At Cascina Cuccagna, “Failures” showcases the failure issue, as a real value and a fundamental component of the design process’ complexity. #MDW2016

Failures examines what is left behind the scenes in the design world.
Failures, view of the exhibition. Photo Louis De Belle
Failures is about the process beyond success: stories of setbacks, stories of broken paths that lead to new perspectives. The main exhibition displays a wide range of unique pieces that never made it out to the factory: prototypes by real masters such 
as Aldo Rossi, Alessandro Mendini, Ettore Sottsass, Marco Zanuso and Richard Sapper, owned by museum institutions of prestigious brands such as Alessi
 and Kartell. Moreover, you will find research products by renowned contemporary designers as Riccardo Blumer and Francesco Faccin.
Failures, view of the exhibition. Photo Martina Rosa

These pieces may be considered “failures”: for many different reasons they missed their goal or moved far away from the original project. Mistakes, imperfections
 and unpredictable contaminations are the focus of the exhibition.

They are shown as being the rule rather than the exception, even and especially in projects by eminent designers: the real ability seems to be to welcome these aspects and integrate them into the creative process.

Failures, view of the exhibition, photo: Louis De Belle

There is also a selection of young European designers displays, a heterogeneous range of products, prototypes and auto productions, showing their processes and the stages of their research. Trials are like “free-practice sessions” in which designers get free from the obligation to succeed in the short-term: a framework of experiences telling how untamed experimentation can lead to innovation.

An other room is dedicated to established design studios and companies that create value through research and development. We asked exhibitors to present their products telling stories about their “making of”, showing evidence of the process that led to the final outcomes.

Also a selection of pictures from Archivio Giovanni Sacchi tells stories about the contribution of the model-maker in the creative process: the relationship between the designer and the model-maker is a key point in our inquiry about what’s 
in between the original idea and its concrete development.
Riccardo Blumer and his atelier Blumer & Friends offer an interpretation of the theme of “failure” through a report of the conceptual evolution of an idea, between the reference to the initial design and contamination. Blumer takes a classic design theme such as “the chair” as an opportunity to explore and share a working method and his idea of design. Giving resonance to contamination of approaches he proceeds by trial and error, through prototypes and material studies.
Pieletrico lamp, Francesco Faccin and Alvaro Catalàn de Ocòn. Photo Louis De Belle
Pieletrico lamp tells the story of a successful prototype that circulates among 
the most important international companies, receiving awards and granting
 a considerable resonance to the designers Francesco Faccin and Alvaro Catalàn de Ocòn. This product got a really positive response among the audience, critics and magazines as soon as it was launched. Nevertheless, dealing always with different circumstances, yet each time equally adverse, the lamp never made
 it out of the factory despite its peculiarities and its advanced stage of design.
Failures, view of the exhibition. Photo: Louis De Belle
The pieces from Museo Alessi are supposed to suggest a reflection about how the unexpected and accidental circumstances can decide the fate of worthy projects. Sometimes failure or success is not a matter of the real value of the creative process and outcome: these projects were set aside at the last minute, 
for extrinsic motivations.
Museo Kartell contributes to the exhibition through some “successful failures”: objects modified work in progress that, thanks to substantial modifications to the original design (not made by the designer, but due
 to an external intervention) have become very successful products.
Failures, view of the exhibition. Photo: Louis De Belle

12–17 April 2016
Cascina Cuccagna
via Cuccagna, 2

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