Why an on-line exhibition?

Milano città immaginata. 10 progetti dagli archivi CASVA”  (Milan, a city imagined. 10 projects from the CASVA archives) is an exhibition dedicated to Milan and to the culture of design: designs which, when completed, become real, but that may also remain an idea on a page, a hypothesis, a virtual idea.

The ten urban designs selected for the exhibition remain unrealised, imagined by their architects as potential improvements on the past, or as provocations or denouncements of an urban development that they were opposed to. They are alternative urban landscapes of the city we experience today, realised in their planned state through the interpretation that artists or illustrators chose to give them.

The exhibition offers the visitor an opportunity to reflect on what makes a city and on the potential of architectural design and planning to influence the fabric of our society.



The CASVA, Centro di Alti Studi sulle Arti Visive (Centre for the Study of the visual arts), is home to a rich collection of documents from the worlds of planning, design and graphics gathered from the archives of many Milanese architects and designers.

The breadth and scale of this collection makes CASVA a multi-purpose centre of research dedicated to the visual arts of the twentieth century. Sharing the richness of this patrimony remains something of a challenge, as each document does not immediately tell its own story, but must instead be placed in context in the broader narrative.

Archives, much like museums, are one of the most important ways to conserve the essence of our culture, however they require the user to maintain a constant critical ability to evaluate and historically contextualise each single document. 

In an archive the documents are organised through a codified language created by specialists, that help to build the historical narrative of that which they are, opening a window onto what could be or could have been.

The documents in the CASVA  collection may be accessed through booking, in accordance with current terms and conditions.

«It seems that for any given city there exists a popular impression, which is the sum of many individual impressions. Or perhaps there is a series of  popular impressions, each one held by a certain number of people. These mass impressions are indispensable if an individual is to operate successfully in their field and be able to collaborate with others. Each individual impression is unique […], and yet it is much like the popular impression, which is more or less fixed, more or less comprehensive, in each different place».


Kevin Lynch, from L'immagine della città, Marsilio, Padua, 1964