Passione Italiana: l’Arte dell’Espresso
Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Copenhagen


The all-Italian passion for espresso is the core focus of an exhibition illustrating the evolution of the design and technology of coffee-related items over time. The objects on display trace an historical path along the past two centuries by means of coffee machines conceived by great designers that became true icons of their time, as well as more recent, technologically ground-breaking pieces that have radically transformed the productive processes and raised qualitative standards. A journey through time, the one presented in Copenhagen, that tells of the relentless strive to advance the technology, ergonomics and consumption of one of the most popular beverages in the world.

The exhibition: two centuries of design and innovation.

The 45 objects on display bear the signatures of some of the greatest local and international Masters of design, as well as some of the major made in Italy brands, masterpieces of iconography design that marked an era, as the result of an extensive reinterpretation of shapes and functions. These range from Oggetto banale: caffettiera by Alessandro Mendini, created in 1980 for Venice Biennale, to the creative, outside-the-box interpretation of a moka pot by Gaetano Pesce, Vesuvius. To artwork that blends architecture and design by Aldo Rossi, who transformed a coffee set into a square and, with his La Conica and La Cupola, turned a common moka pot into a cathedral; or the Torri set designed by Massimiano Fuksas and Doriana Mandrelli. And again, the coffeepots designed by Richard Sapper, the Pulcina by Michele De Lucchi produced for Alessi, the Caffettiera Napoletana 90018 and the Tin Prototype by Riccardo Dalisi. Numerous pieces on display are unique, such as the very first moka machine, created by Bialetti, patented in 1933 in Omegna by Alfonso Bialetti, which to this day remains the symbol of Italian coffee in the world. Progress that goes hand in hand with thorough technological research, particularly when it comes to professional machines that include models of historic brands for coffee shop equipment production – such as Gaggia, Faema, La Cimbali, and domestic espresso coffee machines equipped with innovative systems, such as A modo mio, produced by Lavazza, which connects with Alexa.

Production and organization by IMF Foundation and EP Studio, in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute of Copenhagen

Idea and Curatorship by Elisabetta Pisu

Venue: Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Copenhagen, March 7 – April 22, 2023

-photo: micatovich