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Visible Wisdom in Pirelli and Roberto Menghi’s Design at the Biennale dei Racconti di Impresa in Bari

From 4 to 28 November 2023, the Spazio Murat in Bari will host the exhibition Saperi visibili: un secolo di oggetti del made in Italy attraverso il packaging (“Visible Wisdom: A Century of Italian Artefacts through Packaging”) curated by Chiara Alessi. The show looks at the history of company products that have entered the popular imagination in Italy. Organised by the Club delle Imprese per la Cultura di Confindustria Bari e BAT (Barletta Andria Trani), this exhibition is a part of the second Biennale dei Racconti di Impresa. The Biennale explores the creative and cultural dimensions of the business world through various art forms, including literature, theatre, cinema, and the visual arts – the last of these being the focus of the 2023 edition.

Among the 20 products chosen, one standout piece is the polyethylene container designed by the Milanese architect and designer Roberto Menghi for Pirelli. The exhibition also includes original advertising materials from the 1950s and 1960s for these Pirelli containers. The advertisements were created by some of the great names in the world of design and photography, such as Aldo Ballo, Raymond Gfeller and Albe Steiner. There are also photographs that show how these objects were shown at various trade fairs, including the Verona Agricultural Fair, and in the windows of historical shops, such as Moroni Gomme.

Menghi’s container for liquids gives tangible form to the Made in Italy label, in its design but above all in the choice of material. Polypropylene was invented by Giulio Natta, who in 1963 became the only Italian to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. In the late 1930s Pirelli and SIPGS – the Italian association for the production of synthetic rubber, which had been set up together with IRI – commissioned Natta to find an alternative to the increasingly complex process of importing natural rubber from plantations in South America and the Far East. In 1937 Natta and his team worked at the laboratories in Milano Bicocca to solve the problems involved in the production of synthetic rubber and in 1938 he filed two patents for the separation of butylene and butadiene.

From 4 to 28 November 2023, the Spazio Murat in Bari will host the exhibition Saperi visibili: un secolo di oggetti del made in Italy attraverso il packaging (“Visible Wisdom: A Century of Italian Artefacts through Packaging”) curated by Chiara Alessi. The show looks at the history of company products that have entered the popular imagination in Italy. Organised by the Club delle Imprese per la Cultura di Confindustria Bari e BAT (Barletta Andria Trani), this exhibition is a part of the second Biennale dei Racconti di Impresa. The Biennale explores the creative and cultural dimensions of the business world through various art forms, including literature, theatre, cinema, and the visual arts – the last of these being the focus of the 2023 edition.

Among the 20 products chosen, one standout piece is the polyethylene container designed by the Milanese architect and designer Roberto Menghi for Pirelli. The exhibition also includes original advertising materials from the 1950s and 1960s for these Pirelli containers. The advertisements were created by some of the great names in the world of design and photography, such as Aldo Ballo, Raymond Gfeller and Albe Steiner. There are also photographs that show how these objects were shown at various trade fairs, including the Verona Agricultural Fair, and in the windows of historical shops, such as Moroni Gomme.

Menghi’s container for liquids gives tangible form to the Made in Italy label, in its design but above all in the choice of material. Polypropylene was invented by Giulio Natta, who in 1963 became the only Italian to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. In the late 1930s Pirelli and SIPGS – the Italian association for the production of synthetic rubber, which had been set up together with IRI – commissioned Natta to find an alternative to the increasingly complex process of importing natural rubber from plantations in South America and the Far East. In 1937 Natta and his team worked at the laboratories in Milano Bicocca to solve the problems involved in the production of synthetic rubber and in 1938 he filed two patents for the separation of butylene and butadiene.

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