Testa e Croce: parallel convergences of design
Frignone 2022. Photo by Gianfranco Colla.


ADI Design Museum
Piazza Compasso d'Oro, 1, 20154 Milano MI


25 Oct 2022 - 05 Feb 2023




Editors’ Pick

Testa e Croce: parallel convergences of design

Under the creative direction of Italo Rota, the exhibition “Testa e Croce: parallel convergences of design” is dedicated to design in Italy and Switzerland. The two countries are geographically close but at the same time far apart in terms of economy, history, culture, technique, art and relationships with design.

Similarities and differences are the central theme of the exhibition that presents a panorama of ideas, images, creations and products, emerging on two fronts of historical and contemporary design culture. From roots that are similar in terms of nature, demands and processes, objects and representations have been created that express the different identities of the Italian and Swiss cultural, social and technical heritage: objects, images and advertising campaigns that are part of two different expressive DNA.

In Italian material and visual culture the prime movers are often designers and companies and the product is the end result of cultural research in continuous metamorphosis and development, which produces not only expressive value but also social quality, as can be seen from the great names of design over the last hundred years, furniture and furnishing classics, unusual and surprising objects, designer graphics, in short, the entire international relationship of companies with designers from all over the world involving a vast panorama of relationships rather than images.

In products resulting from Swiss ingenuity, transformed through use into standard models, style is not related to aesthetics, but to an ethical concept of production, linked to durable materials that are typical of the country – wood and aluminium – and to precise instruments such as advertising graphics and anonymous objects that acquire the value of symbols. Max Bill, Sigfried Giedion, the Victorinox Swiss Army knife, clocks and watches, Toblerone, Caran d’Ache pencils and the Helvetica font all go to make up a panorama based around the idea of timeless quality.