Seoul hosts Kartell and tells the fantastic story of plastic turning into design.
The Korean museum’s typical youthful, energetic style showcases Kartell’s marriage of industrial production and Italian design through a series of poignant installations. Here visitors are able to discover Kartell’s most beautiful creations, from historical accessories and homeware items on loan from the Kartell Museo collections, to contemporary furniture and lighting. The common denominator of the exhibition’s pieces is plastic, which Kartell has been using since the 1950s to produce household goods and lighting and, since the 1960s, for furniture and furnishing accessories (Kartell’s first plastic chair, designed by Marco Zanuso and Richard Sapper, was made in 1964).
The company’s output became synonymous with developments in materials science while contributing significantly to cementing the global reputation of Italian design and transforming tastes and homes in Italy and beyond. The dialogue between industry and design, and between project value and the creativity of international architects and designers – from masters such as Achille Castiglioni, Marco Zanuso, Joe Colombo, Gae Aulenti and Vico Magistretti to contemporaries like Philippe Starck, Piero Lissoni, Antonio Citterio, Ferruccio Laviani, Tokujin Yoshioka and Patricia Urquiola, to name but a few – lies at the heart of this thrilling show that recounts the history of how plastic met design.
Good Italian design revolves around combinations: beautiful yet practical products that are also innovative, and the potential of plastic and versatility of the products. All of these values are showcased to the public at the D Museum, Seoul, where visitors are enchanted by the exquisite reflections and illuminated patterns of the Plastic Fantastic pieces.
The show is accompanied by a series of educational activities organized by the museum throughout the six-month run, starting with a workshop to deepen relations between industry, design and materials. At the same time, Kartell and its Korean partner organize events and initiatives at the Kartell store in Seoul. “We are truly honored by the invite from the Daelim Museum,” said Claudio Luti, Kartell President. For Kartell, being able to hold an exhibition in a country that is so important strategically in terms of the Asian market is really something to be proud of. The possibility of seeing our industrial history, our creative journey and our continually innovative processes told in this show is a real privilege, and an enormous opportunity for growing our reputation in this market and above all for teaching young Koreans who visit the museum about the evolution of plastic in design, which Kartell has been developing since 1949. What is more, the installation is a real thrill, entertaining visitors in a way that is unlike traditional product exhibitions”.
Credit: PLASTIC FANTASTIC, 2017, Courtesy of D MUSEUM