More than 100 winning exhibits of the "Compasso d'Oro", the oldest design award in the world, are on display at the Jiuzhi Art Space on the Bund 18.
On loan from the collection of the ADI Design Museum in Milan, these items reflect how design products can break the norms of "public service" or "home life" by combining different elements to create unique design effects.
Now in its 70th year, the "Compasso d'Oro" remains the world's most coveted design award. Founded in 1954, the award was the first official recognition addressing the problem of production as a fact not only of economics, but also of aesthetics, culture, and custom.
Following this spirit, the exhibition is staged as a journey that presents the history and relevance of the award in close relation to its historical context, and to a series of social and cultural trends that, on top of defining Italian design, have become fundamental narrative threads of contemporary international industrial design.
Visitors will encounter the symbol for "Compasso d'Or" at the exhibition.
The symbol was designed by graphic designer Albe Steiner in 1953, inspired by the Golden Ratio Divider invented by the painter Adalbert Goeringer in 1893, a tool used to determine whether two measurements are related through the Golden Ratio. The golden compass awarded to the winners of the Compasso d'Oro Award is the physical translation of Steiner's symbol and was designed by Marco Zanuso and Alberto Rosselli in 1954
Divided into seven sections, "Invention and Creation" is the spotlight of the exhibition. It showcases Italian designers' subversive design concepts as inventors.
One of the highlights at the exhibition is the "K1340 Children's Chair", which won the Golden Circle Award in 1964. The chair is a purely geometric form in colors. Thanks to its freely assembled modular design, it allows children to build with their hands the wonderful worlds they envisage through slides and climbing frames.
The design concept is based on the children's unlimited creativity.
The "Spun" armchair designed by Thomas Heswick, which won the 2014 Golden Gauge Award, can rotate 360 degrees like a gyroscope. One can sit on it and swing as much as they want without ever falling down.
Created between 1979 to 1981, the Neapolitan coffee machine Alessi, designed by Riccardo D'Alessi, resembles members from a big family. Each seems to have a facial expression and a specific role to play.
Date: Through February 25, 2025 (closed on Mondays), 10am-6pm
Admission: Free (no entry after 5:30pm)
Venue: Bund 18 Jiushi Art Gallery
Address: 18 Zhongshan Rd. E1