Guide to La Triennale Milano: Exhibitions Not to Miss

June 23, 2016

20 years after the last, the Triennale di Milano international exhibition is back.

Until the 12th of September, throughout the city of Milan and beyond, shows, conventions, meetings and various exhibitions of design, art, architecture, fashion, cinema and communication will take place.

The Triennale of Milan in numbers:

  • 19 venues (16 in Milan, 3 outside Milan):
    Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, the Pirelli skyscraper, MUDEC – Museo delle Culture, Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia “Leonardo da Vinci”, Politecnico di Milano – Campus Bovisa and Campus Leonardo, Università degli Studi di Milano, Università IULM, BASE Milano, Fabbrica del Vapore, Museo Diocesano, Palazzo della Permanente, Palazzo della Triennale, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Pirelli Headquarters, Triennale ExpoGate, Ex EXPO area in Rho Fiera, MUFOCO – Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea in Cinisello Balsamo, Villa Reale in Monza;
  • 11 exhibitions curated by the scientific committee of the XX1T;
  • 16 exhibitions curated alongside other partners such as museums, institutions and companies;
  • 1 planetary vegetable garden;
  • 22,000 square meters of space taken up between Monza and Milan;
  • 17,000 square meters of space taken up in the EXPO Area

a great many gatherings, conventions, installations and events.

Among the numerous rendezvous programmed up until the 12th of September, we’ve selected some exhibitions not to be missed:

  • Rooms. Other Philosophies of Living

What you will see
It couldn’t have been otherwise: the exhibition is made up of several rooms and is designed to be a journey of analysis and reflection divided in different spaces. The first large space presents works (accompanied by photographs, models and sketches) of great Italian 20th century masters of interior architecture. The following spaces, a series of smaller rooms, are created and “furnished” by different artists that represent and express their personal concept of “philosophy of living”.


Why go see the exhibition
For interior-architecture lovers the exhibition is an unmissable chance to get a close-up view of different styles and concepts, along with sketches and models by important personalities.
For all others, it is the chance to reflect on the concept of how we live the house today and what ‘living it’, relating with the objects inside, means. Lastly, to get a panoramic view of interior-design through a particular and evocative set-up.
The exhibition is curated by Beppe Finessi and is the project that Salone del Mobile presents for the XXI Triennale International Exhibition.


Triennale di Milano – Available until 12/09
Short for  #interior-design  #interiors  #architecture  #exhibition #set-up


  • New Craft  

What you will see
Even artisans evolve; they use new technologies and have in time modified their creative product-making process as well as their approach to manufacturing. Inside the exhibition are works by expert artisans and products by young minds selected in the Under 35 Call (call for architects, designers, film-makers, musicians, fashion designers and performers under 35 years of age – call to which more than 500 young people from 30 different countries participated).

During the opening months of the exhibition there will be a number workshops that will give life to a series of objects that will then be included in the exhibition itself.

The areas of the exhibition, all representing a “new” way of being an artisan, are many: bicycles, letterpress printing, jewelry, clothes, furniture, prosthetics and dental materials, all using materials such as steel, wood and many others.


Why go see the exhibition
It’s not just a product exhibition, but also a show that features productive processes: aside from the objects and the installations, there is a laboratory that gives life to new and extraordinary custom-made artefacts.
Unicity, beauty and functionality are just some of the typical features of a hand-made object. In this exhibition you will also discover what can be created through digital manufacturing, thanks to the union of tradition and new technologies.


Fabbrica del Vapore – Available until 12/09
Short for #product-design #craft #manufacturing #innovation #technology


  • The logic of approximation, in art and life

What you will see
The objects on display, many of which used in everyday life, represent the approximation of products and of their productive process.

Featured in the exhibition are works by Marcel Duchamp, Piero Manzoni, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Gabriele Basilico, Ugo Mulas as well as projects by Mario Botta, Giancarlo Iliprandi, Alberto Meda, Renzo Piano, Denis Santachiara, Studio Azzurro, Elio Fiorucci and John Cage, all next to the original recipe of the famous gold-leaf rice by Gualtiero Marchesi.

Renzo Piano - Acoustic Rome Auditorium

Renzo Piano – Acoustic Rome Auditorium

Why go see the exhibition
The set-up, designed by Blumerandfriends, will be a multisensory experience that defines a sort of path through “approximation”.
As Alexandre Koyré writes: “all the machines of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, which brought about the scientific revolution, were designed and built on a hit-or-miss basis.
In the exhibition, the focus is on putting the spotlight back on the individual and not, as it once was, on the object of creation.

Palazzo della Permanente – Available until 12/09
Short for  #product-design  #kitchens  #set-up


  • The Wayfarer’s Home

What you will see

Four housing units – essential in both their size and interior furnishings.
Small homes of only 9 square metres but complete under all aspects (like the one created by Marco Ferreri: two beds, a table and two foldable chairs, a worktop with a sink and a toilet).
The idea is to place the housing units close to villages and farms so as to stimulate a sustainable hospitality model with a low environmental impact.
The small houses, in fact, are energy-autonomous thanks to solar panels, micro installations to create wind energy and water storage for both thermic and electrical energy.

Michele de Lucchi

Michele de Lucchi

Denis Santachiara

Denis Santachiara

Why go see the exhibition
Interesting and unique set-up, the four units are created by four architects that present very different styles; the objects inside the small houses are created by the architects themselves.

The exhibition is set in the Cortile del Settecento of the University of Milan, in the very heart of the historic centre of the city, in the monumental building that was once the Ca’ Granda, the ancient city hospital.


Università degli Studi di Milano – Available until 12/09
Short for  #interior-design  #concept  #man-environment  #relationship


  • The Architectures of Industry: From the Bicocca Project to the New Industrial Centre in Settimo Torinese. An itinerary through the places and history of Pirelli. 

What you will see
It was, for many years, the tallest building of the city. The Pirelli skyscraper, built in the ‘50s from a Giò Ponti project, became the symbol of Milan’s reconstruction, as well as of its industrial and economical strength after World War II. In these years, the city was rapidly changing its social and economic structure and was starting to become the new centre of development for the whole country.

The exhibition is composed of three stops:

– HQ1, the building designed by Studio Gregotti Associati;
– The fifteenth-century Bicocca degli Arcimboldi, the Group’s current reception centre;
– The historic 134 building, which has been preserved and renovated to house the Foundation as well as the Historical Archive.


Why go see the exhibition
The exhibition is held in some of the most emblematic buildings of what is now the Pirelli headquarters: it will be possible to retrace some of the most important milestone of Pirelli’s history as well as the company’s relationship with the city’s architecture, starting from the first factory in via Ponte Seveso to the birth of the Bicocca industrial area up to the new plant in Settimo Torinese designed by Renzo Piano.


Pirelli Headquarters – Available until 11/09, booking required
Short for  #architecture #urban-design  #history  #location


  • The ages of the Skyscraper. The “Pirelli” skyscraper 60 years after the laying of the cornerstone.

What you will see
The exhibition focuses on the evolution of the famous skyscraper, celebrating 60 years after its construction.
Divided in different steps to symbolize the various phases of the building’s life (construction, headquarters of the Pirelli offices and recently of those of Regione Lombardia), the exhibition is held on the 26th floor of the building.

The exhibition is composed of photographs with detailed captions, but also of articles and magazine cut-outs, advertisements and short films dedicated to the building, some also taken from the historical archives of the Istituto Luce.


Why go see the exhibition
Unmissable for its panorama and the view over the city of Milan, to discover and get to know better a piece of Milanese history and visit one of buildings that are the symbol of the city.

Pirelli Skyscraper – Up until 11/09
Short for  #architecture  #urban-design  #location  #panorama  #history  #gettoknowMilan


  • Quattroruote Road to (R)evolution. The poetry of tomorrow between car design and mobility

What you will see
Technological showings and works for an exhibition that tells the story of mobility and presents visitors possible scenarios for the future of automotive.

Created by the monthly magazine Quattroruote, the exhibition celebrates the brand’s 60 year anniversary after its first publishing. Set-up at Serrone, the orangerie of the Reggia di Monza, the exhibition is set in the Reggia’s beautiful park grounds.

Visitors will have the chance to see how the future of cars was conceived at the beginning of the ‘900s and what ideas are conceived in the present day.

There, it will be possible to see:

  • a concept car designed and created by the students of the European Institute of Design in Torino and presented at the Geneva Motor Show;
  • videos that reach us from the “future”: Mike Robinson, designer from California and Italian by adoption, who has worked in Fiat and in Bertone, is today the head of an independent studio that talks to us about the year 2056.
    Mike tells us what will happen to cars and mobility in the next four decades: the evolution of cars with semi-automated and then fully automated driving, the widespread use of artificial intelligence, the zeroing of car accidents and much more;
  • for younger visitors, cars that can be coloured, decorated, cleaned… to then color them all over again!
  • interactive videos that talk about autonomous driving, alternative fuels, connectivity and style.


Why go see the exhibition
The exhibition is hosted inside a historical building that boasts and incredible beauty – together with the mansion’s park, it would be worth a visit on its own. The many videos, projections and the exhibition’s concept succeed in transporting the visitor in the future of automotive.


Villa Reale di Monza – Available until 12/09
Short for  #car-design  #design  #mobility  #technology  #future  #location


  • Everyday Beauty. An path through the Collezione Permanente of Italian Design

What you will see
On display in the elegant setting of the Villa Reale di Monza are more than 200 iconic pieces that testimony and represent ideas, experiments, innovation and the evolution of Made in Italy design.

Visitors will be able to admire historical pieces, such as: the Bombé Alessi series of 1945, the famous Lettera 22 from Nizzoli to Olivetti (dating 1950), the Arch of Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni from 1962, the Carry-on wheelbarrow by Francesco Faccin (2013).
A route through objects, incredible ideas and works by great masters as well as young designers from the ’50s to today.


Why go see the exhibition

Visitors will be able to admire objects that have made Italian design history, many of which loved and appreciated worldwide.
The set-up is composed of natural wood caskets that form a base for the objects on display: this way, a perfect equilibrium is created between the objects and the historical style of the villa.

For all the works of the collection, alongside the traditional written description, an innovative digital caption system is available: by scanning the QR code on each work, visitors can gather more information and get to know more about the work they have in front of them.
An interactive exhibition, then: it will be possible to have immediate access to information regarding designers, on their products and companies, as well as share and save one’s favourite pictures.


Villa Reale di Monza – Available until 12/09
Short for: #product-design #design #icons # history #technology #interactive-exhibition #location

In the next articles we’ll also select a number of not-to-miss events and works featured at the XX1 International Exhibition of the Triennale di Milano.