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Vico Magistretti Exhibition



Vico Magistretti Exhibition

A virtual 3D tour of the Fondazione Magistretti exhibition celebrating the centenary of Vico Magistretti’s birth, created by the ICI in partnership with, is now available at the link:


The Fondazione Magistretti celebrates, in 2020, the centenary of Vico Magistretti’s birth with a traveling exhibition designed for the network of the Italian Cultural Institutes. For the first time, the Foundation makes its archival heritage available to reveal the works of the great Italian architect and designer to an international audience.

The exhibition traces Magistretti's sixty-year career focusing on both fields of Magistretti’s work: architecture and design, by highlighting his most outstanding projects and those less known, his architectural projects conceived for Milan and those devised for elsewhere, and signature industrial products and furnitures that are in thousands of houses around the world.

On display drawings, photographs, projects of houses and buildings, examples of Magistretti’s architectural works and career;  some of his original sketches, industrial products that have become icons, (some on view from the NYC showroom),  testimony of the architect’s prolific and eclectic career also as an industrial designer.

Matteo Milani and Francesca Cigola are the curators of the Vico Magistretti Exhibition at the ICI.


VICO MAGISTRETTI Milano/Milano, 1920/2006

In 1920 Magistretti was born in Milan, the city in which he graduated in architecture in 1945, and where his professional career has spun its story ever since, chiefly in the fields of architecture, town planning and industrial design. The first recognition of his work came in 1948, when he won the Gran Premio at the 8th Triennale. After that came almost forty years of activity with other prizes and awards in recognition of Magistretti’s work in various sectors in different countries.

In his father’s firm in Milan, he spent his entire career in partnership with just one extraordinary character, the surveyor Franco Montella, working exclusively on creating the basic concept for projects within the firm and then delegating their technical development externally (engineers and technicians). During reconstruction operations in Milan from 1949-59, Magistretti designed and constructed about 14 projects for INA-Casa in conjunction with other architects. His work as an architect was almost totally focused on the issue of housing and living from the 1960s onwards.

Magistretti was one of the founding fathers of so-called Italian Design, a phenomenon which he himself described as “miraculous” and which only happened thanks to the coming together of two key players: architects and manufacturers.

Furniture, lamps and other objects that he designed may be found all over the world and the most important design museums have given exhibitions in his honour and kept examples of his work in their permanent collections. Magistretti’s research has been continuous - into design, the culture of the project and innovative experimentation with materials and space solutions, not to mention shapes and functions far from the rigours of fashion that they have passed through during the years.

He has given lessons and lectures in various faculties of architecture and schools of design in Italy and abroad, from Milan to New York, from Paris to London, and he was an “Honorary Fellow” of the Royal College of Art since 1983.
His design works are displayed in the MoMA permanent collection in New York, Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Die Neue Sammlung Museum in Munich, and numerous other museums in America and Europe.

After he passed away in September 2006, his studio, where Fondazione studio museo Vico Magistretti is located, was converted into a museum devoted to the study of his work and to promoting it.


Date: Da Thursday, February 27, 2020 a Monday, August 31, 2020

Time: From 10:00 am To 4:00 pm

Organized by : IIC

In collaboration with : Fondazione Vico Magistretti

Entrance : Free


Italian Cultural Institute of New York