Lancia and Italian Design

Exhibitions 5 Apr 2006
Lancia and Italian Design

Davide Rampello, Chairman of the Milan Triennial, speaks about the philosophy behind the “Lancia Tour Italian Design” itinerant exhibition, explaining the historical perspective of the event.


The Lancia centenary is a crucial appointment for the famous car-maker. For the Turin-based company, the Lancia Tour Italian Design project is an opportunity to underline the excellence embodied by the Lancia brand. A two-fold opportunity which is both a celebration of the past century and a projection into the future where Lancia intends to be a leading player.

Lancia Tour Italian DesignAt the basis of the project is Lancia’s desire to draw attention to the styling and quality that are at the heart of the Lancia project. For this reason, the concept of the itinerant event chose to highlight the link with one of the glories of the Italian manufacturing system: the culture of design.

It was a decision that clearly expresses the desire to follow the events of Lancia history, which has always been a leading player in the evolution of styling and technology applied to the car. But it also means highlighting Italian excellence and therefore focusing attention on the cultural system of the country which has founded its international credibility on the culture of the beautiful and the efficient.

To this precise guideline we must add the desire, transformed into the concept of this event, to develop the culture of design applied to the car further, transcending the traditional academic interpretation of industrial design, and associating it with the idea of Italian lifestyle, that complex milieu of tangible and intangible values that permeate the cultural and manufacturing profile of Italy.

They are aesthetic, design, technological and manufacturing values which combine in a unique mix to produce objects and ideas that all have a strong symbolic and imaginary content. Objects and ideas which have played an archetypical role in many cases in the history of Italian design, in the construction of a styling model, and which have shown that styling can combine with practicality and technological innovation in a wide range of fields, from fashion to food, furniture and the automotive industry.

In terms of the project, the itinerant Lancia Tour Italian Design exhibition has borrowed the theme of distensio animi that was so dear to St. Augustine; it is represented metaphorically here by the soul of Lancia, which is perfectly able to convey the sense of one hundred years lived intensely.

Augustine’s theme of time as memory and vision is transfigured in the display, in the construction of the diachronic-historical perspective which is expressed through the identification of two main areas of the exhibition: the area of memory, a video-installation created by Prof. Gian Piero Brunetta, which evokes Lancia cars in their relation with history and society in the past century, and the area of vision, in which the evocation of Lancia design is associated with the inventive material and symbolic progress of design in the last one hundred years.

In this space, the experience of this immersion in ephemeral architecture, the extraordinary harmony of the shapes of the cars and the cultural proposal put forward by the design exhibition, transform the Lancia project into a unique lifestyle.

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(Source: Lancia)

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