la Rinascente celebrates 100th anniversary with a living archive by OMA

MILAN – With just a quick glance at the aisles of a department store, one can easily get an idea of the contemporary zeitgeist embodied in the products on display. A retrospective of Italian commerce and fashion through the country’s main department store allows a more thorough exploration, and reveals much about the evolution of people’s relationships to retail, products and the city. Such is the purpose of the exhibition lR100-Rinascente, which unfolds over 12 different rooms designed by Dutch firm OMA

The exhibition consists in a series of visual and physical experiences, resembling a collage of aesthetic identities and styles rather than a chronological or linear exploration of la Rinascente’s creative history.

Every room in the Palazzo Reale displays various scenographies and presents a specific aspect of the production of the department store over the years. The equally eclectic and dynamic archive mirrors the creative freedom and heterogeneity made possible by the department store, and celebrates the ambition to connect art to life. 

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