LAB Design Museum

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Entrance to the Museum of Design Lab


“Artemide” by Beatrice Brandini

In Calenzano , near Florence, there is a wonderful Museum that is responsible for collecting the most significant pieces of Italian design from the ’60s to the present day. It is the Museum of Design Lab

Facciata museo design

 Building Facade Lab Design Museum

3 scorcio museo    4 scorcio 3

As is often the case for the Italian heritage, especially the cultural one, is not very ” hyped “, surely it is known by fans and all lovers of the objects that have shaped the history of our design, but in my opinion, deserves a wider visibility.

5 Gio Ponti sedia 1955ISA    6 Arco lampada achille e piergiacomo Castiglioni 1962 per Flos

Giò Ponti chair, ISA 1955                        “Arco” lamp by Achille and Piergiacomo Castiglioni in 1962 for Flos

7 UP 5 Donna 1969 Gaetano pesce B&B    8 particolare poltrona

“UP 5 Woman ” armchair by Gaetano Pesce, 1969 for B&B      “San Luca” armchair by Achille Castiglioni and Piergiacomo, 1960 for Frau armchair

9 bis Poltrona Sacco Gatti,Paolini, Teodoro per Zanotta 1968    9 Dezza poltrona 1965 gio Ponti per Poltrona Frau

” Armchair Sacco” Gatti ,Paolini and Teodoro, 1968 for Zanotta     “Dezza” chair by Gio Ponti, 1965 Frau armchair

10 esposizone lampade

Exhibition lighting 60s

11 Esposizone hi-fi

Exposure HiFi 60s

12 Gio Ponti 1967 Ceramiche Pozzi    13 Valentina 1969 Sottasass per Olivetti

Gio Ponti Plates, Ceramics Pozzi 1967                         “Valentina” Ettore Sottasass, 1969, Olivetti

The museum is the result of collaboration between the foundation Anna Querci for Design , the Master of Science in Design from the University of Florence and the Municipality of Calenzano. It is also important to mention that it is a non-profit organization, which has only the noble aim of encouraging, promoting and enhancing the knowledge and study design.

14 Atollo lampada 1970 Vico Magistretti    15 papillon poltrona Guiso M.Rosati 1971    16 Boalum lampada 1970 Livio Castiglioni Gianfranco Frattini Artemide

“Atollo” lamp by Vico Magistretti , 1970 for Oluce “Papillon” armchair Guido M.Rosati, 1971 for Giovannetti  “Boalum” Livio Castiglioni and Gianfranco Frattini for Artemide in 1970

17 fiocco sedia centro studi ricerche Busnelli

“Fiocco” chair , 1970, Study Center research Busnelli

Even the world of design, such as fashion, created through a complex process that not only involves the construction of a product thanks to all of an artist, a technician and a craftsman (designer-pattern maker-garment ), but to be described as accomplished and successful, we must recognize that the man you are and who you become the ultimate user.

18 Ghost poltrona 1987 Cini Boeri Tomu katalanagi per Fiam Italia

“Ghost” armchair Cini Boeri and Tomu Katalanagi, 1987 for Fiam Italia

The objects attest to the change in taste , but most are , like any art form, the will of an epoch. Think of the 60s with the advent of Pop Art, where design objects become more playful, colorful, often excessive (and I quote the armchair “Sacco” of Gatti Paolini and Teodori ), or to the ’80s, with the ‘ Reagan hedonism, in which objects become pure aesthetics, smooth surfaces and mirrored, and yet the twenty-first century objects, in addition to aesthetics, it asks for a “contribution” ethical and moral (I think the chair “Donna” by Gaetano Pesce, in which the artist has created thinking of the woman’s womb and its still difficult human condition in some parts of the world, then a complaint) .

19 Vetrina teiere e tisaniere    20 Cesare Casati Tisaniera 1996

Showcase with Tisanière and Teapots         Cesare Casati Thepots 1996

The museum currently has oltre140 pieces, among them a few things that have really made the history of our design and our country ( the chair ” Leggera” of Ponti, the typewriter “Valentina” by Sottsass, the chair ” Sanluca ” of Castiglioni etc.etc….). This museum also has the distinction of being the first to expose the works of Italian design. The display of objects is divided for decades, the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and 2000s, and it collects some iconic pieces, displayed in museums around the world, others that have revolutionized the aesthetic and the taste, not only Italian, and others who have changed our daily life, improving it. In fact, next to some furnishings important because highly innovative, there are things in common use, such as coffee pots, cutlery, motorcycle helmets, or bike ….

21 Nemo Poltrona Fabio Novembre 2010 Driade Store    22Chair one 2002 Konsantin Grcic Magis

“Nemo” chair by Fabio Novembre, 2010 for Driade Store      “Chair One” of Konsantin Gricic , 2002 for Magis

23 Alveo Chiaramonte & Marin Emu group 2003    24 RA Lampada Ettore Cimini 2002 per Lumina

“Alveo” garden set Chiaramonte & Marin, 2003 for Emu      “RA” lamp Ettore Cimini , 2002 for Lumina

25 Nobadys perfect Gaetano Pesce 2000    26 bis Canasta poltrona Paolo parigi 1989 Heron Parigi

“Nobody’s is Perfect” chair by Gaetano Pesce , 2000     ” Canasta ” armchair Paolo Parigi 1989 for Paris Heron.

26 scorcio museo 2

Glimpse Museum 

The protagonists of Italian design have made our country famous all over the world. Sometimes I smile to see “D Casa” of the Repubblica as well-known personalities foreign object or furniture bought for their homes, and with great satisfaction (no surprise) I realize that most of them are Italian.

27 orari

Lab Design Museum 

It ‘also this is a priceless heritage, let’s keep it, increase the value, promote its study and its research, so that other young people and future architects or designers can carry on this great tradition. 

28 poster mostra Ponti

Exhibition poster on Gio Ponti in 2007 

Good life to all!












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