The Foundation project – a private non-profit organization that is open to the public – arose from the sensitivity towards the culture of design and architecture that have always driven Bisazza.

Many of the works displayed in the Foundation were initially produced for other purposes. Fabio Novembre’s immense looping Love Over All was imagined for the Salon du Meuble in Paris in 2003; Marcel Wanders’ Ante-Lope car was unveiled at London’s 100% Design Fair in 2004; and Mendini’s Monumental Proust Armchair was conceived for an Italian design exhibition in Athens the following year. Other pieces, like Sandro Chia’s Intelligent Bathers and Novembre’s Godot, were unique pieces produced for flagship stores, in Milan and Berlin, respectively.

One of the joys of Fondazione Bisazza is the sheer diversity of works on display. They come in 2- and 3-D, differ in scale and size, and range stylistically from Pawson and Meier’s minimalistic approach to more expressive creations, such as Jaime Hayon’s Jet Set airplane and Studio Job’s oversized Silverware. You’d have to be churlish not to break out into smile when setting eyes upon the latter. Architects, artists, and designers are all represented and while most exhibits are purely whimsical, there is the odd functional piece, such as Marcel Wanders’s Pebbles coffee tables and Patricia Urquiola’s By Side screens.

The brief each time, however, is the same – carte blanche, but with a slight proviso. The resulting creation should nevertheless be representative of each designer or architect’s emblematic style.

Ian Phillips