Design | Gio Ponti: Surface & Light

Giving Warmth to The Building’s Skin
– The World of Gio Ponti, Father of Modern Italian Design
Inax Museums (Lixil Group), Tokoname, Japan
Until 18th March, 2014

A now-famous photograph of Gio Ponti’s super-light Superleggera chair, held up in the air with a single finger by a female model, appeared in a 1952 edition of Domus magazine. The chair itself (second exhibition picture, below) and the way it was presented can be seen as symbolic of Ponti’s pursuit of the light and the slim in his design and architecture.

Earlier in his career, from 1923 to 1930, Gio Ponti (1891-1979) had worked at ceramics company Manifattura Ceramica Richard Ginori, in Milan and Sesto Fiorentino, where his life-long obsession with the interior and exterior skin of buildings was kindled. Under his strong influence the entire output of the company would dramatically change.

To communicate texture and character, seeking to add a tactile quality to his buildings, Ponti incorporated both handcrafted and machine-made ceramics. Torafu Architects, designers of the current exhibition, Giving Warmth to The Building’s Skin – The World of Gio Ponti, Father of Modern Italian Design, at Inax Museums in pottery town, Tokaname, Japan, created a framework that gives an illusion of floating volumes, allowing for a sense of lightness, reflecting Ponti’s original aesthetic.

In the show, many of Ponti’s sketches and architectural drawings appear alongside items of his furniture, and, so that visitors can better experience his architectural style – with the full support of the Gio Ponti Archives (Milan) – Inax have reproduced many actual tiles to Ponti’s authentic designs.

Photos
Top: Balcony balustrade and decorative
floor tiles at the Gio Ponti-designed
Hotel Parco Dei Principi, Sorrento, Italy
©Pedro Silmon

Exhibition images: Daici Ano
Original sketch by Gio Ponti
©Gio Ponti Archives

Bottom: Gio Ponti-designed upholstered
version of the Superleggera chair
at the Hotel Parco Dei Principi
©Pedro Silmon

Exhibition images: Daici Ano

Original sketch by Gio Ponti
©Gio Ponti Archives


Exhibition curated by Kaoru Tashiro
Design: Torafu Architects
Sponsored by Lixil Corporation in special
cooperation with the Gio Ponti Archives



Tell us what you think
The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design and gardens, and anything else that currently interests us which we think might interest you

The publishers of The Blog insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees which may, under any circumstances, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier

Share this post
Facebook Twitter Linkedin

Leave a Reply