O’dino – Traces of Contemporary Design

June 27 – July 27, 2009
Spoleto – Italy

O'dino exhibition - Credits: ADIFifty years ago there was no notion of designer goods, nor was the Italian Style such a big deal.

Then Dino Gavina, a cultural visionary and brilliant entrepreneur, put into mass production the designs for furniture made by Marcel Breuer, a member of the Bauhaus. For the first time the wider public had the chance to bring into their homes pieces that had been the exclusive privilege of a few people who could afford to purchase a unique handmade item, prized for the cachet of its designer’s name.

In the 1920s Breuer had already attempted to fuse industrial processes with creative designs, but his project had been cut short by the Nazis in 1933. Gavina flew to New York in 1962 and obtained permission from Breuer to start manufacturing multiple copies of his Wassily chair. The success was enormous and marked the beginning of the industrial design and the birth of  Italian furniture design.

In 1960 modern furniture was barely known in Italy. In partnership with the designer Giacomo Castiglioni and the architect Carlo Scarpa Gavina founded the companies Gavina and Flos that were to become cornerstones of the home-design sector and a flourishing worldwide business.

Not so much a designer himself as a cultural impresario, Gavina is nonetheless considered the unruly father of the Italian Design. He supported and inspired architects, designers, writers, musicians, poets, ceramicists and artists in general. In 1967 he founded the Duchamp Centre in Bologna, a space given over to helping designers to realize their projects.

Possibly his dearest project, Simon International is the company he used to promote a number of philosophies and modern design projects, such as the well known Ultrarazionale (1968) and Ultramobile (1971) which are considered milestones in the history of Italian Design.

Dino Gavina died on April 5, 2007, aged 84.

The Umbrian branch of the ADI – Industrial Design Association – celebrates Gavina with an special exhibition included into the program of the Spoleto Festival 2009.
Into the charming old rooms of the Rocca di Spoleto animal shaped shells will enclose a famous design piece (Traccia, Doge, Viscontea, Moebius, ecc). In each shell, Gavina’s piece will interact with a dramatic lighting effect and a work especially made by a contemporary artist.

The following artists will take part to the exhibition:
MARIO NANNI  – light designer
ANTONIO TUZZA – musician
TOBIA SCARPA – designer
ENRICO BENETTA – artist
NICOLA BOCCINI – artist – ceramicist
CARLOS CASAS – artist
MARCO LODOLI – writer
MA0 – architects
JOELLE PAOLI – chef
PETRA REINHARDT – fashion designer
SANTASANGRA – dance theatre
BENNO SIMMA – architect
VINCENZO SPARAGNA – cartoonist
MASSIMO ZAMBONI – musician

O’Dino – Tracce di design contemporaneo
Rocca Albornoziana, Spoleto
Ph: 0039 0422 305442
Fax: pressoffice@umbrella.it

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