On June 13th, Luminaire hosted the multi-disciplinary Italian architect and designer Antonio Citterio for a lecture at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago followed by an opening reception for the inauguration of a month-long exhibition of the designer’s work at the Chicago Showroom, 301 West Superior Street, which will be on display until July 15th.
With a reputation as one of the most important contemporary designers working today, Citterio is known for his uncompromising design vision and dedication to a method-based approach over stylistic solutions. During his lecture, the designer elaborated on his career, sharing with the nearly 400 guests an intimate insight into his creative process.
After the insightful lecture, guests proceeded to explore the dynamic exhibition on the showroom’s third level. Aiming to uncover the connective stories between process, product, and design, the exhibition features iconic pieces designed by Citterio from renowned brands including B&B Italia, Vitra, Flos, Technogym, and others.
In this exhibition of Citterio’s industrial design, a selection of objects has been curated to explore the vital connection between process and product. The exhibition also displays multi-media presentations that share the stories and methods behind the featured products. These visual aids showcase the designer’s architectural works from around the globe which compliment and enrich the storytelling experience of the exhibition.
Guests also experienced new work from Omer Arbel’s newly released 87.61 chandelier for Bocci. Made of 61 pendants suspended in clusters on the showroom’s main level, the captivating lighting installation showcases a unique mastery of materials resulting in a striking tactile design. The pendants are the result of super heated glass being stretched and folded back onto itself numerous times to create a taffy-like structure that exhibits a stunning a pearlescent optical quality.
Also debuting in Chicago for the first time were new designs for Cassina. Guests relaxed on Soft Props, a new sofa system designed by Konstantin Grcic which takes inspiration from the classic Milanese subway handrails created by Dutch designer Bob Noorda and Italian architect Franco Albini. Launched at this year’s Milan Furniture Fair, the sofa foregoes a traditional backrest in favor of a steel pipe that runs around the seats linking the various seating elements and acting as a support on which loose cushions rest.
Another debut at the event was Patricia Urquiola’s latest sofa for Cassina, Floe Insel. Like a soft floating island, the sofa evokes a desire to discover each side by wandering around it, thanks to its strong visual movement. Guests explored the unique detailed diagonal stitching that follows and highlights the sofa’s many sides, bringing movement to its form.
The day began with a private luncheon in honor of Antonio Citterio. In attendance were editors and reporters from major design magazines who were personally escorted by Antonio Citterio through the exhibit, stopping to share stories about each object.
The illuminating event marked 25 years since Antonio Citterio last spoke at Luminaire Chicago and continues Luminaire’s deeply held belief in the essential design education available to the public.