SHOWROOM CASSINA MILANO – Via Durini 16 1968, Progetto/Project: Mario Bellini Photo: Mario Mulas

April 16th – September 7th 2008

Milan 15th April 2008 – At 7.00 p.m. on 15th April the exhibition, made in Cassina, opened at the Triennale di Milano.  Among those present was Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, the Chairman of Fondo Charme, Giuliano Mosconi, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cassina, and Davide Rampello, the Chairman of Triennale.

The first short-stay exhibition to be held facing the Triennale Design Museum, made in Cassina reviews the work of the Italian and foreign designers who, through over 135 pieces of design that embody their personal and unique relationship with Cassina, have made its products unrivalled worldwide.  Poltrona Frau Group, which acquired Cassina in 2005, displays the sort of vision that has provided further impetus in this direction and that “quality of creating” which brought this traditional firm to prominence has been consolidated.  The cultural forum offered by Salone del Mobile 2008 therefore comes as an opportunity.  It is a chance to afford recognition to all who have contributed in the past to making Cassina a byword - industrially and culturally - for vitality and innovation, so raising the international profile of Italian design.  It acts, too, as an ideal bridge towards the future projects of a new stage in Cassina’s development as the firm, conscious of its beginnings, embarks on a new period of excellence.

Products, study models, and prototypes, grouped by designer and interspersed with reconstructions of factory archives and work plans with models and objects, will be featured in the 1000 square metres exhibition, curated by Giampiero Bosoni and staged by Ferruccio Laviani.  The overall effect is of a creative and production ambience, where the heritage of the designers who gave Cassina its international status merges into the current scenario of cultural change in the firm, which is keenly involved in the present while being forward looking.

The exhibition takes us on a tour of the masterpieces of some 26 designers – Ponti, De Carli, Frattini, Parisi, Rosselli, Afra and Tobia Scarpa, Magistretti, Mangiarotti, Bellini, Bracciodiferro, Studio Arditi, Waddell, Deganello, Pesce, De Martini, Branzi, Kita, Panton, Morozzi, Sottass Associati, Castiglioni, Starck, Dordoni, Massaud, Lissoni, and Wettstein.  They have achieved extraordinary results, assisted by Cassina’s unflagging attention for up-to-date trends and research, and by the high-quality of its materials and technological processing.  Complementing this are a number of exhibits from the “I Maestri” collection and among the points of interest associated with those exhibits is the additional light thrown on the beginnings of Cassina and on the period when it supplied ship furnishings.  These are examined afresh, focusing on their continuity with the present, and are featured as a part of the overall scheme of the exhibition.

LC3 Le Corbusier ® Designed 1928 Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Charlotte Perriand Fauteuil Grand Confort, grand modèle. Salon d’Automne 1929 Collezione "Cassina I Maestri" 1965/2006 Photo:Nicola Zocchi Charlotte Perriand sur la chaise longue LC4 Salon d'Automne 1929 Le Corbusier - Pierre Jeanneret - Charlotte Perriand Photo: Pierre Jeanneret

A monograph, published by Skira, gives an account of the professional endeavours of this, the most famous of Italian design furniture producers and, for eighty years, the torch bearer of sophisticated and innovative design on the international scene.  This book, edited by Giampiero Bosoni, the design historian, covers the history of what is the most illustrious of Italian furniture firms.  A fulsome introduction includes articles by authoritative international experts - Arturo Carlo Quintavalle, Penny Sparke, Bernhard E. Bürdek, Clino Trini Castelli, and Filippo Alison, among others.  Additionally there are interviews with the designers, specially edited by Giampiero Bosoni.

The heart of the book is dedicated to the top international designers most closely associated with the development of Cassina.  They include Gio Ponti, Carlo De Carli, Gianfranco Frattini, Vico Magistretti, Mario Bellini, Gaetano Pesce, Afra and Tobia Scarpa, Paolo Deganello, Andrea Branzi, Philippe Starck,  and Piero Lissoni.  With the "Cassina I Maestri" collection the focus also extends to the key design works of Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Gerrit T. Rietveld, Charles R. Mackintosh, E. Gunnar Asplund,  Charlotte Perriand, and Franco Albini.   The lengthy sections on the various designers and the “vision” each imparted to Cassina include previously unpublished illustrations of some of the most well-known products in Italian and international design history.

The basis for creating the exhibition and the book is Cassina’s Historical Archive collection, some 500 items that constitute a tangible record of the Company's products.  In addition to the products that went into production, there are study models, production moulds, and research prototypes – evidence of a drive to develop projects that were innovative in technical, formal, and typological terms.  The archive supports the exhibits with a wealth of information on them – an abundance of photographs, correspondence, sketches, drawings, preparatory drawings, technical drawings, catalogues, posters, and invitations that trace the design, technical, business organization, and publicity developments of the firm.

CARLOTTA Afra e Tobia Scarpa Cassina archivio storico 1967 Photo: Masera ACHILLE CASTIGLIONI seating on Hilly sofa 1992 Photo: Archivio storico Cassina 699 - Gio Ponti PILOTTA – Rodolfo Dordoni Collezione Cassina Photo:Nicola Zocchi TRAMONTO A NEW YORK Gaetano Pesce Cassina archivio storico 1980 Photo: Mario Carrieri

Title: made in Cassina

Date: April 16th  – September 7th 2008

Venue: La Triennale di Milano, Viale Alemagna 6, Milano

Opening hours: 

April 16th to April 21st  during the Salone del Mobile 10.30 a.m. – 10.30 p.m

April 22nd to September 7th 2008, Tuesday to Sunday, 10.30 a.m.  – 8.30 p.m

Admission: full price €6, reductions starting at €5, free for visitors to the Triennale Design Museum

Book: Published by Skira (Italian and English edition)

Made in Cassina

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