Order - Tradition

The seventh edition of the Triennale di Milano, organised under the theme “Order – Tradition” was recognised by the BIE on 9 November 1938. The exhibition, which was the last under Italy’s Fascist regime, opened on 6 April 1940 and closed only two months later, on 9 June, when Italy entered the war.

While at previous editions of the Triennale, the Italian Government had permitted the comparison between different tendencies and orientations, by 1940 the political and ideological debate was closed. The architects of the regime, notably Marcello Piacentini, prevailed, alongside examples of the Government’s achievements: newly founded cities, interventions in historic centres and the E42 district in Rome, the site of a planned World Expo in 1942 that was later rebaptised “EUR”. The latter aimed to celebrated the power of the “new Imperial Rome” whose architecture shifted the direction of the modern experience towards a monumental scenario of arches, columns and massive travertine walls.

Milan’s designers, who did not wholeheartedly embrace the policies of the Italian Government, were confined to subsidiary sections. Banfi, Belgioioso and Peressutti curated the “Open Space in the City”, while several exhibitions were dedicated to the decorative arts: Ignazio Gardella’s Gallery of Metalwork and Glassware, Pagano’s Exhibition on Mass Production, and Piero Bottoni’s section on modern home furnishing.