“Within the vast world of design it is important to analyze if and how gender differences exist in approach, study of the context in which an object will be used, development of the design, relationship with the commissioning clients, and in the various stages of production and marketing.”
Twentieth-century Italian design was objectively and indisputably patriarchal. Design history recognises, in the best of cases, ten or so female exemplars. This edition of the Trienniale Design Museum, the ninth, documents hundreds and hundreds. Women have been, and remain, a quantitatively and qualitatively significant part of Italian design that has been hidden, removed and marginalised. W. Women in Italian Design, edited by Silvana Annicchiarico, seeks to fill this gap, telling the tale of Italian design from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present day from a different perspective: “under the sign of Penelope”, from the point of view of the weavings and tangles of female creativity.
The book is divided into two sections: Interweave and Procreate. The first section includes works whose common denominator is the theme of wafting and weaving, while the second illustrates chronologically works that symbolize female creativity from the early 20th century to the present. These macro-sections are separated by two additional sub-sections. Protect, the first, is a series of illustrations of female patron saints holding an object or work tool, pictures and drawings created specially by major Italian female illustrators. The other, Represent, shows the main elements at the heart of the design and mise en scène of this edition of the Museum. This is followed by the section Reflect, with nine round tables where professionals from the extended world of contemporary design (curators, gallery owners, teachers, journalists, archivists etc.) exchange opinions and experiences that provide an all-round vision of how design is developing.