The Refreshment design talks will explore the subject of neo-nomadism from varied perspectives with the aim of stimulating a discussion that will contribute to the design debate, while also acting as a compass to help us with our bearings in the present day as we seek out new scenarios throughout the whole discipline. Studio Calvi Brambilla, Ivan Bargna, studio wok, Tommaso Melilli, Giulio Cappellini, Italo Rota are the foremost actors in this programme.
There is a twist that the three Refreshment design talks will try to respond to: that is, whether it is possible to engage in a discussion on neo-nomadism starting out from those who remain; those who choose not to move from their place. The idea is taken up by Vito Teti's latest essay La restanza (Einaudi, 2022) and an approach we would like to explore as we enter the complex plurality of this subject of the new edition of the Lake Como Design Festival. In his latest work, the Calabrian anthropologist goes back to consider small towns, as well as the neighbourhoods of cities and metropolises through his neologism of “restanza”, remaining, 'a phenomenon of the present that concerns the need, the desire, and the will to generate a new sense of place'.
Neo-nomadism is not only the physical journey, nor is it the wandering, but it is also permanence, that is, as Teti writes, "the still journey of he who remains", "the feeling of the one who anchors his body to a place and carries out the diaspora with his mind", because "to remain, really, you have to keep moving, to travel within the invisible spaces of the boundary".
Journalist Prashanth Cattaneo has been entrusted with the job of curating the meetings, which offers an invaluable opportunity for visitors to meet and get to know authors and experts in Italian design in three different evenings:
Leaving and staying. The people, the places, and the objects. Tuesday 20 September 2022, 7.30 p.m. Portico del Broletto, free admission.
A comparison study of design and anthropology. How do designers and architects travel? Can the study of design be seen as a cultural and interdisciplinary journey? Is “loisir” time, recreation time, an experience for training, for knowledge and a field study for the initiation of the project? For Fabio Calvi and Paolo Brambilla, the founding architects of the Calvi Brambilla studio, "the world of design is investigated through a creative approach in which imagination has as great a role as functional rigour and control at every stage of realisation". In addition to the setting up of the stands for the most famous Italian design brands, they bring their work as designers by signing collections and furnishing products with some of the companies they have been working with for years. They travel for business and pleasure in their home city of Milan, but also move around the world with a passion for architecture, as well also as for the landscape.
Together with these there will be Ivan Bargna, Full Professor of Anthropology and Director of the AMA Postgraduate Course - Museum and Art Anthropology at the University of Milan-Bicocca. He is an expert in African art, studying the relationship between contemporary art and communities and territories, and recently exploring the relationship between anthropology and design. With them we will reflect on questions of travel, “remaining” and the relationship between demoethnoanthropological goods and design.
Food, cooking. Stories of objects, dishes and people around Italy. Wednesday 21 September 2022, 7.30 p.m. Portico del Broletto, free admission.
Food has a strong relationship with design. Achille Castiglioni reminds us of this when, talking about his Bavero project (Alessi, 1997), he says that plates must be white because food is already coloured. He makes the point in this assertion that nothing should be left to chance on the table, as well as in the place where the meals are prepared. Marcello Bondavalli, Nicola Brenna and Carlo Alberto Tagliabue are three architects who set up studio wok together. Their work focuses on studies of architecture, design and landscape, with particular attention to the quality of life. They have designed renovations of a farmhouse set in the vineyards of theLanghe region, a restaurant in the Costa Smeralda, and an ice cream parlour in Milan. In the houses they design, the kitchen plays a very important role. We will discuss this with them and we will talk about the kitchens we never see, that is those of the restaurant industry, as well as our own, both in our city homes and those in the provinces.
With them will be the chef and writer Tommaso Melilli, author of the wonderful book I conti con l'oste. Ritorno al paese delle tovaglie a quadretti (Einaudi, 2020). This tells his story of life inside Parisian and Italian kitchens, and of the continuous journey between village life and the city, with extensive and knowledgeable musings on the preparation of food and the value of eating today in an age in which it seems that, whether at home or in the office, all meals seem to come out of a poké bowl.
Everywhere design. The spreading of things in the places where we live. Thursday 22 September 2022, 7.30 p.m. Portico del Broletto, free admission.
Design is everywhere. There are increasing numbers of dedicated events, with designers and experts touring Italy, stories on Instagram are endless, and our cities are filled with installations, furniture and performances. With two masters of design and architecture, we take a look at our design present, starting here in Italy. Giulio Cappellini, architect, designer, and entrepreneur, has a very long professional CV and was this year awarded the prestigious career Compasso d'Oro by the ADI. His work as a talent scout has enabled numerous young designers to establish themselves and develop.
Italo Rota, architect, and NABA Scientific Advisor is a lecturer at the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts and advisor at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He designed the Museo del Novecento and the Teatro Bruno Munari in Milan. Internationally prominent figures, constantly on the move between different countries and projects, Cappellini and Rota will recount to us what design today is for them, and the importance and criticality of its spread into the areas we inhabit and pass through for work or as tourists.