CARING FOR DESIGN OBJECTS: DAILY PRACTICE AND ADVANCED ANALYTICAL TOOLS
BY LUCIA TONIOLO, ARTURO DELL’ACQUA BELLAVITIS, SILVANA ANNICCHIARICO, DANIELA COMELLI, GIORGIO GALLEANI, MARINELLA LEVI, AUSTIN NEVIN, FRANCESCA TOJA
A collaboration between the newly founded Triennale Design Museum of Milan (TDM) and the Politecnico di Milano, a lead- ing university for design has been established to tackle different aspects of the conservation of the large collection of twentieth century industrial objects. Various objects from the TDM col- lection, well known design icons, have been selected for study in order to assess the condition of those objects which are be- lieved to be at risk; objects have been examined with the aim of producing condition reports and careful analysis of constituent materials as well as the assessment of degradation patterns.
In this article a case study focussing on the TaraxacumTM and FantasmaTM lamps by FLOSTM is presented. The two lamps are manufactured in poly(vinylacetate) (PVAc). Samples of the two objects, coming from the surfaces of the light diffuser, were collected and examined by optical microscopy, micro-FTIR and UV fluorescence spectroscopy. Analyses allowed the assessment of the degree of polymer degradation, highlighting different degradation phenomena and chemical modification of the poly- mer fibres. FTIR spectra were examined in comparison with the standard unaged PVAc sample, and three different deterioration pathways have been recognized, which correspond to the differ- ent local condition of the polymer. Similarly, differences among collected samples have been pointed out by fluorescence spec- troscopy, where different chromophores are evident in samples coming from different areas.