Monday 27 June 2022

New exhibition lets coffee lovers taste the design of Italian espresso machines

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KERKRADE, The Netherlands – On Saturday 21 April, the new Passione italiana – L’arte dell’Espresso exhibition opened in Cube design museum in Kerkrade. The shining highlight is the iconic ‘La Cornuta‘ espresso machine designed by the famous Italian architect Gio Ponti. Visitors will be taken on a journey through the world of espresso and design.

This journey through time starts in Italy in 1910, where the huge demand for coffee prompted designers to develop an espresso machine that would quickly make coffee under high pressure (espresso).

The journey takes you through decades of expensive, impressive, antique and Wi-Fi-controlled espresso machines and designer crockery.

A passion for espresso and design

Besides the showpiece by Gio Ponti, there is a real ‘Kees van der Westen‘, named after the world-famous espresso machine manufacturer from the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant.

The exhibition also features the world’s smallest espresso machine, and its most sustainable.

Models by brands such as Victoria Arduino, Bialetti and Faema will make the hearts of the passionate (home) barista beat faster.

Percolator or palace?

It does not matter that some percolators look more like a palace than a percolator,’ said Alberto Alessi, the Italian designer who brought design to everyone’s kitchen. He has bridged the gap between Italian architecture and designing everyday objects.

The exhibition clearly shows how the shapes of buildings have percolated through to coffee design. After the exhibition, you will also view the Bonnefantenmuseum building in Maastricht, designed by the Italian architect and designer Aldo Rossi, through very different eyes.

The changing form and function of espresso machines and crockery reflect the changing times. The exhibition takes you from the very first espressos in which the taste of burned coffee beans was masked by a lot of sugar to the coffee of the future.

The exhibition is in collaboration with the IMF Foundation and is curated by Elisabetta Pisu.

The exhibition was made possible thanks to major loans by the MUMAC – Coffee Machine Museum by Gruppo Cimbali, the Alessi Museum and private collections of Enrico Maltoni, Antonello, Franco Balzarotti, Gustav Merenyi and Alessio Sarri.

Brands, designers and architects:

Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, Aldo Rossi, Aldo Cibic, Alessi, Andreas Seegatz-Stars Milano, Angeletti Ruzza, Arvid Häusser, Bialetti, Bugatti, Bruno Munari, Carlton, Carlo Colombo, Daniel Debiasi and Federico Sandri, Dominique Perrault, Elektra, Enzo Mari, Ettore Sottsass, Faema, Gaggia, Gaetano Pesce, Gio Ponti, Giorgetto Giugiaro, Giulio Iacchetti, Guzzini, illycaffè, Jean Nouvel, Joseph Hoffmann, Julian Lechner, Kartell, Kees van der Westen, La Cimbali, La Pavoni, Lavazza, Luca Trazzi, Marcello Morandini, Marco Zanuso, Massimiliano Fuksas and Doriana Mandrelli, Matteo Thun, Michele De Lucchi, Officina Rancilio, Paola C., Patricia Urquiola, Patrick Hunt, Piero Lissoni, Rami Tareef, Richard Sapper, Riccardo Dalisi, Salins Studio, Shmuel Linski, Stelton, Toyo Ito, Tom Dixon, Universal, Valerio Cometti + V12 Design, Viceversa, Victoria Arduino, Yaniv Berg, Wacaco Nanopresso.

What: ‘Passione italiana – L’arte dell’Espresso’

Where: Cube design museum, Museumplein 2 Kerkrade, the Netherlands

When: from 21 April to 29 October 2018


About Cube design museum

Cube design museum, located on Museumplein in Kerkrade, is a place of innovation, national and international design, and co-creation together with the visitors. Cube focusses on design for human needs. In other words, how design applies to health, food, shelter, safety, etc.

Unlike other design museums, Cube does more than just exhibit design; it is a place where knowledge is shared, and new insight comes to life.

Visitors discover the story behind design, from brainstorm to prototype. Every year, the institution accommodates 30 students and designers who go through the design process from the basic need for something to the final development. Visitors are encouraged to think and work together, making co-creation the key.

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