Designers and thinkers ponder this symbolic question about Italy’s future.
by Mauro BENEDETTI In the heart of the Byzantine-adorned city; banners of red and green reflect in the melting ice of the after-hours Rialto fish market. And amidst the splendor of the Basilica of San Marco, a wall of marble inlays with the Tetrarchs sculpture at its base forms an ageless backdrop.
by Claudia Palmira Acunto
The title of our current edition immediately captured the imagination of the designers, curators and economists who wrote and were interviewed for this issue. Though Italy may not need saving, the idea that one concept, one export, might bolster its success, is an attractive one.
by Michael BOTTARI
Some of the biggest names in Italian design and fashion have a new way to enjoy their aesthetic luxury, to become enveloped in its greatness instead of just wearing it. This new phenomenon comes in the form of design or boutique hotels, located in some of the most alluring cities in the world.
by Giampero Bosoni
To uncover the secret of Italian design, if there is one, it is necessary to look from the right perspective, searching not through the discipline’s celebrated recent past but rather in the grand cultural and artistic history of that ancient peninsula in the middle of the Mediterranean and at the center of Europe.
by Stefano Giovannoni
The design activities of Italian and American design studios are based on totally different business models. In the American system we find large professional studios, multinational organizations that reach a company size measured in hundreds of employees, while Italian design factories work with designers who usually operate from small professional studios with which the company has a consolidated relationship. Many designers of the older generation – Castiglioni, Magistretti, Sapper, Mari and Zanuso – worked with facilities reduced to the limits!
by Tonino PARIS
Grandi maestri hanno contribuito all’affermazione del Design italiano nel mondo, e hanno grandemente contribuito allo sviluppo industriale, sia con il loro patrimonio di conoscenze e competenze tecniche, sia con le loro straordinarie capacità creative.
by Domitilla DARDI
In 1972 Italy: the new domestic landscape, the exhibition curated by Emilio Ambasz, opened at MoMA: it was a momentous event for Italian design, consecrating the industrial production of the glorious decade of the Sixties in the world. The exhibition pointed out the experimental character of Italian design, the courage of a vision of interior design able to fill the industrial and technological gap between Italy and other countries with a stronger training and production background.
by Silvia ANNICHIARICO
A little more than two years have passed since December 2007, when we inaugurated the Triennale di Milano Design Museum. Since that time, the bearing idea for our project—that of giving life to a changing museum that would be capable of periodically renewing itself in terms of contents, of selection criteria, and of modalities of fruition—has been refined and consolidated, becoming even a pilot model for significant foreign experiences.
compiled by Laura GIACALONE
“I believe that, in some respects, the great fortune of Castiglionis’ work, and of Italian design in general, was that we had a very free, disenchanted relationship with technology. Experimenting was quite affordable, which probably helped our research, whereas today it requires the support of large manufacturing companies, and needs huge investments. Luckily there still exist, within large companies, very talented craftsmen with whom it is easy to work, and that surely helps the research a lot.” Achille Castiglioni
by Laura GIACALONE
An unrelenting research on new materials, an unrestrained use of colour, the political dimension of his projects, the handcrafted quality of his creations make Gaetano Pesce one of the greatest and most unconventional artists of Italian contemporary design scene. His career is studded with memorable masterpieces, which blur the distinction between art and design: from “Up” (1969), a series of “feminine” anthropomorphic armchairs which exploit the morphological memory of the polyurethane, returning to their shape and consistency as soon as they are freed from their packaging, to the “Rag Chair” (1972) and the “Sit Down” seat furniture (1975), based on the intriguing idea of having no two pieces alike. Other notable works include the “Dalila” chairs (1980), whose sensuous shape intentionally evokes the soft forms of the female body, the humorous “Umbrella” chair (1995), which folds up like an umbrella and opens out like its namesake, and “Sessantuna” (2010), sixty-one different tables, all of them unique, to celebrate Italy on the 150th anniversary of its unification.
by Laura GIACALONE
Born in 1963, Gabriele Pezzini is one of the most prominent figures in the Italian design’s contemporary scene. His strong artistic background has always driven him into the field of experimentation. Interested in the relations between product and industry, he has dedicated himself to innovative research projects, focusing on the conception and organization of exhibitions that have allowed him to develop his analyses and theories on perception and cross-contamination of everyday objects.
by Michael Bottari
Albino, Aquilano Rimondi, Chicca Lualdi and Marco de Vincenzo. A fashion show at Saks Fifth Avenue in November 2010 introduced these names to New York. Sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission and the Italian Chamber of Fashion, the show featured clothing and furniture by contemporary Italian designers
by Laura GIACALONE
Please don’t retouch my wrinkles” – said the great Italian actress Anna Magnani, a muse for Neorealist maestro Roberto Rossellini (Rome, Open City, 1945), while instructing her make-up artist not to conceal the lines on her face – “Leave them all there, it took me so long to earn them.” Many years have passed since then, and women’s concerns and ambitions seem to have changed a lot.
by Editorial INTERNS
Appearing on the red carpet at the 2010 International Rome Film Festival alongside renowned director Martin Scorsese and CEO of Gucci Patrizio di Marco, Gucci’s Creative Director Frida Giannini has had an impact on the world that reaches far beyond the realm of fashion.