Everyone of us know that Italy is all along the motherland of different kinds of art. From painting to sculpture, from literature to cuisine, Italian art is probably one of the few things that more gather people from all over the world. Design is one of the most recent art Italian people have acquired and it is an important recent event which happened at the beginning of the 20th century, when some Italian artists called “designers” (essential figures for the development of design in Italy and for its success in the other countries) such as Giò Ponti, Corradino D’Ascanio and Flaminio Bertoni (and someone else before and after them), entered in touch with the famous English movement of Arts and Crafts making of it a source of inspiration for their design creations. Just think about Giò Ponti’s works for Richard Ginory brand, or to the Corradino D’Ascanio’s Vespa and Flaminio Bertoni’s 2CV, objects which have contributed in a substantial way to make the history of Italian design and to encourage its development in Italy and abroad.
“About Italian Design” is the newborn web site about the history and development of Italian industrial design. Starting from its origins to present time, the site retraces the path of Italian design in the wider field of international industrial design. Even if generally speaking, industrial design grew out of the industrialized countries social changes rising between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century (so it was a phenomenon linked more to economy than to creative expression and art), in some way it also grew up as a rejection toward industrial revolution’s deep tranformations, as an effort to save craft activities and pre-industrial ideas. This was the principle of all movements from Arts and Crafts to Bauhaus school and this was also the principle adopted by Italian industrial design.
It’s important to say that, in order to be an industrial design the product has to be produced in an industrial way and an artisan can’t be considered an industrial designer, although he may challenge the same aspects of a product. The power of Italian design is here: a large availability of Italian industrial designers, a great number of great artists working in the industrial field, who allowed Italy to be one of the best-established countries in the branch of design.
About Italian Design also focuses on the biographies of these important names who took example for their work from Italian craftsmen’s famous tradition (melted with Arts & Crafts and Bauhaus’ lessons) and rendered this tradition in an industrial way creating unique objects worldwide known and appreciated.
Within the pages of About Italian Design you will find a brief explanation of how Italian design, encouraged and promoted by associations like ADI or institutions such as the Triennale di Milano, appeared in the international industrial setting becoming in a few time one of the leader countries in the production of design objects.
We always pay special attention to the numerous pearls of culture and tradition that’s possible to find, yet, in the various Italian regions. We love to explore big and small cities, city centres and suborbs, towns and villages, folklore and technology, past and present. That’s the reason why we have choosen design field: to operate a new analysis on Italian nation, because design is one of the peculiar characteristics that have contributed to create Italian culture in the world.
Coming from a craftsmenship tradition, from the very beginning “the beautiful country” (the name that it is custom to give to Italy) needed to make big steps in a technological way, to improve its products, make them competitive in the global market and prospering.
Today it is possible to assert that Italy has been able to reach its bourn.
Well-known that it is custom to divide the industrial design field in different branches, we can say that Italy is now able to cover all of these branches, from architecture, interior, lighting, car and fashion design to the most innovative color, graphic, web, food and exhibition design, products coming from the new increasing market demand, never forgetting the secular artistic tradition that established the basis for the Italian design fortune. Here the secret is revealed of why Italian design objects are always the most requested on the market.
Finally, the photo gallery inserted in the site is a sort of track shot on the most representative objects belonging to Italian design’s origins, objects used in everyday life in the first half of 20th century and which have turned today in valuable antique dealing pieces talking about Italian design history, from the Ponti’s espresso machine realized in 1949, to the Castiglioni brothers’ lamps and the famous Olivetti “Valentine” typewriter by Ettore Sottsass.