Switzerland and Italy: two countries geographically close but at the same time distant in terms of economy, history, culture, technique, art and relationship with design. Similarities and differences are the central theme of the exhibition ‘Head and Cross: the parallel convergences of Swiss and Italian design’. The exhibition will be open to the public from tomorrow to February 5, 2023 in Milan at the Adi Design Museum, piazza Compasso d’Oro 1. The exhibition is produced by Adi Design Museum and Repower and is sponsored by the Swiss Embassy and Swiss Chamber, Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Italy. Curated by Alessandro Pedretti for the Italian section and Riccardo Blumer for the Swiss section, the exhibition offers a panorama of ideas, images, creations and products, born on two fronts of the culture of historical and contemporary design. From roots that are similar in nature, needs and processes, objects and representations are born that represent the different identities of the Italian and Swiss cultural, social and technical heritage: objects, images, advertising campaigns that are part of two expressive DNA. “In a moment like what we are experiencing the courage to elaborate original critical readings is increasingly important. Parallel convergences is an oxymoron derived from Italian political memory, an attitude typical of a certain practice, which saw declarations of intent converge on the solution of problems while, in practice, the paths remained rigidly parallel and never overlapping. The exhibition wants to dispel this practice to help us understand the real convergences and – why not? – the real differences in understanding design “, says President Adi, Association for Industrial Design, Luciano Galimberti. In the Italian material and visual culture the protagonists are often designers and companies and the product is the result of a cultural research in continuous metamorphosis and in continuous development, which produces expressive value but also social quality: the great names of design of the last hundred years, the great classics of furniture, unusual and surprising objects, author graphics, the international relationship of companies with the whole world involving a vast panorama of relationships rather than images. durable materials typical of the country – wood and aluminum – and with exact tools: advertising graphics, anonymous objects that acquire the value of symbols, Max Bill, Sigfri ed Giedion, the Victorinox pocket knife, the watches, the Toblerone, the Caran d’Ache pencils, the Helvetica character make up a panorama around the idea of timeless quality. “A comparison of two entities”, explains the curator Italo Rota, “To discover two parallel worlds where to draw ideas, objects to build new interiors and to equip our backpacks; in the near future we will probably be a little less Italian and a little less Swiss but the objects will always reveal their distant and mysterious origins. “At the center of the exhibition a reproduction of the Matterhorn – Matterhorn marks the north-south axis of the two worlds and alludes to the different perception of design from the two points of view of the landscape, but in a sustainable vision the mountains beyond the border become a common territory to be preserved and valued. The exhibition is completed by two thematic islands – Young Italian designers, curated by Erica Petrillo, and Young Swiss designers, curated by Laure Gremion -, which illustrate the panorama of contemporary design in the two countries. Fabio Bocchiola, CEO of Repower Italy and president of the Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Italy underlines: “Research and promotion of the culture of design have always been in Repower’s DNA, thanks to the double soul of the company, strongly linked to Switzerland where it was founded in 1904 and to Italy, where this year celebrates 20 years of activity. We proposed this project to the Adi Museum because it is the institution that more than any other in Italy has been able to preserve and disseminate the culture of design, even before individual objects. The enthusiasm with which this idea was collected represented an important confirmation for a company whose business remains tied to one of the most intangible assets imaginable: energy. Testa e Croce brings to light the Italian and Swiss excellence, giving visitors the opportunity to compare two cultures apparently so distant but with common roots, of great impact both visually and expressively, interpreters of the creative spirit to which Repower it is particularly linked. Two sides of the same coin, two points of view of nature, objects and design that, we are sure, will enrich the visitor “. Since its inauguration, Repower has been the main partner of the Adi Design Museum, to which it donated E -Lounge, the smart and design bench designed for e-bikes, available to visitors and cyclists in the main courtyard, opposite the entrance to the Museum. The partnership between Repower and Adi Design Museum is a natural consequence of the path linked to the values of sustainability, innovation and attention to design, cornerstones of the Group’s philosophy and in particular of the Italian branch led by CEO Fabio Bocchiola. The exhibition is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10.30am to 8pm (admission ends at 7.15pm).
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