Stories of furniture, design and companies

“You need wood to make the table” said a little song, but the truth is that it takes much more than just the raw material. We need workers and we need ideas. The craftsmen and designers. And a whole series of other factors that are placed along the life cycle of the furniture project.

It is precisely this binomial, architects-designers and furniture companies, which is staged in the exhibition “Stories of furniture, designers and companies” to be held in Cantù, in the splendid setting of the former Church of Sant’Ambrogio between 11 and 27 November.

Furniture Stories

The exhibition is part of a process undertaken for some years by the Municipality of Cantù and the “Canturium Associazione Culturale”. A path that sees them engaged in the deepening of those episodes in the history of furniture manufacturing that are intertwined with the evolution of taste and the affirmation of design in Italy.

After the exhibitions dedicated to the Selettiva del Mobile, to Gio Ponti’s relationship with Cantù, and to the partnership of the city with the Milan Triennale, the new exhibition “Stories of furniture, designers and companies” explores the role of manufacturers and architects in the renewal of the furniture, a relationship that has been perfected over a century, since, in April 1923, Gio Ponti landed in Cantù to develop his furnishing projects, establishing for the first time direct contact between designer and manufacturer .

Furniture Stories
Franco Albini, Mobile bar with nested tables for the dining room of Casa Ferrarin in Milan, 1931.

From that moment on, Franco Albini, Ico Parisi, Gae Aulenti, Gianfranco Frattini and Ponti himself, to name just a few of the best-known names, made use of the Canturino hub to implement their projects, sure of finding qualified interlocutors, able to give shape to their ideas.

The relationship with the Milanese architects experienced moments of the highest level, it helped to perfect the organization of the companies by renovating the district at least in its most advanced points, it led above all to the updating of the design of the furniture, as only a wisely guided hand could achieve results effective.

Furniture Stories
Fifth Selective Furniture, 1963 – Pier Giacomo Castiglioni and Franco Albini. Archive photo of Canturium.

The exhibition – curated by Tiziano Casartelli and promoted and created by the Municipality of Cantù and the Canturium Cultural Association on the occasion of the 2022 Wood Festival – presents 19 profiles of companies and designers located over almost a century, starting from Franco Albini up to to Gianfranco Frattini and Alessandro Mendini: one or more models of each are exhibited associated with sketches, projects, advertising pages and photographs that illustrate the different aspects of these collaborations.

Photo Copyright: Canturium – canturium.org – @canturium

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