Achille Castiglioni and brothers. Master of Italian Design

Seoul / South Korea / 2020

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Seoul Arts Center 17 January - 26 April 2020 Ico Migliore and Mara Servetto (Migliore + Servetto Architects) have carried out the curation and the exhibition design for the exhibition “Achille Castiglioni and brothers. Master of Italian Design”, at the Hangaram Art Museum in the Seoul Arts Center (SAC) in Seoul (South Korea). The exhibition has been organised by Project Collective Ltd. and Artmining and has the patronage of the Embassy of Italy to the Republic of Korea and it is supported by the Italian Cultural Institute in Seoul and the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture. The partners and institutions supporting the exhibition are KonaCard, Hyundai Department Store, Duomo&co., a.tempo, rooming, Focusis and Lighting News. The exhibition is being promoted in collaboration with the Achille Castiglioni Foundation. Active in Milan since 2011 on the initiative of the family’s heirs, the Foundation preserves and passes on the memory of Achille and his brothers, sharing it with the public through a variety of initiatives and guided visits. "Achille Castiglioni and brothers" aims to investigate the contemporary nature and value of the lesson imparted by the Castiglioni brothers, Milanese architects and designers who were key figures in the history of design internationally. The curators Ico Migliore and Mara Servetto were Achille Castiglioni’s pupils at the Politecnico di Torino, then his assistants at the Politecnico di Milano. This closeness gave them the opportunity to share Castiglioni’s project vision, which they have been developed later. The exhibition is held within a space measuring more than 1000m2 and investigates the private side of Achille Castiglioni and his brothers Livio and Pier Giacomo, delving into their family life and the activities of their studio, as well as the cultural dynamics that characterised Italy in those years. The curation thus seeks to reflect the originality of their design vision, which generated objects that have been consecrated as true design icons over time, and which profoundly influenced the development of design on a global scale. 58 years of career, 67 awards, more than 1000 projects in the fields of industrial design, installation and architecture: these are just some of the numbers relating to Achille Castiglioni. The first room presents them all through sequences of light and overlapping graphic displays, introducing visitors to the world of the Castiglioni brothers. With the second room, we enter into the heart of the Milanese context, the privileged site of the brothers' experiments, which is explored from the 1950s onwards. Different clusters of stories to explore – one on the family, one on the studio and one on collaborations with other designers and companies - outline a path where the common thread is the research carried out by the Castiglionis in constant dialogue with a society in a state of evolution. Achille and his brothers positioned themselves as attentive observers and interpreters of this society, in order to grasp and foresee its emerging needs. The third room is conceived as a large Wunderkammer dedicated to the Castiglionis' creative process in the field of design and installation. This method was fed on experimentation, play and research, starting from observation of the real free from prejudice, which analyses usage behaviours and rejects any pre-established images concerning the object and its function. Ready-mades, the pairing of form and function, unexpected changes of scale, the centrality of the visitor and their journey, the generative action of light, the environmental role of the graphic sign: these are just some of the applications of this process, which are made accessible to visitors through a selection of objects, videos and images ranging from industrial design to interior design.


Finally, the protagonists of the fourth room are the objects that earned the Castiglionis international recognition: the "icons". These masterpieces of industrial design range from lamps designed for Flos to furnishing accessories for Alessi, passing through furnishings for Zanotta. The graphic design by Steven Guarnaccia accompanies visitors as they learn about the objects on display, offering an ironic interpretation of the process that led to their creation.
At the end of the exhibition path, within a space rendered infinite by a play of mirrors, the “Woods of Posters” comes to life as an ongoing affectionate tribute to Achille Castiglioni by outstanding international graphic designers. The collection, first created on the occasion of an exhibition on Achille Castiglioni’s installations by Migliore+Servetto in Chiasso (Switzerland) in 2018, is enriched with new interesting visions. Ten new posters made by prominent Korean graphic designers join the 24 previously created by Italian, Swiss and English designers and young talents. The new works by Doo Sup KIM, Insu LEE, Jaewon SEOK, Kum-jun PARK, Byoungjin AHN, Myungsang YU, Sang-soo AHN, Byung-hak AHN, Yoon-seok YOO, Everyday Practice join those by Pierluigi Cerri, Leonardo Sonnoli, Heinz Waibl, Jannuzzi Smith, Milton Glaser, Emiliano Ponzi, Guido Scarabottolo, Ico Migliore, Mara Servetto and Italo Lupi, among others. The powerful lesson of the Castiglioni brothers is extraordinary in its modernity, and this exhibition wants to give it space and value. It does so by making it accessible to a wide audience comprised of students, architects and ordinary visitors, and by reserving areas for meetings and workshops, which can come to life thanks to the varied creativity of Achille Castiglioni and his brothers. In this space, you can see the documentary on Achille Castiglioni made exclusively for the exhibition by the director Young-wook PAIK with Sangwoo KIM, including personal interviews shot in Milan and images of the places and history connected to Castiglioni.


The exhibition graphics designed by Migliore + Servetto Architects are enriched by a graphic intervention from the architect Italo Lupi in the second room and by the illustrations by Steven Guarnaccia in the fourth room.


Fact sheet


Title: Achille Castiglioni and brothers. Master of Italian Design
Curated by Ico Migliore, Mara Servetto
Date 17th January – 26th April 2020
Location Hangaram Art Museum 2F Seoul Arts Center, South Korea
Hosted by Project Collective, Achille Castiglioni Foundation
Organized by Project Collective, artmining
Patronage Embassy of Italy to the Republic of Korea
Supported by Italian Cultural Institute in Seoul, Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture
Exhibition Design Migliore + Servetto Architects

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    Seoul Arts Center 17 January - 26 April 2020 Ico Migliore and Mara Servetto (Migliore + Servetto Architects) have carried out the curation and the exhibition design for the exhibition “Achille Castiglioni and brothers. Master of Italian Design”, at the Hangaram Art Museum in the Seoul Arts Center (SAC) in Seoul (South Korea). The exhibition has been organised by Project Collective Ltd. and Artmining and has the patronage of the Embassy of Italy to the Republic of Korea and it is...

    Project details
    • Year 2020
    • Work finished in 2020
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Exhibitions /Installations
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