Message in an object

phase I

“Message in an object: The words hidden in Albini's objects"

is a journey to discover the messages that objects hide, but they want to communicate. 

In the first phase of this journey, we present 5 videos made by the students of the Polidesign Lighting course, which reveal the messages that Albini has entrusted to the folds of history through his works.
To discover the second and third phase of the project … “stay tuned”


Made out of a gun this lamp brings light into the darkness transforming hatred and violence into peace.
Author: Franco Albini
Designed in 1938, the mitragliera lamp takes its name from its resemblance to a rifle; a weapon of death that Albini transformed into an object of light, anticipating by over 30 years the popular cultural movement of ’68 which sang: “Put flowers in your guns”. This was precisely the message contained in that lamp: a calling to illuminate the shadows and to cultivate and practice thoughts of peace, to neutralize hatred and violence.
Video made by Gabriella Averno, Giada Boromello, Alessia Di Meglio, Maria Monna at Politecnico di Milano
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stanza di soggiorno

Stanza di Soggiorno in una villa is an encouragement to build an interior world filled with beauty, lightness, and strength in order to face the crisis.
Author: Franco Albini
We are at the gates of war in one of the darkest moments in history. As an encouragement to react to this tragedy, Albini brings a tree to the center of a room, encloses a grass floor under glass plates, and transforms the armchairs from the living room into suspended chairlifts This ephemeral setting contains the strength to face the challenges of the inner world being made out of poetry and lightness.
Video made by Simonetta M. Peron, Susan Traverso, Serena Pirovano, Angelica Pirola at Politecnico di Milano
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Veliero is an icon of freedom, an example of what the courage to dare can lead men to do
Authors: Franco Albini, Cassina
Born in 1940, Veliero is an icon of freedom evoking a vessel, the sea, the wind, the air, and the light … It’s an object out of time born to encourage you to move forward, always forward, to travel through the mind and the culture even when the outside world seems to stop your evolution
Video made by Vincenzo Lombardo, Tiziana D’Amico, Valeria De Masi, Camila Giani at Politecnico di Milano
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crystal radio

The 1938 crystal radio conceals Albini’s method to make the invisible visible

Authors: Franco Albini, Cassina

The crystal radio of 1938 hides the Albini method by making the invisible visible. This object comes from an old wooden radio that Albini breaks down into all its parts, to then recompose the electrical components, or the essence, inside crystal plates. An example of innovation that anticipates the times and communicates the importance of highlighting what is inside, removing the superfluous, and leaving only the essential.

Video made by Giuseppe Francesco Giurfa, Sergio Rueda, Ye Yiyun, Wang Xinrui at Politecnico di Milano
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palazzo bianco

In the project of Palazzo Bianco Franco Albini and Franca Helg redesign the relationship between man and art creating dreamlike spaces “made of air and light” that spoke to the language of the unconscious that art itself is nourished by.
Authors: Franco Albini, Franca Helg
Designing is responding to the palpable and impalpable needs of the community and opening the way to new behaviors. One of the needs of the soul to which Albini wanted to respond is the relationship between man and art that at the time imposed the design of a new perceptive experience, dreamlike spaces “made of air and light” that spoke to the language of the unconscious that art itself nourishes itself.
Video made by Anastasia Di Lorenzo, Luca Dondi, Alessandra Cesena, Giorgia Gaggiato Politecnico di Milano
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