THE HISTORICAL COLLECTION OF THE ADI COMPASSO D’ORO AWARD. THREE CASES STUDIES FOR THE RECONSTRUCTION OF VOLUMETRIC AND INDUSTRIAL COLOUR SURFACE LOSSES
BY SANDRA VAZQUEZ, ENRICO MORTEO
A collaboration between The ADI Compasso d’Oro Collection Foundation and The “La Venaria Reale” Preservation and Restoration Center Foundation (CCR), has been established to tackle different aspects of the conservation of the Historical Collection of the ADI Compasso d’Oro Award, which constitutes the oldest and most influential international design award in the world and has the unique property of expanding to encompass the products singled out for the prestigious acknowledgement with every new edition of the award, held once every three years. In 2004, the collection was declared, Italy’s National Heritage to be “of exceptional artistic and historical interest”.
For years, the objects from the Compasso d’Oro Collection, because not necessarily were destined to become museum pieces, were packed away and stored in the external warehouse, without a particular attention being paid to correct conservation. Since 2009, the CCR foundation, work on the Historical Collection of the ADI Compasso d’Oro Award, an strongly innovative project in content of design with the objective of defining a specific intervention methodology on design object. The features of project are: the preservation and restoration intervention of design objects in the collection; preservative cataloguing by the design and construction of an ad hoc database, upcoming preparation for a museum setting, handling, packaging and storage studies and activities were all carried out alongside one another. Various objects have been selected from study in order to asses the condition, because they were in a state of severe degrade and at risk for conservation. A second selection objects was done to appear in the exhibition Unicità d’Italia. Made in Italy e Identità Nazionale (May to September 2011) at Rome.
The wide number of objects from collection (nearly three hundred products awarded in more than fifty years, along with the almost two thousand products selected with the Honorable Mention), hence reflects the range of technologies and materials used in the last two centuries. Every object was examined with the aim of producing condition reports and careful analysis of constituent materials as well as the assessment of degradation patterns. The database contain the necessary datas to the correct compilation with updatings regarding: identification, material, creation processes, meaning of the work, recognition of the constitutive elements and theirs state of conservation, planning, diagnostic, restoration treatments. The file can be covered with all digital documentation (pdf, jpg, video ect) and have at your disposal all data in Italian and English.
The article introduce briefly the range of objects in the Historical Collection of the ADI Compasso d’Oro Award and quote examples of three objects: Fitted kitchen (1954) by Augusto Magnaghi, S.A.F.F.A., Milan , Mobil (1994) by A.Citterio & G.O Low to Kartell spa and Spinamatic (1964) by Achile & P.G Castiglioni to Splügen Bräu della Poretti s.p.a. The report describe the object’s fabrication technology, their characteristics, material analyses and conservation approaches. These objects was chosen because they need reconstruction of volumetric and industrial colour surface losses.