1.12.2021 - 26-1.2022

© Photo credits Federico Brunetti
© Photo credits Fotografia di Architettura Federico Brunetti

Art is not a thing of numbers and compasses: it is subject to the passions, to prejudices, to the vogue of the day, to the influence of certain small extrinsic and material circumstances, and to two human needs, which contradict each other: the need to wonder at novelty and the need to rest in the usual. [Camillo Boito]

Opening conference, exhibition space
Paolo Portoghesi
Wednesday, 1 December 2021, 16:00

Closing conference, Rogers room
Ornella Selvafolta
Wednesday, 26 January 2022, 16:00

Promoting Institutions
Politecnico di Milano—Scuola AUIC
Politecnico di Milano—Dipartimento ABC
Politecnico di Milano—Biblioteca, Biblioteca storica e Archivi storici
Politecnico di Torino – Dipartimento DAD Architettura e Design
Politecnico di Torino—Servizi bibliotecari, archivistici e museali
Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera
Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera—Patrimonio e Archivio storico
Scientific Committee 
Prof. Sandro Scarrocchia (Coordinator Scientific Committee—Politecnico di Milano) Prof. Luca Monica (Scientific Responsible, Politecnico di Milano—Dept ABC)  Prof. Federico Bucci (Politecnico di Milano—Archives e Libraries Systems) 
Prof. Marco Biraghi (Politecnico di Milano—School AUIC) 
Prof. Federico Brunetti (Politecnico di Milano—Dept Design) 
Prof.ssa Maria Canella (Università Statale di Milano) 
Prof. Alberto Giorgio Cassani (Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia) 
Prof. Stefano Cusatelli (Politecnico di Milano) 
Prof.ssa Maria Pompeiana Iarossi (Politecnico di Milano—Dept ABC) 
Prof. Sergio Pace (Politecnico di Torino—Libraries Systems, archives and museums)
Prof.ssa Annalisa Barbara Pesando (Politecnico di Torino) 
Prof. Stefano Pizzi (Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera) 
Prof. Valter Rosa (Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera—Historical Archives) 
Prof.ssa Ilaria Valente (Politecnico di Milano—School AUIC) 
Prof. Francesca Valli (Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera) 

Support Contribution
Fondazione Cariplo, Milano
Epson Italia, Milano 

Archivi storici e Biblioteca del Politecnico di Milano 
Archivio dell’Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera 
Sistema Bibliotecario del Politecnico di Torino 
Cittadella degli Archivi del Comune di Milano 
Archivio Casa di riposo per musicisti Fondazione Giuseppe Verdi, Milano Archivio Verdi Villa S. Agata ora presso Archivio di Stato di Parma Archivio di Stato di Varese 
Archivio dell’Ospedale S. Antonio Abate di Gallarate 
Archivio generale del Comune di Padova 
Veneranda Arca di S. Antonio da Padova 

The Boito Architetto Archivio Digitale Project
‘Boito Architetto Archivio Digitale’ is a research project whose goal is to reconsider Boito’s role in the project culture and the formation of the so-called Milan School. The result is a digital archive that gathers material spread across different sites, area, entities, and institutions, as well as publications and current research, starting with the periodical ‘Arte Italiana Decorativa e Industriale’ (AIDI). As an ‘archive of archives’, the project sees two aspects as one on a single plane of analysis and development, from the view of forming a centre of studies and systematically indexing the journal and many graphical and documentary materials. Operationally, the research project follows up on and is based on work by many scholars present at the international conference ‘Camillo Boito moderno’, which was held in December 2014 at the Politecnico di Milano and the Accademia di Brera. Edited by Sandro Scarrocchia, the conference proceedings were published in 2018. The conference saw the participation of numerous professors and researchers, some of whom are now involved on the scientific committee of this research. Even today, the specific focus of the ‘Boito Architetto Archivio Digitale’ project may be specifically included in the guidelines of the European Commission’s New European Bauhaus project, in which the Politecnico di Milano is a partner. On the other hand, reintroducing creativity, innovation, and the production of quality is simply unthinkable without enhancing memory and sources such as the archive of the origin of the Milan School of architecture. In particular, it is unthinkable to not consider the larger enterprise that Italy has directed at those topics: AIDI, that is, the organ under the Ministry for Agriculture, Industry and Trade, and the Central Ministerial Commission, which for twenty years constituted the source and voice of artistic/industrial training within a network of schools and widespread offices throughout the territory in the wake of a tradition that carries us to the origin of the Politecnicos. The ‘Boito Architetto Archivio Digitale’ project aims to serve as a bridge between the origin of the Milan School of architecture, archaeology of the Italian artistic industry, and new scenarios of the New European Bauhaus.

The Boito Architetto Archivio Digitale Exhibition
Extending from the exhibition and digital archive are the multiform activities of Camillo Boito within the cultural dimension of the architectural project, as a catalyst of a world that includes ‘units of art’, training institutions, and civilians, productive subjects of ‘know-how’. The works undertaken by Boito (schools, hospitals, assistance institutes, cemeteries, etc.) are monuments to urban civilization. Not only that, they are the accumulation of a cultural industry which already then anticipated an industry of the arts.

Initiative consistent with the objectives of the #Neweuropeanbauhaus

The exhibition is divided into nine sections. 

1.    Atlas. Introductory-timeline.
Synthetic-visual section of reconstruction of the fragments of an operative horizon, organized by thematic lines, index reflecting the structure of the exhibition:
- topographies of the works;
- genealogies of the students and architects ascribable to the School of Milan (among the many Broggi, Beltrami, Moretti, Portaluppi, up to Rogers, Canella, Rossi, Gregotti, Viganò);
-the universe of the Central Commission for Artistic-Industrial Teaching and its magazine "Arte Italiana Decorativa e Industriale";
- Boito's writings and the resumption of studies.

2.    Architecture: projections. Project Drawings.
The design workshop of Camillo Boito is still a complex of events to be studied. His nine buildings, which are still well-preserved and recognizable monuments, constitute an idea of a public city, the beginning of a municipal system of service facilities, made up of schools, museums, nursing homes, hospitals and cemeteries.
However, his scattered archives require further study, in the relationship, for example, with the workers available in his School and in the Academy, in order to understand the origin of carefully studied and designed architectures, both in the spatial articulation of the common bodies and in the sophisticated material and decorative apparatus, conceived line by line by Boito.
The archive of materials relative to Camillo Boito's architectural projects is notoriously scarce and fragmented in the public institutions for which he worked.

3.    Architecture: projections. Current Photographic Campaign of Architecture.
A special current photographic campaign of Camillo Boito's architectural works in Milan, Gallarate, Padua and Venice has been carried out (filming by Federico Brunetti).
Spherical immersive photographic projections will also be set up.

4.    Architecture: reconstructive models.
A series of reconstructive models will represent at various scales "the city of services" by Camillo Boito, the different types, the decorative apparatus, the original spatial conception of the stairwells and interiors, with:
- specially executed and thematically focused reconstructive scale models;
- didactic work models of the students.

5.    Industrial Art: The Central Commission and Italian Decorative and Industrial Art.
The magazine "Arte Italiana Decorativa e Industriale" (AIDI) is the instrument of dissemination of an institutional didactics and pedagogy whose specific focus is the world of artistic production in the era of the industrial revolution.
AIDI stands outside the epistemological and encyclopedic paradigm and, as a magazine, acts as an organ of communication and social diffusion of design knowledge and know-how. In this it anticipates other and more aggressive editorial projects linked to avant-garde artistic movements.
The magazine is the most striking product of the Central Commission for Industrial Artistic Teaching (1884-1908), a ministerial body composed of the main authorities in the artistic and architectural fields, which for a quarter of a century provided for an overall re-examination of the artistic and cultural heritage of the country, constructing a "grammar of Italian ornament".
The Politecnico di Torino with the laboratory of the Library System provided for the new digitalization and optical recognition of the AIDI magazine as part of the program of valorization of the archives/site of the consortium project.
The Turin Polytechnic University with the laboratory of the Library System provided for the new digitalization and optical recognition of the AIDI magazine as part of the program of valorization of the archives/site of the consortium project.
The physical exhibition (and the virtual sequence) of the large volumes of the magazine "Arte Italiana Decorativa e Industriale" is itself exceptional for its graphic and editorial quality, as well as for its representation of the original principles and techniques of the very concept of "design" understood in the modern sense, in the search for a common language between architect and artisan through the work of the Commission:
- the approximately 20 volumes of the magazine and open volumes on illustrated plates;
- didactic work sheets of the students on themes and figures treated in the magazine.

6.    Archives: books, publications and documents about the school.
The patrimony of the Archives and Historical Library of the Politecnico di Milano relative to Boito is exhibited and consists of books, publications and documents relative to the classes and students, opened as in an anthology.

7.    The journey: from the Boito photographic fund to the Brera Academy.
Starting with reproductions of the precious photographic fund of Camillo Boito conserved at the Brera Academy, a European topography of Boito's architecture and decorative models is represented, as well as the first strong impulse towards photography as a scientific documentation of architecture and applied arts.

8.    From current didactics
In the exhibition are presented didactic works of the students of the AUIC School of Politecnico di Milano, applied on two main themes
- the realization of reconstructive models at different scales of some of Boito's architectural works;
- the reading of AIDI magazine with critical and visual cards of themes and authors presented in it.

9.    Digital Boito: projections. Concluding Section.
The construction and networking of the digital archives and website involves the organization of multiple archival sources.
In the exhibition, projections will be set up with different reading paths starting from the nature of the materials.
The website is proposed for a progressive enlargement of the digital archives, from architecture to the documentary sources of the artistic tradition and industrial archaeology, to factories, schools and production districts, up to the architects who were Boito's students in the so-called School of Milan, and for a didactic dissemination, indexing, metadata and network of the archives involved.

Press Release  2 - 9 December 2021:

Available only in Italian

Dicono di Noi - Online · 01-12-2021
Agenda 1 dicembre, i principali appuntamenti della Giornata a cura di MiaNews. 
  [LINK]   [Open PDF]

Dicono di Noi - Stampa Locale 
La Provincia - Ed. Lecco pag.16 · 09-12-2021
I progetti di Camillo Boito Una mostra ne ricorda l'opera 
  [Open PDF]   [only text]

La Provincia - Ed. Sondrio pag.16 · 09-12-2021
I progetti di Camillo Boito. Una mostra ne ricorda l'opera 
  [Open PDF]   [only text]

Press Release Download - available only in Italian

Boito Architetto - Archivio Digitale. A survey on Italian creativity 19th - 20th century between the Accademia di Brera and Politecnico di Milano
Federico Alberto Brunetti - Italia
A31 Innovación Cultural | Facultad de Diseño y Comunicación (


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