Shelf life

London-based Italian designer Martino Gamper is curating a new furniture exhibition at the Serpentine Galleries which aims to show how ‘objects talk to us personally’.

Åbäke and Martino Gamper 100 Chairs

Source: Angus Mill

Åbäke and Martino Gamper 100 Chairs

The message is that as far as collecting furniture is concerned there is no right or wrong way to for you to do it.

Design is a State of Mind makes its point by looking at shelving systems and tells their story as design objects that impact our lives.

Vico Magistretti, 1977. Manufacturered by Cassina

Source: Fondazione studio museo Vico Magistretti

Vico Magistretti, 1977. Manufacturered by Cassina

Gamper says, ‘There is no perfect design and there is no über-design. Objects talk to us personally.

‘Some might be more functional than others, and the emotional attachment is very individual. This exhibition will showcase a very personal way of collecting and gathering objects – these are pieces that tell a tale.’

Anna Castelli Ferrieri bookcase, 1946. Manufacturered by Pietro Crespi. Finished in walnut-veneered wood and painted metal. Courtesy of Nilufar

Source: Amendolagine e Barracchia

Anna Castelli Ferrieri bookcase, 1946. Manufacturered by Pietro Crespi. Finished in walnut-veneered wood and painted metal. Courtesy of Nilufar

Shelving systems from the 1930s to the present day have been acquired and range from design classics to one-off pieces and include industrial, utilitarian and contemporary examples while newly commissioned work will also be on display.

As you can see there are deliberate imbalances in the form to function ratio of some of these objects, which ultimately gives them a point of difference and means that they can be more cherished by the people who chose them.

Michele De Lucchi Montefeltro, 2008. Oak frame with walnut elements and linseed oil finishing. Courtesy of Nilufar

Source: Amendolagine e Barracchia

Michele De Lucchi Montefeltro, 2008. Oak frame with walnut elements and linseed oil finishing. Courtesy of Nilufar

Pieces by Gaetano Pesce, Franco Albini, Ettore Sottsass, Ercol, Gio Ponti and IKEA will be included in the show.

Angelo Mangiarotti and Bruno Morassutti Cavalletto, 1955. Made in walnut. Courtesy of Nilufar

Source: Amendolagine e Barracchia

Angelo Mangiarotti and Bruno Morassutti Cavalletto, 1955. Made in walnut. Courtesy of Nilufar

Gamper has turned to friends, private collections, and manufacturers to pull together the exhibition, which features designs by Sebastian Bergne, Michael Anastassiades, Daniel Eatock and Gamper himself.

Claudio Salocchi Bookcase, 1960. Manufactured by Sormani it is composed of metal and lacquered wood and has a pivoting base. Courtesy of Nilufar

Source: Amendolagine e Barracchia

Claudio Salocchi Bookcase, 1960. Manufactured by Sormani it is composed of metal and lacquered wood and has a pivoting base. Courtesy of Nilufar

Design is a State of Mind runs from 5 March – 21 April at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London, W2 3XA

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