Sempering – XXI Milan Triennal
Well-designed architecture and objects always show a meaningful resonance between means and ends. Their generating process is not a neutral vehicle that leads from the idea to the result, but rather a meeting of form and material, which may take the mode of a free experiment or confirm well-tested crafting practices.
Within a varied contemporary panorama, the exhibition displays a selection of ‘design events’ of different kinds and of different scales, organised into eight possible actions; eight metamorphoses capable of transforming materials or components into ‘artefacts’, into active elements of our daily lives and culture.
The four categories formulated a hundred and fifty years ago by Gottfried Semper, and doubled in number to bring them up to date with contemporary conditions, are used as a grid to organise the complex structure of the artificial environment; and as the instrument for a possible revision of the axioms and methods of ‘modern design’, in its constant attempt to adapt them to the problems and aspirations of a complex world.
Sempering looks at architecture, landscapes and objects of the last decade crossing the established boundaries of every possible system of the arts, of every division in skills and sectors. Actions such as stacking heavy materials, connecting light structures, moulding soft materials, engraving fine casings, folding tin sheets, weaving threads, arranging tiles or blowing air can be seen as basic actions capable of inventing unexpected forms by the use of new technologies, but also as the testing of well-established ‘customs’ or formal traditions in their response to new conditions.