Sironi, Marco (2013) Sul luogo del design: intorno al lavoro dei fratelli Castiglioni. Doctoral Thesis.
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E.N. Rogers, in a 1960 article, described the relationship between the designed objects and their surroundings as undefined, unclear: design, he said, can’t do anything but “mediate different qualities” and “act forcedly as indifferent to the characteristics of the places” – as if objects and places were opposed each others. In our age of the “world’s image”, however, such a conception is no longer so valid. Possibly, as places themselves are confused. And design has, in this crisis, strong responsibilities, as it seems subtly modifying the “essence” of places.
Knowing well that the “decline of places” is an accomplished fact, my research aims at opening again the question of the “place of design”, in order to re-think design as an aspect of human inhabiting the world. Designing objects is a way to “make signs”, or to give meaning to places. It is always an environmental activity, as traces of behaviours, memories, habits and lifestyles always surround, permeate and feed the project. These indicate a local dimension of design, and renew the possibility of an imaginative communication with the world.
In re-considering the projects by the Italian designers P.G. and A. Castiglioni, the research calls for a critical effort. It is an attempt to draw experiences and to reach a “concrete thinking”, in order to rethink objects as knots of desire and affection. As places, from where a voice – ours? – continues to whisper that “even objects have a soul”, asking us “which things we are”.
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