Italian Way Of Seating

The “Italian Way of Seating” exhibition was organized during the Belgrade Design Week 2009, from May 26th to 31th, 2009 in the iconic building of former department store KLUZ, by the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade. It presented 77 ‘Made in Italy’ chairs which had marked the previous century and were awarded with many international prizes. The main goal of the exhibition was to present dominance and influence of the Italian design which had been the leading world design in 2nd half of the 20th century. BDW produced this exhibition with the curation of the world renown architect Alessandro Mendini.

The chair, this small habitable structure for personal use, an object of everyday relevance, the perfect synthesis of imagination and disciplined planning, is an essential element of domestic and office furnishing. A small “architecture” whose design has tested the mettle of famous artists, great architects and renowned designers, successfully marrying creativity and functional requirements, while addressing concrete manufacturing issues Spearheaded by an impressive group of educated and innovative architects, Italian industries and craftsmen have made extraordinary chairs, which have rightfully earned their place in the history of design. Several are still in production, others have become “cult objects”, auctioned as work of art by the world’s premier auction houses.

Displayed in chronological order, the chairs – seventy or so symbolic chairs and armchairs that narrate the history of Italian design from 1950 to 2000 – have been selected not only from an artistic and aesthetic perspective, but also from a productive and commercial one; in fact these chairs are still being made. As Alessandro Mendini states, “we can say that through the history of chairs we are able to study entire history of design and even, in some respects, of Italian art itself.”

The curator of the exhibition is architect Alessandro Mendini. Clelia Mazzanti from Intus s.r.l. – a company which devises strategies for the promotion of Italian design – is the author of the project and the catalogue. Patrizia Scarzella, architect and journalist, was responsible for mounting the exhibition.