Alessandro Mendini – Winner of the European Prize for Architectural Design
The winner of the 5th edition of the European prize for architecture is the promoter of “banal design”, Alessandro Mendini. A senior among designers (he is 84 years old), Alessandro Mendini’s art is surprisingly fresh, with an ever contemporary air and a sense of timelessness.
Mendini describes his vision as “a quest to communicate through my objects and work in general, trying to say things that encourage people to deepen meditation and spirituality”.
Being Avant-garde Before It Was Fashionable
A quick look at Alessandro Mendini’s portfolio shows that his mindset was always that of an innovator who was cool without attempting to be so. While other designers will proudly state that they embrace a certain style, Mendini was quietly unique in his approach and without desiring attention, got it.
His Proust chair of 1978 is a fine blending of classic furniture and futuristic design. It is pleasing in an incongruous manner. While the lines of the armchair and its fabrics are clearly ages apart, they do not clash against each other.
Great Design for Small Things
Does a simple corkscrew have to look great? Most people would not pay it a second look. But for Mendini, the art of “banal design” means not that design must be banal, but that everyday objects can and must look good, original and stylish.
A teapot is not a thing of beauty for most of us – but we do like the sleek design achieved by Alessandro Mendini for the Alessi collection.
Even a simple coffee table can have a unique and surprising design, making it stand out. Because design is that “salt’n pepper” in our everyday life, helping us surround ourselves with beautiful things that are still functional and useful.
A Statement In Stone and Gold
These two works are so different from each other, and yet so characteristic to Alessandro Mendini’s artwork. They are both epic in their own way and are a great design statement.
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