Alessandro Mendini, Penna Idea
Alessandro Mendini, architect, designer, Milanese painter, is internationally considered one of the most important theorists of the twentieth century. Since the beginning of his career, between the sixties and seventies, between radical commitment, critical activity and experimentation, he has marked the path of an entire generation of designers, his pupils.
From the very first years of his research, themes emerge that will be seminal throughout his career: the link with the artistic avant-gardes, the use of color, the importance of unique pieces, craftsmanship and approach to the object, be it construction or design. Exemplary is his iconic Proust armchair, made between 1978 and 1988 in just fifteen pieces: a fake Baroque armchair, with decidedly bulky dimensions and entirely hand-painted with a technique inspired by Pointillism. During his career he has combined research productions and theoretical reflections to work with large companies, to become one of the leaders of the greatness of Made in Italy.
Among these we remember the collaborations with Alessi, Bisazza, Driade, Swatch and Zanotta. "In my imagination, Treccani has always represented the cultured, fundamental and official institution of the Italian language," says the designer. The collaboration between Mendini and the Italian Encyclopedia Institute began in 2018 when he was invited to design pens to pay homage to Rita Levi-Montalcini and Giovanni Gentile, but it was in 2019 that Treccani decided to rely on Mendini to design a pen that could be an emblem of creativity and genius, to celebrate one of the reasons that makes us Italians unique in the world. There are very few tools that contain all the creative potential of man, capable of being able to support the recording of what is the basis of every intellectual work: the idea. By definition, the idea is every single content of thought, every mental entity.
And there is nothing more fleeting, changeable and immediate. The Idea Pen was therefore born in response to the need to quickly fix this thought. The lines chosen by Mendini for the Idea Pen honor the creativity that the whole world envies us, but also accompanied by the great tradition of Italian workshops and the artisans who made the pen entirely by hand. "Italian design", underlines the artist, "is made up of small workshops of great masters who in my opinion derive directly from the humanistic mentality of the Renaissance, [...] and these pens are made here, within this type of sensations ".