Sempering is the trick-title of the exhibition host at MUDEC Museum for 21 Triennale and inspired by the German architect Gottfried Semper, who in a book written in 1851 during the 1st World Exhibition in London, listed the components of ideal house which can be considered as the basic elements of architecture of all ages and places: the fireplace, the roof, the foundation/earthwork and fence. The same approach is today used by the curators Cino Zucchi e Luisa Collina, to identify eight constructive actions on a material or component that leaves a significant trace in the end product.
How to face the radical change in contemporary design? The curators’ challenge was to as to bring up to date Semper’s classification and create a grid to organize such a complex environment as the artificial one.
Eight elements instead of four, no objects but actions that the mind, the hand or the machine exert upon matter: .
stacking, the action of the mason;
interweaving, the action of the wicker-worker and weaver;
shaping, the action of the smelter and the sculptor;
connecting, the action of the carpenter or metalworker;
bending, the action of the tinsmith;
arranging, the action of the tiler and assembler of parts;
carving, the action of the decorator and engraver;
blowing, the action of the glassmaker.
These Actions are expounded in the exhibition area, stressed by light wooden walls.
On the vertical partitions there is a selection of pictures of well-known and little known architecture works (including some unknown original drawings), while a few objects representing the diverse Actions are set in the middle of each section, on a horizontal plane or hanging from the ceiling.
A varied and structured scenery, that includes objects of everyday use, architectures and landscapes, in order to tell the action of “thinking through one’s hands, of going ahead in planning through repeated and recurrent tests and mistakes, by simulating volumes, patterns, knots and weaves.”