Design Ambiguous design in the Church of Parabiago
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Ambiguous design in the Church of Parabiago

Giorgia Massari

Increasingly, art in all its forms is coming into contact with historical and sacred places such as former churches, former convents or archaeological sites. The dialogue between contemporary and ancient, as well as the contrast between secular and religious, are increasingly proving their scenic and communicative power. Curators and gallery owners are looking for evocative and magical places with the intention of developing new languages but not only. In this sense, the factor of redevelopment of the historical and cultural heritage comes into play. Art is in the first place in proposing new uses of these often closed and unused places. We have already talked in the past about the exhibition at the deconsecrated church in Corvetto during Milan Design Week, while today we want to tell you about a new contemporary design exhibition in the historic Church of Sant’Ambrogio della Vittoria in Parabiago (Milan) organized by FORO Studio and BeAlpha. Let’s find out more about the project and the emerging designers involved.

Antìtesi: the title and the location

The exhibition is titled Antìtesi and will run from Sept. 30 to Oct. 8, 2023, presenting the public with a selection of design works inspired by the rhetorical figure of antithesis. In this sense, designers are invited to reason about the contrast between two opposing entities, aiming to stimulate a strong emotional impact. The location is a fundamental part of the experience. The Church of Sant’Ambrogio della Vittoria is a place steeped in history and legends. Its construction was inspired by Luchino Visconti’s legendary victory over the rebellion led by Lodrisio, thanks to the divine intervention of St. Ambrose. This sacred place was declared a national monument in 1913 and has recently begun a process of restoration and reuse thanks to the association “La Fabbrica di Sant’Ambrogio.”

Jonathan Bocca

The exhibited designers

Within this historical context with a religious aura, the Antithesis exhibition presents a selection of contemporary design curated by FORO Studio. This shortlist includes a variety of designers, artists and makers from around the world, each with their own interpretation of antithesis in design. Participants include names such as AGA/Sign, Alice Crepaldi (whom we have already told you about here), Andreas Palfinger, Jonathan Bocca (you can also read about him here), and many others, each of whom has contributed unique and ambiguous projects that stimulate deep reflections.

Aga Sign

FORO Studio said, “Confrontation with the powerful rhetorical figure of antithesis has led us to learn about the multiple approaches of the participants who have unveiled projects that are intentionally ambiguous and thus capable of stimulating deep reflection. The art of design will be our contradictory voice, teaching us to understand and appreciate the harmonious dualism between opposing concepts, where contrast and harmony live on through the creative act.”

Sonia Gasparini

How to buy the exhibition’s objects

Another fascinating aspect of the exhibition is the partnership with Nonahora, an online curated-shop offering a selection of unique and sought-after items. Visitors will have the opportunity to purchase items in the exhibition directly from, guaranteeing the quality and authenticity of each piece.

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Written by Giorgia Massari
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