Object Project

Conversations with Ilaria Mazzoleni


Object Taxonomy


Material Philosophy and Italian Design

“Alessandro, be careful. Your objects just might kill your soul.”

Rector of the Department of Architecture and Design of the Catholic University, Santiago de Chile,
re: Alessandro Mendini

What is an object? It seems a simple enough question. But, it opens a rabbit hole. It muddies philosophy and design. It inspires humanist and post-humanist debate. It is a confrontation with scale. It wades into existential quandary, challenging universal boundaries, ethics, and roles. In an effort to approach the elusive “thing” (if an object even is a thing), we turn to the masters of the contemporary object, to Italian designers, for their insights. A taxonomy of their works provides a window into the complexities of object definition and engagement.