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La Triennale

A constantly evolving cultural institution

Among the artistic places that deserve to be seen but especially experienced in Milan there is one place in particular that ranks high on my list as a Milanese which is the Triennale: a cultural institution that is alive and evolving, in constant change. Actually, it’s a place that welcomes Milanese and foreigners alike, putting forth constant opportunities to live and experience art in different ways and in which contemplation and coexistence are in a continuum.

In the red brick building on Via Alemagna – a primary example itself of early 20th century architecture – you can observe many displays of art, photography, design and architecture but you can also just take a walk around the garden studded with contemporary features or have a coffee seated on works of design each one different from the next: it’s these details that make the visitor’s experience exciting.

When I visit here, I’m not just in Milan: I’m in New York, I’m in London, in Tokyo. I am any place that can breathe my moment and live our modern time. The Triennale Design Museum section, which houses the most important pieces of history in international and Italian design, is proposing the “Cucine & Ultracorpi” (Kitchens and Ultrabodies) this year, till the end of February, dedicated to the slow transformation from kitchen utensils into machines and automation: from the refrigerator to the toaster, through the coffee machine, the history of the household appliance is outlined through its “historic pieces”.

The artistic vocation of this historic Milanese museum is not limited in design: an integral part is its Art Theatre, a conference room and live performances that last season, after hosting Tim Robbins and his A Midsummer Night’s Dream has given way to Mikhail Baryshnikov directed by Bob Wilson in the show Letter to a Man.

In summer season you can enjoy cultural cocktails, keep an eye on the events at the Edison Open Garden: here in the months of the Expo was held the initiative “Open Night”, a series of evening concerts of different genres, from jazz to the German electro-acoustics through the tex-mex of the deep American West. Milan’s Triennale will reach its peak vitality in 2016, when the XXI International Exposition, entitled “21st Century. Design After Design will take place, from April to September. The event will spread from Via Alemagna to numerous contemporary art places in Milan and Monza, as the Pirelli Hangar Bicocca, the Fabbrica del Vapore and the Museum of Cultures – MUDEC – and will be about the evolution of the international and Italian design focusing on changes due to crisis and the global market.

It will therefore be an extraordinary opportunity to observe and reflect on our time and how our daily lives are changing relating to the things we buy and that surround us. The Triennale is therefore not only a museum but a collection of ideas and proposals for citizenship: as a Milanese, I could want nothing more.

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