marking the centenary of his birth, the exhibition at the m.a.x museo in chiasso celebrates one of the leading figures of the golden italian design season — achille castiglioni, an internationally renowned italian architect with a visionary capacity, who created 290 design objects and 484 installations as the field of experimentation and innovation. thanks to the collaboration with the fondazione achille castiglioni, the exhibition focuses on the great directorial skills that emerge from castiglioni’s work. sketches, drawings, models, videos, original objects and prototypes highlight the perfect combination of simplicity and irony that characterized the depth of his ideas and his ability to build spaces in close collaboration with graphic designers, in particular, the swiss designer max huber.

image © carlo pedroli



the exhibition is curated and designed by architects ico migliore, mara servetto (migliore+servetto architects) and italo lupi, in partnership for the curatorship with professor nicoletta ossanna cavadini. it intends to highlight the role of the temporary exhibition as an extraordinarily important instrument of cultural and commercial communication, which has long been central to the tradition of creativity.

image © leo torri



the outsized, the kinetic, the allegory, the sequence, the readymade, and the graphic sign were just some of the key elements, recurrent in his projects, which are highlighted in the exhibition layout. from the memorable installations of the pavilions for rai, eni and montecatini to the masterful projects for culture, innovation and product display, the figure of achille castiglioni clearly emerges with his flair for conceiving the mise-en-scène as a film director.


video by migliore servetto



combining experimentation with rationality, achille castiglioni managed to unite simplicity and irony with close attention to the use of technology and new materials. his projects were timeless, continuously relevant to the changes in contemporary life. the exhibition is interleaved with examples of his products design, such as arco, aoy, noce and gibigiana lamps, the allunaggio garden seat, the mezzadro or sella stool, dry cutlery, the wall clock and record clock and other design objects that express the master’s remarkable aptitude, capable of seeing things in a unique way and translating the concepts experimented with in his exhibition installations into the field of design.

image © carola migliore



the artistic and cultural panorama outlined is completed with important contributions by 22 world-famous graphic designers – alberto bianda, mauro bubbico, giorgio camuffo, rosa casamento + nicola munari, paolo cavalli + alfio mazzei, pierluigi cerri, alessandro costariol, francesco dondina, milton glaser, steven guarnaccia, aoi huber kono, felix humm, michele jannuzzi, sergio menichelli, armando milani, mario piazza, massimo pitis, emiliano ponzi, guido scarabottolo, leonardo sonnoli, paolo tassinari and heinz waibl – for the occasion called on to create each one graphic poster that embodies the genius and rigorous imagination of the beloved designer. the exhibition is accompanied by a catalog, published by éditions d’art albert skira (ginevra, 2018) and edited by ico migliore, mara servetto, italo lupi and nicoletta ossanna cavadini.

image © carola migliore


image © guido santinelli


image © leo torri


image © leo torri


image © leo torri


image © leo torri


image © leo torri


image © leo torri


sketch by ico migliore



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: maria erman | designboom

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