MANIFESTO

#63

CHANGE OF SPACE

A TRIBUTE TO
CINI BOERI

2024.04.16

Text by Francesca Fontanesi

An installation honouring the work and vision of the Milanese architect and designer Cini Boeri on the centenary of her birth, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the founding of Loro Piana.

Loro Piana Interiors pays homage to Cini Boeri on the centenary of her birth with the installation A Tribute To Cini Boeri in the Cortile della Seta, Loro Piana’s headquarters in Milan, from April 16th to 21st, dedicated to the iconic pieces designed by the great Italian architect, dressed in the exclusive Interiors fabrics of the Maison. These furnishings, created by arflex, celebrate the most joyful, playful, and contemporary aspect of Cini Boeri’s design concept: furnishings designed to encourage individual interaction with domestic space.

The installation, designed in collaboration with the Cini Boeri Archive, follows one of the principles that guided Cini’s work as an architect: the idea of the house designed with separate rooms equipped with independent exits and a common area, a place where the inhabitants wish to gather by choice and not by imposition. Thus, the central room of the installation hosts the iconic Strips system, while each of the surrounding environments is dedicated to a family of products. The path is interactive and invites guests to try out the furnishings and interact with them, always following Cini Boeri’s teaching that wanted furniture capable of engaging with users, adapting and evolving with their needs. In this case, exploring the different areas means engaging with the most famous furnishings designed by Cini Boeri: the modular Strips system (Compasso d’Oro 1979), the Strips bed, the Pecorelle, sofas and armchairs, the Bobo and Boborelax armchairs, and the Botolo high and low chairs – all dressed for the occasion with the finest Loro Piana Interiors fabrics. In particular, the Botolo chairs wear the soft Cashfur in cashmere and silk which, in a special color, gives life to a limited and numbered series of 100 pieces. For the modular Strips sofa, Cashmere Raw was chosen, pure, untinted cashmere in two shades, and for the Strips bed, Tiepolo wool, naturally elastic and resistant, also used on Boborelax, while Bobo is covered in Cashmere Sherpas in Loro Piana’s characteristic Kummel color. The Pecorelle could only be dedicated to Pecora Nera®, the fabric obtained by working the fleece of New Zealand merino sheep in dark color, always in two shades to create a game within the game: a soft and comfortable flock where the light Pecorelle stand out among the dark ones, just as in a real flock from which Loro Piana exclusively sources wool.

“The unique celebration of the iconic models, designed by Cini Boeri for arflex and the exclusive collaboration with Loro Piana Interiors create an extraordinary exhibition. The intention is to be immersed in the designer’s creative world, to play and to savour the models created by arflex, wrapped in an harmonious fusion with ultimate quality fabrics”.

– Arflex

Maria Cristina Mariani Dameno, known as Cini Boeri, was born on June 19, 1924 in Milan, a city with which she maintained a strong bond throughout her life, particularly with Piazza Sant’Ambrogio, where she lived and opened her professional studio. After graduating in architecture from the Politecnico di Milano in 1951, she completed a brief apprenticeship in the studio of Gio Ponti, who taught her a certain mental and physical order as well as his art and poetry. She then spent a long period in the studio of Marco Zanuso, one of the greatest Italian architects and designers of the post-war period. Here, she immediately worked on welfare architectural projects, such as the Asilo per madri nubili al Lorenteggio (1955-56), to improve the living conditions of young women and their children. Meanwhile, Zanuso, with Richard Sapper, pursued important design projects for clients such as Olivetti and Arflex; thus, Cini had the opportunity to become familiar with the world of industry and learn a design method that always starts with a dialogue with the client, to improve both living and public spaces towards a more logical use of spaces and their contents. In 1963, after 11 years in Zanuso’s studio, Cini opened her own studio and started her independent practice, working on private and public architecture, installations, and industrial design, always designing based on the physical and psychological needs of the individual, to encourage autonomy, in space and in relationships.

Joy is inherent in the act of designing, in proposing the new and creating it with responsibility and passion. Commitment corresponds to a moral and intellectual ethic, which should always accompany our work, in all its aspects.

 

 

 

Irony, joy, and a touch of irreverence characterize the entire installation in the Cortile della Seta, to stay true to these teachings and offer visitors a unique experience, showing how Cini’s design is still deeply connected to modern housing needs. A Tribute To Cini Boeri stems from the collaboration between Loro Piana Interiors, Arflex, the historic Italian company that has always produced Cini’s furnishings, and the Cini Boeri Archive, established in 2023 with the aim of collecting, organizing, studying, and disseminating the work of the Milanese architect and designer, to continue animating it with her free, socially engaged, and future-oriented spirit. This encounter marks the beginning of an articulated journey of research and storytelling, which will accompany the Cini Boeri Archive until 2026, the year of the first major retrospective dedicated to the great architect at Triennale. This is not the only initiative celebrating Cini’s figure during Milan Design Week 2024: the Archive and Triennale Milano present the exhibition Cini Boeri in the Biblioteca del Parco, staged at the famous library designed by Ico Parisi for the 1954 Triennale within Parco Sempione, open from April 15th to 28th. Loro Piana Interiors will follow the enhancement path by working closely with the Archive and becoming a Partner of Triennale Milano.

The installation is open to the public until April 21st.
For more information, visit loropiana.com.

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