Design In Italia: L’Esperienza del Quotidiano


Design In Italia: L’Esperienza del Quotidiano

We’ve finally gotten our hands on Ottagono and Giunti‘s new design book, Design in Italia: L’esperienza del Quotidiano. Written by Porzia Bergamasco and Valentina Croci, and curated by the indefatigable Aldo Colonetti, the nearly 300 page volume is a sprawling, comprehensive adventure through design in the Bel Paese. The particularly salient nature of Italian design’s creations and contributions are clear on a walk down any of the world’s high streets, or in a passing glance at any would-be sports car unable to ape the magic lines and proportions of a Ferrari. And while its more iconic objects have been disseminated far and wide (or at least emulated and lusted after, as in the cases of architecture and interior design), this book is, in any case, squarely focused on the more narrow sociological context of design as a primary shaper of Italian life, Italian habits and Italian identity. This is design as patrimony, and a complex look at the pervasive creative fertility that has made the country not only a perpetual hotbed of clever innovation, but also a particularly nice place to live.

Split into sections covering spaces places, objects and people, the volume is curated through the lens of standard, everyday life – the experience of the quotidian, as the story goes. It is filled with spaces that continue to inspire, essential objects, and some of the major protagonists behind them. The objects within are the industrial, inclusive, quintessential icons of the day-to-day in the country, from the indispensible Bialetti moka to Barilla’s iconic pasta boxes and Campari’s tiny tasty jewel-like bottles, all the way to Milan’s metro cars, the diminutive Lancia Y, Castiglioni’s Arco lamp and Ponti’s Superleggera chair. All strokes of genius, none terribly exclusive or terribly rare.

Adeptly written, fresh and thorough, the book paints a picture of a very particular dynamic, a perfect storm of social, geographic and economic scaffolding that continually results in exceptional design, and which, extraordinarily, remains relevant to everyone, design fiend, Italian or not.

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