April 30
Triennale Design Museum
Viale Alemagna, 6

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