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A 150-Year-Long Year: Our Projects for Pirelli’s 150th Anniversary

The year that is coming to an end has been important for Pirelli, which has been celebrating its first 150 years. Through our projects and events, our aim has been to tell the long story of research and innovation that has featured so prominently in this century and a half, ever since the Sunday when the company began its life. It was founded by the young engineer Giovanni Battista Pirelli on 28 January 1872. 150 years later, on 28 January this year, the celebrations began with a show staged at the Piccolo Teatro di Milano: the event, which was put on by the Pirelli Communication Department and the Cultural Affairs Department, included a series of testimonies, voices and images from our Historical Archives. 2022 also gave the Foundation a change of look with a new exhibition entitled Pirelli: When History Builds the Future. The show illustrates not just the cultural but also the technological heritage of the company, in multimedia installations such as Inner Future, by NEO Narrative Environment Operas, videos such as Shapes, Patterns, Movements and Colors and a photographic reportage by Carlo Furgeri Gilbert, who gives his own take on the world of rubber, from raw materials to finished product. Guided tours of the new display attracted around 200 participants in the 2022 editions of the Archivi Aperti (“Open Archives”) of Rete Fotografia and at the 21st Business Culture Week. Research and innovation are also the subject of Thinking Ahead. Pirelli: 150 Years of Industry, Innovation and Culture, published by Marsilio. This multi-voice story contains contributions from representatives of the institutions, including Maria Cristina Messa, the Minister of University and Research, and Ferruccio Resta and Guido Saracco, the rectors of the Politecnico Universities of Milan and Turin, as well as great Italian authors such as Ernesto Ferrero, Giuseppe Lupo, and Bruno Arpaia, and international authors such as Ian McEwan, Geoff Mulgan and David Weinberger, as well as top names from the world of architecture, culture, music and journalism such as Salvatore Accardo, Monica Maggioni, Renzo Piano, and Ermete Realacci. The book was presented at the 2022 Economics Festival in Trento and at the Salone del Libro in Turin and it has won two awards for its promotion of corporate heritage: in the “Storytelling through words, images and sounds” category at the 2022 Corporate Heritage Awards and the Montegrappa Special Mention for the promotion of corporate heritage at the 2022 OMI Awards. Taking the book as its inspiration, BookCity Milano hosted a meeting entitled “Thinking Ahead: Business Stories in Research, Innovation, and Culture” at the headquarters of the Fondazione Corriere della Sera: a conversation between Antonio Calabrò, Ernesto Ferrero and Piergaetano Marchetti, with Isabella Ragonese reading excerpts from the book.

The 150th anniversary of the company was also celebrated by a set of three commemorative coins in gold and silver unveiled in the 2022 Numismatic Collection by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and by the Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato  (the State Printing Office and Mint), as well as by a stamp in the series that celebrates centres of excellence in the productive and economic system of Italy. These collector’s items well express the identity of the Pirelli Group. An identity shared by the Long P right across the world: many of the countries where the company is based – such as Brazil, China, Spain, and the United States, to mention but a few – have shown the travelling exhibition Pirelli: The Story of a Company. A 150-Year History of Passion and Innovation, curated by the Foundation together with the Communication Department. The exhibition is now in digital form at www.fondazionepirelli.org/pirelli-150-storia-di-passione-e-innovazione/. A digital hub, Pirelli Builds the Future, is devoted to the anniversary with stories and analyses together with a timeline of the history of Pirelli ever since 1872. But there is even more to our digital projects of 2022: to discover our world from afar, users can go on new virtual tours of the Bicocca degli Arcimboldi, of the Foundation and of the Skyscraper Stories exhibition, a  project  selected for the ADI Design Index 2021 award  and a participant in the 27th ADI Compasso d’Oro Award.

In the field of training, the work of Pirelli Foundation Educational continued with courses for schools, as well as special projects: these included the tenth edition of the Cinema & History refresher course for teachers, organised with the Fondazione ISEC, in collaboration with the Cinema Beltrade in Milan, which examined the issue of “Italy and its periods of decline and rebirth: an economic history”, and participation in the Festival dell’Innovazione e della Scienza in Settimo Torinese with a meeting entitled “Pirelli and our future on the roads – sustainable mobility, innovative tyres and road safety”. Again in 2022 we put on many events in the world of reading: a meeting devoted to schools as part of the Corporate Culture Week with Roberto Piumini, Antonella Sbuelz and Alexandra Tedesco and the launch of the second edition of the Premio Campiello Junior, with the selection of the three finalists announced on 16 December.

A 150-year-long year, celebrating and telling the story of the Long P and of our corporate culture.

The year that is coming to an end has been important for Pirelli, which has been celebrating its first 150 years. Through our projects and events, our aim has been to tell the long story of research and innovation that has featured so prominently in this century and a half, ever since the Sunday when the company began its life. It was founded by the young engineer Giovanni Battista Pirelli on 28 January 1872. 150 years later, on 28 January this year, the celebrations began with a show staged at the Piccolo Teatro di Milano: the event, which was put on by the Pirelli Communication Department and the Cultural Affairs Department, included a series of testimonies, voices and images from our Historical Archives. 2022 also gave the Foundation a change of look with a new exhibition entitled Pirelli: When History Builds the Future. The show illustrates not just the cultural but also the technological heritage of the company, in multimedia installations such as Inner Future, by NEO Narrative Environment Operas, videos such as Shapes, Patterns, Movements and Colors and a photographic reportage by Carlo Furgeri Gilbert, who gives his own take on the world of rubber, from raw materials to finished product. Guided tours of the new display attracted around 200 participants in the 2022 editions of the Archivi Aperti (“Open Archives”) of Rete Fotografia and at the 21st Business Culture Week. Research and innovation are also the subject of Thinking Ahead. Pirelli: 150 Years of Industry, Innovation and Culture, published by Marsilio. This multi-voice story contains contributions from representatives of the institutions, including Maria Cristina Messa, the Minister of University and Research, and Ferruccio Resta and Guido Saracco, the rectors of the Politecnico Universities of Milan and Turin, as well as great Italian authors such as Ernesto Ferrero, Giuseppe Lupo, and Bruno Arpaia, and international authors such as Ian McEwan, Geoff Mulgan and David Weinberger, as well as top names from the world of architecture, culture, music and journalism such as Salvatore Accardo, Monica Maggioni, Renzo Piano, and Ermete Realacci. The book was presented at the 2022 Economics Festival in Trento and at the Salone del Libro in Turin and it has won two awards for its promotion of corporate heritage: in the “Storytelling through words, images and sounds” category at the 2022 Corporate Heritage Awards and the Montegrappa Special Mention for the promotion of corporate heritage at the 2022 OMI Awards. Taking the book as its inspiration, BookCity Milano hosted a meeting entitled “Thinking Ahead: Business Stories in Research, Innovation, and Culture” at the headquarters of the Fondazione Corriere della Sera: a conversation between Antonio Calabrò, Ernesto Ferrero and Piergaetano Marchetti, with Isabella Ragonese reading excerpts from the book.

The 150th anniversary of the company was also celebrated by a set of three commemorative coins in gold and silver unveiled in the 2022 Numismatic Collection by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and by the Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato  (the State Printing Office and Mint), as well as by a stamp in the series that celebrates centres of excellence in the productive and economic system of Italy. These collector’s items well express the identity of the Pirelli Group. An identity shared by the Long P right across the world: many of the countries where the company is based – such as Brazil, China, Spain, and the United States, to mention but a few – have shown the travelling exhibition Pirelli: The Story of a Company. A 150-Year History of Passion and Innovation, curated by the Foundation together with the Communication Department. The exhibition is now in digital form at www.fondazionepirelli.org/pirelli-150-storia-di-passione-e-innovazione/. A digital hub, Pirelli Builds the Future, is devoted to the anniversary with stories and analyses together with a timeline of the history of Pirelli ever since 1872. But there is even more to our digital projects of 2022: to discover our world from afar, users can go on new virtual tours of the Bicocca degli Arcimboldi, of the Foundation and of the Skyscraper Stories exhibition, a  project  selected for the ADI Design Index 2021 award  and a participant in the 27th ADI Compasso d’Oro Award.

In the field of training, the work of Pirelli Foundation Educational continued with courses for schools, as well as special projects: these included the tenth edition of the Cinema & History refresher course for teachers, organised with the Fondazione ISEC, in collaboration with the Cinema Beltrade in Milan, which examined the issue of “Italy and its periods of decline and rebirth: an economic history”, and participation in the Festival dell’Innovazione e della Scienza in Settimo Torinese with a meeting entitled “Pirelli and our future on the roads – sustainable mobility, innovative tyres and road safety”. Again in 2022 we put on many events in the world of reading: a meeting devoted to schools as part of the Corporate Culture Week with Roberto Piumini, Antonella Sbuelz and Alexandra Tedesco and the launch of the second edition of the Premio Campiello Junior, with the selection of the three finalists announced on 16 December.

A 150-year-long year, celebrating and telling the story of the Long P and of our corporate culture.

Multimedia

Images