triennale design museum

It takes wisdom and cunningness to construct a sacred place for the Muses: Heaven and Earth must be connected along an intangible pathway of the kind created by Iris and then book must be envisaged big enough to enclose the history of the world divided up into nine sections, the same number as the inspiring daughters of Zeus and Memory.
Protecting the arts and sciences in our times is no mean feat, so for this fifth edition of the Triennale Design Museum it has taken plenty of human endeavour alongside the intervention of the Muses.
In agreement with the curators, the Director originally opted for an authentic mythological figure to design the spaces for this edition, Enzo Mari, who was forced to decline due to an indisposition, leaving it up to yours truly to take on this Herculean task.
It involved exhibiting something absolutely new compared to previous editions, a selection of carefully chosen items confirming the theory that there is only one Italian school of graphics, even though it has no proper structure, hardly surprising since the same could be said about everything connected with our dear old unpredictable country.
I was asked to add a third dimension to what was almost completely two-dimensional material, construing while playing only a supporting role.
I decided to begin with the blank pages of a book, studying their physical structure and filling them with life in motion, setting their contents in various sections spread along a careful path.
Sections deriving from that Platonic solid associated with the Earth, the cube, cutting it up and breaking it down to trace a labyrinth, like some new Daedalus, conjuring up an initiatory as well as celebratory experience.
Arianna and Iris offered to help visitors by providing them with a coloured thread to follow, stretching from infrared to ultraviolet, so as to encompass the entire meaning of life and knowledge.
Attempting to bring together a Newtonian approach, represented by the scientific side of curatorship, with my own personal passion for Goethe’s sentimental approach to the issue of colour.
Using colour as an authentic graphic hypertext to support material, which, nevertheless, require more complex codes in order to be fully interpreted.
Drawing a rainbow to connect Heaven and Earth in that constant state of human balance we maintain with our feet in the mud and head up in the stars.

Joel is a contributor on Design-Milk's weekly architectural posts and Apartment Therapy's Unplggd daily technology posts.