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Books exhibited in: “Somewhere Totally Else” – the best of European contemporary design.
Design Museum, London, 27 sep. 2003 to 4 jan. 2004

Marino Cattaneo, Priska Groh
L’albero fossile e l’albero vivo.
Immagini e note sull’utilità del castagno

Photographs by Prisca Groh
Design by Theredbox communication design

21×15 cm
96 pp.
8 pp. duo., 80 pp.
text on differents full col. printed papers

ISBN 88-87469-09-1

CHF 29.-
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Che cosa hanno in comune una civiltà tecnologicamente avanzaza e una frana? Apparentemente nulla: se non eventuali danni che lo scoscendimento potrebbe causare ai dintorni di un’ipotetica città. Ma se dalla frana emergessero manufatti di un’antica civiltà che in qualche modo potessero riaccendere la curiosità della gente aiutandola a comprendere il passato, a ri-imparare a utilizzare pienamente i propri sensi e ad osservare ciò che ci circonda, in quel caso la civiltà e la frana sarebbero legati da un filo invisibile che potremmo chiamare “memoria”. La natura, anche se in apparenza si mostrasse in tutto il suo effetto devastante, non farebbe altro che restituire all’uomo il suo passato per aiutarlo ad affrontare meglio, e con più coscienza, il futuro. Questa è una delle interpretazioni che si possono dedurre dalla pubblicazione “L’albero fossile e l’albero vivo. Immagini e note sull’utilità del castagno” scritto da Marino Cattaneo e accompagnato da una ricerca fotografica di Prisca Groh. Un libro eseguito a quattro mani dove, scrittore e artista, hanno saputo miscelare le loro competenze e sensibilità per dare forma ad un’opera fuori dal comune. Un intelligente concetto grafico ha permesso di utilizzare fogli che normalmente andrebbero al macero come supporto per la stampa dei testi, riuscendo in questo modo a trasporre sulla carta quel concetto di matericità che si avverte nel testo. Con questo procedimento ogni singola copia è un pezzo unico e si è raggiunto il giusto equilibro tra impaginazione, immagini e contenuti.
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The trees of the woods and forests do not provide just fruits and timber. Full of tales recounting folk, traditional and agricultural practices, they also give rise to imaginative stories – of art and utopias. These notes on the chestnut tree conclude a line of argument emanating from a unique educational project, conducted recently in conjunction with the Malcantone Museum of Curio, to highlight significant contrasts between industrial products and handicrafts. The text and the photographic investigation (carried out at night in a chestnut forest being restored in the vicinity of Aranno) have been developed autonomously by the authors as part of a common goal: to augment the depth of our perception of the external world. In strict coherence to a policy of recycling, used materials only have been employed in the production of the publication. This policy guarantees that every single copy is in fact a unique work. Two identical copies cannot exist without this compromising quality, and subsequently the cover price. The pictures and text are faithful in every detail to the original graphic concept. This is one of those rare publications where precise graphic design has permitted the finding of the perfect balance between layout, images and content.
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European Design Biennial
27 September 2003 to 4 January 2004

The Design Museum is celebrating the best of European contemporary design in Somewhere Totally Else – European Design Biennial, the first of a series of exhibitions featuring the most exciting and innovative design projects to have been produced in Europe in the past two years.

Exploring every area of design – from the ‘office of the future’ that the French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have dreamt up for Vitra, and the Trent 80 engine developed by Rolls-Royce’s design engineers for the new A380 double-decker jumbo jet which promises to revolutionise air travel, to the hottest couture collection and a 27p stamp – the Biennial will be a must-see exhibition running from 27 September 2003 to 4 January 2004.

The Design Museum’s first Biennial comes at a time of unprecedented public interest in design when, thanks to advances in technology, we can choose to change the way we lead our lives: by living and working in the same place, for example, or working while we travel. The same new technologies are enabling today’s designers to work more creatively than ever before. The theme of Somewhere Totally Else – originally the title of an essay by the design theorist Reyner Banham – is to show how inspiring and innovative design can transform our daily lives for the better.

As well as offering Design Museum visitors a whistle-stop tour of the most exciting innovations in European design, the Biennial will encourage them to question their perceptions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ design. Some exhibits will be chosen because they look great, others for practicality, their positive impact on the environment or ingenious use of technology. While featuring work by famous designers, Somewhere Totally Else will also introduce Europe’s rising design stars and unearth anonymously designed products, which, like everything else in the exhibition, will exemplify excellence in design. Visitors will be able to voice their opinions by voting on what they consider to be the best – and worst – examples of different aspects of design in the Biennial.

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