The big river Domus

For Alessandro Mendini, Domus magazine is a tranquillising presence many years long, a broad continuous flow like that of a big river.

Giuseppe Mario Oliveri-Studio Nizzoli, 1980-1982

If I close my eyes, among the most beautiful things of my life I see Domus magazine, a calm and tranquillising presence many years long, a broad continuous ow like that of a big river. Domus symbolises the guarantee that the world of our designs proceeds inexorably, always different and always the same, destined to never end, with its seasons, crocodiles, blooming banks, dangerous whirlpools, jetsam, birds, boats, sunsets and resurrections. On shelves in family homes, Domus has always existed in my life. As a child, I used to see my grandfather and father lea ng through it, until one day I took up the habit myself. I am practically coeval to Domus, and this brotherhood of age makes me feel humanly and affectionately attached to it. Inside the river, among the inlets, the inhabited rafts, the mud, several piranhas and small ports, I navigated experiences and initiations, first in the library as a student, then as an enthusiast and after that as the editor-in-chief. I directed and was the guardian of an immense river.

Allegorical scene made in bobbin lace. Regia Scuola in Cantù
Allegorical scene made in bobbin lace. Regia Scuola in Cantù

So how does one direct a river? If anything, it was the Domus river itself with is currents that made me slide along, conducting me toward the logic and love for the many arts that constitute the founding element of its perenniality and existence. As a matter of fact, the water of the enormous Domus river is not murky, sandy or yellow like the Ganges, rather it is full of springs and luminously transparent. Between patches of light and semi-darkness, every day we discover algae, vegetation, rocks, very pure minerals, monsters and arts that populate its bed. All are precious images that guide and orient the appointed guardian/editor-in-chief.
They direct his travelling raft, surrounded by an animated fleet of readers scattered over the waters, innumerable inspired artists, elegant architects and endless designers. Domus, the big enchanted river full of ever-changing mirages, is 90 years young.

Image on top: Giuseppe Mario Oliveri-Studio Nizzoli, Editoriale Domus building, 1980-1982

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