IT - 20122 milan
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In the center of Milan, facing the Conservatory of Music, next to the beautiful Santa Maria della Passione church, the studio where Vico Magistretti has worked for more than sixty years, is now a museum that narrates – through the projects of the architect-designer and his objects, through the spaces where he unleashed his creativity, through the views of the city from the windows – chapters of design culture, stories of innovation, tradition and production. Those who enter the studio today immediately “meet” Magistretti (in a video montage of several interviews from the last ten years of his career: Vico talks about himself outlining a sort of familiar and professional autobiography; he speaks about the Milan he was born and have lived in, his friends, his colleagues, his idea of design, the lasting and fruitful relationships with the companies he has worked with over the decades of his extraordinarily intense design activity. The studio is in itself an element that explains a way of working, designing and planning buildings: on the ground floor of the building that was designed by Vico’s father, Pier Giulio, there are three room that would host two people, Vico himself and his assistant Franco Montella. One room was for Montella, the drawing table, some closets and a counter; another one was for meetings, dominated by a solid wood table and invaded by the light of the Sonora lamp; a third room housed Vico’s desk from where, while he was working thanks to the trick of a small mirror on the window, he could see the small apsis of Santa Maria della Passione church without getting up and a whole world around. It was a world that would come in from the windows, even literally, as Vico loved to tell remembering when Cesare Cassina would hand him from the boardwalk the prototype of the Carimate chair. A world of places, projects and affections that surrounded him along the walls of the studio that Vico had covered with some wooden panels where he would pin telegrams, greetings from friends, drawings by his grandchildren, photos of houses he had designed and sometimes lived in, sketches drawn on any kind of support, even a newspaper, as if they were notes of daily memories. During the transition from studio to studio museum, some spaces have been adapted for their new use, without affecting the history and the spirit of the place: the working room with Montella’s counter has been converted into a room for exhibitions, designed to expose sketches, photographs, documents and objects from the archive. Vico’s room, properly his office, has remained the same maintaining his desk, the wooden panels covered with sketches and notes, his first bookcase designed in 1947 and the Portovenere sofa. Fondazione studio museo Vico Magistretti was founded in 2010, after a long and necessary work of inventorying of the archive; founding members of the studio museum are the Triennale Design Museum, Artemide, De Padova, Flou, Schiffini and Oluce. Fondazione Magistretti works to safeguard and enhance the archive and the work of Vico and sets out to promote Italian design and architecture among national and international public. Fondazione studio museo Vico Magistretti houses design and architecture exhibitions and organizes guided tours, talks and meetings on exhibitions’ themes as well as workshops and educational activities for elementary, junior high and high school students.