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Italian design

Italian Design

italian design tendency

Industrial design starts in Italy in the period between the First World War and the Second World War with the foundation of the two-yearly exhibition Biennale di Monza in 1930, and the three yearly one, Triennale di Milano in 1933. The creation of the first industrial design prototype is an electric train from a project of the director of the exhibition. In the same period the first helicopters are produced. Two main design streams start. The engineering one will deal with issues related to the increase of consumerism. The architectural one will deal mostly with the creative process.

After the Second World War there is an increase in mass production and consequently the population become familiar with mass produced industrial design products. In 1950 industrial designers and artisans begin to focus on the relations between form and function according to the rules of "good design", movement which will be criticised by many designers in 1960. It is not much the movement on itself to be criticised, but the use of the expression "good design" for being too elusive and therefore not appropriate to define the complex relationships between form, look, feel, weight, volume, and function of an object.

Towards the end of 1960, a new industrial design movement tries to remove boundaries and restrictions and develops the relations between form and function in a more articulate way. Among the most important aims of the movement is an attempt to create a style that disregards social classes. At the Museum of Modern Art of New York (MoMA) an exhibition called "Italy" will represent the most important moment of the adaptation of the industrial design sector during which creations come out in a wide range of different colours and shapes.

In 1981 after a period of idleness that lasted for a decade, the Memphis movement, initiated by the Italian Architect Ettore Sottsass, start to take place. The movement will work on some characteristic themes of the period between 1960 and 1980 by redeveloping and redefining them. To the research to widen the spectrum of product functionality Ettore Sottsass adds a vision of ecological issues.

The wider section of the Italian industrial design is furniture and its complements in which Italy is world leader. Other fields include lighting design, automobile design and yacht design.

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Industrial Design


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