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Monthly Design Review - September 2016

In this month's review, a focus on Italy, where I am working at the moment: Fellini's Dreams, Milano Design Film Festival, Wes Anderson's Prada cafe, Magnum photography and the Architecture biennale in Venice.



In the early nineteen-sixties, under the influence of a Jungian analyst, director Federico Fellini started keeping a dream diary. His films, always fantastical, soon took a distinctly oneiric turn, and he eventually filled some five hundred sheets with drawings and descriptions of his dreams. A unique combination of memory, fantasy, and desire, this illustrated volume is a personal diary of Fellini’s private visions and nighttime fantasies. His sketches focus on the profound struggle of the soul and are tinged with humor, empathy, and insight. here reproduced in facsimile with English translations. Fellini archetypes (chiefly, gargantuan women in various states of undress and arousal), characters, and collaborators abound.

To see more images and buy the (very expensive and rare) book, visit Amazon.



By A.S.C. - Italian Production designers, Costume designers and Set decorators Association

The ASC publishes a quarterly magazine celebrating the works of Italian Production designers, Costume designers and Set decorators. The magazine features work in film, TV, theater and opera, as well as in-depth interviews and local design events. The magazine is published in both Italian and English, and is available to purchase directly from the ASC.

To see digitized copies and receive more information, visit the ASC website.


BAR LUCE By Wes Anderson at the Prada Foundation, Milan

Bar Luce, designed by director Wes Anderson, opened in 2015 in Fondazione Prada in Milan. Some architectural and decorative details from the original structure have been preserved, and are mixed with formica furniture, veneered wood wall panels in a range of colors reminiscent of Italian popular culture and aesthetics from the 1950s and 1960s.

In Anderson's words: “While I do think it would make a pretty good movie set, I think it would be an even better place to write a movie. I tried to make it a bar I would want to spend my own non-fictional afternoons in.”

For more information about location and opening hours visit the Prada Foundation website.


THE 15TH INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECTURE BIENNALE - Venice, May 28th to November 27th 2016

The Venice Architecture Biennale was established in 1980 and has gradually established its own prestigious identity as the world’s biggest exhibition of architecture. This year's Artistic Director, Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, decided on the theme "Reporting From The Front", which in his words is about sharing "the work of people that are scrutinizing the horizon looking for new fields of action, facing issues like segregation, inequalities, peripheries, access to sanitation, natural disasters, housing shortage, migration, informality, crime, traffic, waste, pollution and participation of communities. And simultaneously it is about presenting examples where different dimensions are synthesized, integrating the pragmatic with the existential, pertinence and boldness, creativity and common sense."

The exhibition takes place in the Venice Giardini and Arsenal, and features works and pavilions by various countries and organizations.



at La Casa dei Tre Oci di Venezia, August 26th–January 8th, 2017

La Casa dei Tre Oci is an art foundation operating in a 1913 house in Venice, which has functioned as a studio and meeting ground for artists since it was first built by artist Mario De Maria. At the moment it's showing a double exhibition dedicated to two giants of photography: 'René Burri. Utopia’ and 'Ferdinando Scianna. The Venice Ghetto 500 years later', two different works, developed in total autonomy, arranged following a linear and coherent scheme.

Rene Burri’s "Utopia" concentrates on Burri's passion in documenting the great political and social changes of the time, but also includes formal studies and intimate portraits of famous architects. Ferdinando Scianna's show focuses on the Venice Ghetto and its current Jewish polulation, and tries to capture 'moments of meaningfulness and form' that compose the chaotic flux of existence.

To read more and visit the double exhibition visit the Tre Oci website, or try here for English translation.



Milan, October 6th–9th 2016

Milano Design Film Festival (MDFF) is an information platform and a meeting place for architects, designers and filmmakers. It is based on a structured program of recent and past films with the objective of clearly showing how time is capable of changing the points of view and the languages of culture and that the ability to innovate also comes through creativity.

The festival puts itself forward as a new means of communication and cultural dissemination, revealing thus the composite view of the landscape of life and of living, in which everything is a project. With the themes of Design, Architecture, City Planning, Sustainability, each edition devotes a special curatorship into an in-depth interdisciplinary theme, carried out by a recognized professionals.

To learn more about the festival, visit their website


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