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Italian Design

Such masters of the Fifties and Sixties as Aulenti, Castiglioni and Magistretti did a very good job indeed if we consider that during those years Italy became a crossroads for a new generation of creative minds on an international scale. For industrial, furniture and car design, Italian style stands out for its blend of imagination and precision planning. The reason for this is that Italy is full of excellent training institutes, avant-garde design schools and university faculties and exhibitions abound as do centres for communication and shows. The scenario today is immensely varied and dynamic with distribution and production systems that are high on flexibility and a great many companies behind the new names in young and talented designers.

Italian design combines functionality with irony, focussing also on materials formerly regarded as waste or makeshift products allowing objects to be successfully reinvented. Italian design is pleasing and fluid yet complex as well, being charged with emotion and filled with suggestiveness and unrest reflecting concerns expressed through the the media and world communication. So apart from being functional. many objects also contain a highly humane and emotional element, and indeed this type of design is classified as “emotional design”.

Another category is “convivial design”, a term coined by Aldo Cibic to describe certain types of tables and chairs as well as imaginative lamps, stainless steel pan sets and small objects. In the field of home interiors, modern design has found the ultimate means of materialising functionality, exemplified in Italan designers’ splendid sofas and famous armchairs or else in original room dividers. In contrast with emotional trends, works of severe rationality come into their own thanks to careful research into materials, colours and fabrics; one such example is the way in which design is applied to lighting, resulting in the creation of fine lamps for offices.

There are even sculptors who have turned to design, in whose works “design is enriched with the fantastic moods of sculpture”.


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