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X1: The Story of a Family Passion

illy Celebrates over eighty years of technology and design in a special Installation on the occasion of the Milan Design Week

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On the occasion of the Milan Design Week illycaffè is celebrating beauty and innovation through an installation, “X1: The Story of a Family Passion”, at the Interni Open Borders exhibition in the historic Università degli Studi di Milano courtyard.

The installation describes the passions that for four generations have been part of Illy family and indeed the company’s DNA: technology and design. Entrance is free of charge.

La Cimbali

The exhibition layout is striking for the anamorphic effect of its rounded columns – red-and-white on one side, black-and-white on the other – surrounding a display of X1 Anniversary Edition coffee machines.

The illetta, the pioneering machine invented by company founder Francesco Illy, has pride of place at the heart of the exhibition. X.1 Anniversary Edition machines are on display along the sides, with the hallmark pressure gauge featuring the historic illy logo.


The machines enrich the exhibition space with a chance to sample the illy blend taste.

The installation is curated by Carlo Bach, illycaffè’s artistic director.

An artist in his own right, Bach was born in Cologne in 1967. He has curated many exhibitions in Italy and internationally.

Since 1999, Bach has helmed the company’s artistic projects. Notably, illy has chosen creativity as its preferred mode of communication to express its corporate values and philosophy.

Bach has developed working relationships with top contemporary artists and emerging talents for experimental art projects, and then translated these experiences into the illy Art Collection, a series of artist-designed espresso cups much sought-after by collectors.

“X1: The Story of a Family Passion” will be open to public from 12 to 23 April 2016.


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