All aboard! Immersive design museum on a cruise ship celebrates Italian icons

The mobile museum is housed inside one of Italian company Costa Smeralda's cruiseship, featuring a selection of design icons and a futuristic set by Tihany Design

Transport models museum on board a cruise ship
Designed by Adam D. Tihany, Costa Smeralda's museum of Italian design features iconic pieces from the past century, including furniture, fashion, film and transport
(Image credit: TBC)

Designer Adam D. Tihany has created a new look for Italian cruise ship company Costa Smeralda, and his latest project for the brand includes a museum of Italian design aboard a ship. And while we might not find ourselves aboard a cruise ship in the very near future, we can dream of our next trip with a side of design.

Tihany and his team worked closely with the Italian company as well as with a series of international designers such as David Rockwell and Rodolfo Dordoni, to bring the theme of ‘Italy’s Finest’ to life. The team selected furniture from Italian manufacturers from Poltrona Frau to Flos and Kartell, to enhance what Tihany calls the ‘Made in Italy sensibility’ of each space aboard the ship. 

Furniture museum displays behind glass

The design museum's displays include icons of Italian design from Alessandro Mendini, Ettore Sottsass and Marco Zanuso, among others

(Image credit: TBC)

Alongside the sophisticated interiors, the ships will feature the museum displays, celebrating iconic italian design. The displays feature legendary items from Italian design history, from fashion and furniture to film and transportation, with featured brands including Paola Lenti, Molteni, Moroso, Cassina, Emu, TechnoGym and more. ‘The CoDe collection is intended as a tribute to the history of Italian-made excellence, celebrating the ongoing global influence of Italian creativity. The museum exemplifies the ship’s theme, Italy’s finest, showing guests some of the most iconic moments in Italian design history,’ reads a Costa Smeralda statement.

Italian architect Matteo Vercelloni, former Professor of History of Design at Milan’s Politecnico, is curating the displays, devising a space that is an interactive ‘walkthrough’ installation to captivate visitors. 

Mirrored archways

An example of Tihany’s sleek, futuristic set for the design museum aboard the Costa Smeralda cruise ship

(Image credit: TBC)

‘Unlike any other passageway onboard, the museum’s highly contemporary stainless steel portal meets the unique design challenges of the space with a series of arches lit from the inside,’ commented Tihany. ‘As the rings of the tunnel separate, guests can veer off the pathway to explore the exhibition spaces to the right and left of the arches. Whether just passing through or lingering over the collection, the CoDe will enrich the guest experience by celebrating Italy’s Finest in design.’

Cactus sculpture

(Image credit: TBC)

Display of push bikes & motorbikes

(Image credit: TBC)

Book display

(Image credit: TBC)

Brightly coloured chairs in display

(Image credit: TBC)

Glass displays showcasing various furniture

(Image credit: TBC)

Red armchair in cylindrical display

(Image credit: TBC)

Mirror reflection of furniture display

(Image credit: TBC)

INFORMATION 

tihanydesign.com (opens in new tab)

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.