Design for fun at the Museum of Art Pudong

Design for fun at the Museum of Art Pudong

A view of some of the exhibits at the “Design for Fun” exhibition at Museum of Art Pudong in Shanghai.

“Design for Fun,” currently underway at the Museum of Art Pudong in Shanghai, brings back the exuberance of Italian designs created over the last 70 years.

Featuring nearly 100 design pieces, the exhibition, rather than based on a timeline, is unveiled through 13 thematic sections, including “The Joyful Tragedy of Living,” “Fragile but Eternal,” “Trapping Light in Color” and “Daily Rituals.”

Stepping into the exhibition hall, visitors encounter “The Joyful Tragedy of Living” section.

In the 1980s, Ettore Sottsass, Alessandro Mendini and a group of Italian designers, seeking new challenges, departed from any optimistic and positive outlook regarding future progress when faced with a future of uncertainties. So the items in this section are filled with exaggeration, rebellion and prank. The designers recreated their works in a bizarre way, based on classical architecture and furniture.

Design for fun at the Museum of Art Pudong

“The Soft Shape” shows how happy “a couch potato” can be through a group of differently shaped sofas.

“To See, To Be Seen” section displays a cluster of lamps in various creative designs. For Italian designs, perhaps light is not just a necessary premise for vision, it is also a point of energy that overcomes darkness, or a signal that detaches itself from the darkness. Here, lamps are not only used to illuminate, but are also luminous objects that inhabit a specific landscape.

Frankly speaking, the exhibition demands a careful inspection to find its beauty and meaning, sometimes the items are placed above one’s head, such as in the “Trapping Light in Color” section.

Visitors will find a circle of glassware placed up on the roof of a round-shaped pavilion in the exhibition hall. Perhaps such an angle helps the glassware radiate the light in a better way, as glass is the only “magical material” that light can inhabit and transform. In fact, glass has been used as a work of art on the Venetian Island of Murano for over 1,000 years. It is said that the inherited secret recipes there would give glass all the colors of the rainbow. Visitors can check out whether the saying holds true or otherwise at the exhibition.

“Fun” is the core of this exhibition, as an atmosphere of cheer and humor wafts over the exhibition hall.

“The Soft Shape” is an exhibition room that shows how happy “a couch potato” can be through a group of differently shaped sofas. Actually, the emergence of more dynamic and faster ways of living has changed the very structure of the traditional house and the objects in it.

This marked the beginning of a more informal attitude that is reflected in a freer and more casual behavior. These soft objects create a more comfortable, free and relaxed life, such as the seawave-shaped sofa and palm-shaped sofa.

Exhibition info:

Date: Through December 31, 10am-9pm

Venue: Museum of Art Pudong

Address: 2777 Binjiang Ave