Objectives of the Conference

Museology for design
Methods and models

The materials of design
purchasing, cataloguing
and preserving

Museography for design
exhibiting and communicating

memoria e ricordo

Francesca Appiani, Alberto Bassi,
Rosanna Pavoni, Raimonda Riccini,
Simona Romano

Università Iuav di Venezia

In collaboration with
Museo Alessi
Museo Alessi, Omegna (Verbania)

Comune Verona
Museo di Castelvecchio, Verona

Kartellmuseo, Noviglio (Milano)

Thanks to the generosity of
Foscarini, Marcon (Venezia)

Museo Rossimoda
della calzatura d'Autore,
Stra (Venezia)

Museo della ceramica in Cottoveneto,
Carbonera (Treviso)

Iuav University of Venice
Faculty of Arts and Design
Department of Art and Industrial design

Per una museologia del design

May 7-8 2007
Faculty of Design and Arts
Convento delle Terese
Dorsoduro 2206
Aula A

Objectives of the Conference

The themes of museology and museography for design have become – particularly in Italy and in recent years – the subject of discussion and debate from various perspectives. It seems important and necessary to pragmatically address some of the issues still open in the matter of conservation, classification and communication of the cultural assets of contemporary society. The objective of the conference is to examine the current situation and to advance a series of concrete guidelines for museum operators, archives, foundations, universities and all those who have a design heritage to manage. These professionals will have the opportunity to debate theories and methodologies of design museology, with reference to significant international experiences, and to acquire a pragmatic overview of the most up-to-date approaches to the conservation, classification and communication of objects. The conference will focus on the tools available to the professionals who must deal every day – often with no guidelines to rely on - with the issues of memory (collecting, preserving, ordering, archiving) and narration (arranging, selecting, exhibiting, narrating, communicating) design objects and the materials related to them. There are three central issues to be addressed.

1. Museology for design / Methods and models

The first theme will address methodological tools for museology applied to design. Apart from the “paradox” of design museums - does it make sense to “museumize” objects and products that are created to be consumed and replaced – the topics open for discussion will include the comparison with other more consolidated models of museology, the question of what should be exhibited in a design museum - the projects, the true unique and unrepeatable “products”, or the actual products - the problem of how to “historicize” a constantly changing contemporary reality, the need to express the context and the multiple interpretations (sociological, socio-technological, anthropological, esthetic), the role of restoration, between conservation and exposition of products, etc.

2. The materials of design / Purchasing, cataloguing and preserving

A second crucial theme deals with the preservation and classification of cultural objects representative of the history of design, with all the possible types of material that design uses to expresses itself (objects, prototypes, components, drawings, photographs, catalogues, printed advertising and videos), and with the consequent problems of archiving, cataloguing and conservation that ensue.. The issues yet to be resolved include the structure of standard cataloguing forms and their specificity or adaptability to design, and the construction of a thesaurus for this field; as well as the problems related to storing and restoring objects and contemporary materials, the description of completed preservation procedures, the assessment of design collections, and the relationship with the collectors’ market and auction houses.

3. Museography for design / Exhibiting and communicating

Not only is “memory” important for design, so is “narrating”: to communicate, primarily by means of showing and exhibiting. Some of the classic themes in the debate about museography change their nature because they are faced with a “non-traditional” museum object – from the relationship between real and virtual to the choice of appropriate media, the creation of a network or system of structures. With the objective of examining new technical and expressive ways to exhibit design, the debate will continue through a comparative analysis of significant experiences on the international scene.