The ADI Design Museum, one of the largest museums in Europe dedicated to design, made its debut on May 25th, 2021: 5,000m2 of exhibition space house all the winning entries of the Compasso d'Oro Award, the most prestigious Italian design accolade, situated in the aptly-named stylish piazza Compasso d'Oro with entrance from Via Ceresio 7 or Via Bramante 42.
The venue, no longer reserved exclusively for professionals, is finally open to the general public and the permanent exhibition area of 5.135 m2 features 2000 objects that have been granted the Compasso d'Oro, from 1954 to today. An incredible treasure chest of design wonders, enriched by new acquisitions following each edition of the award.
True to its role of a ‘museum as narrator’ the venue is laid out as a cultural centre with thematic exhibitions, spaces dedicated to business meetings and public events, a library, the ADI head office and historical archive, children’s workshops, a bookstore and a befittingly design-conscious eatery.
The preview was celebrated in Tokyo on the occasion of Italian Innovation Day last November 5th, and the former industrial area, between via Ceresio and via Bramante, has finally concluded the restoration of the three 1930s naves in the space that was originally a tram depot and subsequentially an electricity distribution system.
The new logo also becomes a narrative tool for the new venue: Bob Noorda's typeface linked to the design Association since its origins, has been deferentially discarded in favour of Michele Provinciali’s design for the 10th Triennale of 1954, embellished with the initials D and M - representing the name in English - together with the letter A designed as a golden compass but simplified compared to Albe Steiner’s original design.
OTHER DESIGN MUSEUMS IN MILAN
If you want to discover other great Italian design venues on the Milanese scene, we suggest: the nearby Museum of Italian Design at the Triennale Milano, a permanent exhibition and Italy’s foremost institution for design and contemporary culture.
Situated between the Isola, Dergano and Bovisa districts, the Branca Museum is housed in one of few still-active factory sites, home to the Branca distilleries since 1845 which still produces the historic Fernet Branca amaro, one of the iconic symbols of the city of Milan. Fernet-Branca may be an acquired taste but the factory tour will definitely have you enthralled with its posters, original designs, artifacts and promotional materials emblazoned with the drink’s logo, as well as vintage production tools.
Last but definitely not least, towards the city perimeter, along the MM1 subway line, you’ll find the Galleria Campari, a hidden gem that opened to the public in 2010 on the occasion of the company's 150th anniversary. It serves as an interactive and multimedia space entirely dedicated to the history of an icon, the Campari brand, and its close link with communication through art and design.