Pre-fab Industrial Design

Organised under the theme of “Pre-fab Industrial Design”, the 10th edition of the Triennale di Milano was recognised on 5 November 1953 and was held between August and November 1954. The exhibition was marked by two significant developments: the return of experimental constructions in the Parco Sempione, and the definitive affirmation of themes linked to design. Attracting a large number of visitors, the 10th Triennale became a major platform for emerging phenomena.

The International Exhibition of Design, curated by Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, Menghi, Nizzoli and Rosselli, with graphics by Michele Provinciali, marked the birth of modern Italian design. Contemporary changes in culture and manufacturing also found expression through various initiatives. These included the “Compasso d’oro” prize, established in 1954 by La Rinascente at the suggestion of Gio Ponti and Alberto Rosselli, as well as the formation of ADI, the Association of Italian Designers, founded in Ponti’s studio in 1955.

The exhibitions on architecture, city planning and mass-produced furniture saw the involvement of many of the leading figures in Italian design culture: Albini, Gardella, Bottoni (still in charge of the QT8, which was developed for the 1947 edition of the Triennale di Milano), Zanuso, Caccia Dominioni, Magistretti, Gregotti, BBPR group, De Carlo and Quaroni.

The experimental structures in the park included some remarkable works that later become iconic. They included Richard Buckminster Fuller’s futuristic geodesic dome, the BBPR group’s labyrinth, Alexander Calder’s Mobile and Saul Steinberg’s long mural decoration.