Made in Italy: Rethinking a Century of Italian Design by Grace Lees-Maffei

By Grace Lees-Maffei

Items made or designed in Italy take pleasure in a profile which a long way outstrips the country's modest production output. Italy's wonderful layout background and recognition for type and innovation has 'added worth' to items made in Italy. considering the fact that 1945, Italian layout has commanded an expanding quantity of consciousness from layout newshounds, critics and shoppers. yet is Italian layout a sufferer of its personal star? Made in Italy brings jointly top layout historians to discover this question, discussing either the background and value of layout from Italy and its overseas impact. Addressing a variety of Italian layout fields, together with motor vehicle layout, image layout, business and inside layout and ceramics, famous designers similar to Alberto Rosselli and Ettore Sottsass, Jr. and iconic manufacturers resembling Olivetti, Vespa and Alessi, the ebook explores the old, cultural and social impacts that formed Italian layout, and the way those iconic designs have contributed to the fashionable canon of Italian-inspired items.

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18 While each of these national studies functions as an argument for the utility of understanding design at a national level, there are additional structural reasons for analysing Italian design as a discrete category,19 and these are introduced below. But is Italian design well served by the steady stream of magazine features and coffee-table books through which it is celebrated? Italian design is, to some extent, the victim of its own celebrity in that hagiographic public relations and marketing-driven treatments fail to reward its innovative, delightful and confounding output with proper analysis.

Grace Lees-Maffei and Kjetil Fallan have asserted their right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as Editors of this work. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers. No responsibility for loss caused to any individual or organization acting on or refraining from action as a result of the material in this publication can be accepted by Bloomsbury or the author.

Their common denominator was the desire to critique the world of consumption, and most of their projects remained as prototypes without ever being mass-produced. 55 Fig. 8 Antidesign goes mainstream: advertisement for the 1968 Zanotta Sacco beanbag designed by Piero Gatti, Franco Teodoro and Cesare Paolini. —Italy. THE POWER OF PLAY Italy’s succession of design groups adopted various approaches from the theoretical to the playful as late 1960s antidesign (radical design, critical design) and its critique of consumption developed into the neoradical design of the late 1970s and early 1980s, partly in opposition to neomodernism.

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