Exhibition by Francesca Molteni and Franco Raggi
in collaboration with Gio Ponti Archives
Graphic design: Marco Strina
Project for Molteni&C at Ordine degli Architetti, Milan, 2012.
Living Ponti-style was born from an impossible encounter, the encounter with Gio Ponti: the architect, the man that we would have liked to interview, look into his eyes, and see at work. This encounter took place thanks to Lisa, Letizia, Giulio, Salvatore, and Paolo, his children and grandchildren and nieces and nephews but also through drawings, photographs, family albums, letters, and words that Gio Ponti scattered in over 50 years of work.
The reason for this encounter was the reissue of Gio Ponti’s furnishings which Molteni&C started in 2010 and presented on the occasion of the Salone del Mobile 2012. This piqued curiosity about reconstructing the historical and cultural setting where those furnishings were born, understanding the professional needs and the technical solutions, interviewing the collaborators, and writing the history of the design with the evidence, traces, and clues found in the Gio Ponti Archives and CSAC – Study Centre and Communication Archive in Parma. Some of these many documents appear in this exhibition.
This research approach revealed an unknown Ponti, a more intimate, less official one. Inside his homes, the Milanese homes of the Ponti family on via Randaccio, via Brin, and then via Dezza, but even inside the Ponti Studio among drafting tables and editors of “Domus” and friends like Bruno Munari, and also inside the Ponti country house in Civate, threads of history were collected. Gathering fragments of his life, putting together the various strands of his stories. And winding up with his first designs for the workplace, among the desks of the Montecatini Building, the better known Pirelli offices, and in the company of the “young ladies of the 1950s” at the Vembi-Burroughs company.
These places were thought out for the people who live them, for the happiness of children, the comfort of office workers, and the efficiency of work. These are places where architecture, interiors, and furnishings harmoniously come together, designed to “living Ponti-style.”
Gio Ponti. World Tour.
After the opening in Milan in 2012, the international exhibition Living Ponti-style is still traveling all around the world: in Venice during the 13th International Architecture Exhibition at Palazzo Correr Spinelli; at the Victoria&Albert Museum for the London Design Festival; in the former Krasny Oktyabr chocolate factory, an art-world hotspot in the centre of Moscow for “Exhibitaly. Welcome to design”, the event devoted to current Italian excellence; at Palazzo Sant’Elia in Palermo for the Design Week; at the Italian Cultural Institutes in Paris (during Maison&Objet and in partnership with Christofle), Vienna, New York and Los Angeles; in the Coro delle Monache of the Santa Giulia museum in Brescia; at the prestigious Museu da Casa Brasileira in São Paulo, Brazil; at Genoa’s Palazzo della Meridiana and in Japan, at the Tokoname Inax Museums; in Berlin as a guest at the “Conceptual & Applied III: Surfaces and Pattern” exhibition, on show at the Daimler Contemporary Collection; in Rome as a guest of the Edison headquarters, to celebrate the energy giant’s 130th anniversary and pay homage to its relationship with Gio Ponti; in Zurich at the prestigious space Zingg Lamprecht; in Como at the charming spaces of the Teatro Sociale.
The exhibition was back to Milan on the occasion of MI/ARCH 2014, held in the surprising venue of the Trifoglio, the building that Ponti designed in 1961 in the Milan Politecnico’s Leonardo Campus.
Watch the video of the exhibition LIVING PONTI-STYLE