Skilled photographer and a daring experimenter in several fields, Carlo Mollino was not only interested in architecture, but also aviation, design and fashion and, above all, mountains. In the 1930s, this last interest became a passion which was to lead him to publish this particular book on 1950.
Carlo Mollino (1905-1973) was a key figure in the eccentric élite of artistic and cultural circles in Turin, interpreter of the taste of a well-to-do upper class, but also a skilled photographer and a daring experimenter in several fields. He was not only interested in architecture, but also aviation, design and fashion and his research extended to the cinema, screenplay, literature and, above all, mountains. In the 1930s, this last interest became a passion which was to lead him – while he was busy creating daring and highly innovative architectural designs – to publish a book in 1950, entitled Introduzione al discesismo. When it was first published, it was received rather like a ‘fairy story’, a story about humans and their dream of defying Nature. The book, which can be regarded as one of the first true skiing manuals, is now being reprinted in its original format. In fact, for Mollino, like flight for Leonardo Da Vinci, Alpine skiing was the expression of a profound metaphor: “Launching the skier so that he can find himself”. The architect set himself this task and, at the same time, by controlling and regulating it in various ways, created the downhill style. The mechanics of the physical process, the effort made by the various parts of the body involved, tips on how to move harmoniously, flowing trajectories marked on paper and on snow, and slender figures skiing on silvery slopes immortalized in extraordinary black and white photographs are the things that distinguish the chapters of this book, together with numerous drawings by Mollino describing parabolas and changes of direction. The words used in the introduction to the book-such as “style moulds technique”- seem just as appropriate for describing the essence of Mollino’s architecture. It is no coincidence that his interest in skiing and mountains is always there, serving as a background to his professional work, whether in his designs for single-family units or his plans for large tourist complexes. The introduction to the book is written by Mario Cotelli and Massimiliano Savorra.