Made in Italy: Rethinking a Century of Italian Design

Author(s): Grace Lees-Maffei


Goods made or designed in Italy enjoy a high profile, which is disproportionate to the country's modest global manufacturing output. Italy's glorious design heritage and reputation for innovation has led to goods 'Made in Italy' carrying added value and since 1945, Italian design has commanded an increasing amount of attention from design journalists, critics and consumers. But is Italian design a victim of its own celebrity? Made in Italy explores this question from the perspective of scholarly investigative chapters, which analyse the significance of design from Italy and how its influence upon international design and consumerism has become renowned and inflated by media and design criticism. Using a wide range of Italian design examples, from the designers such as Gio Ponti and Andrea Branzi, to the urban landscape of the country itself, the book explores the historical, cultural and social influences that dictated design in Italy, and how these iconic designs have shaped and contributed to the modern canon of Italian inspired goods.


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Made In Italy explores the significance of Italian design and critically investigates how it has established itself as a highly desirable and valuable design commodity on an international scale.

Grace Lees-Maffei is Reader in Design History in the School of Creative Arts at the University of Hertfordshire, UK and is co-editor of The Design History Reader (Berg, 2010). Kjetil Fallan is Associate Professor of Design History in the Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas at the University of Oslo, Norway. He is the author of Design History (Berg, 2010) and the editor of Scandinavian Design (Berg, 2012).

Introduction: The History of Italian Design, Kjetil Fallan, University of Oslo, Norway, and Grace Lees-Maffei, University of Hertfordshire, UK 1. A Historiography of Italian Design, Maddalena Dalla Mura, Libera Universita di Bolzano, Italy, and Carlo Vinti, Universita degli Studi di Camerino, Italy PART 1: ACTORS 2. Ettore Sottsass and Critical Design in Italy, 1965-1985, Penny Sparke, Kingston University, UK 3. Domes to Domus (or how Roberto Mango brought the geodesic dome to the home of Italian design), Jeffrey T. Schnapp, Harvard University, USA 4. Tomas Maldonado and the Impact of the HfG Ulm in Italy, Raimonda Riccini, Universita Iuav di Venezia, Italy PART 2: CRAFTS 5. Craft, Industry and Art: ISIA (1922-1943) and the Roots of Italian Design Education, Elena Dellapiana, Politecnico di Torino, Italy, and Daniela Prina, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium 6. Manufactured Identities: Ceramics and the Making of (Made in) Italy, Lisa Hockemeyer, Politecnico di Milano, Italy, and Kingston University, UK 7. Crafting a Design Counterculture: the Pastoral and the Primitive in Italian Radical Design, 1972-1976, Catharine Rossi, Kingston University, UK PART 3: SPACES 8. Private Exhibitions: Galleries, Art and Interior Design, 1920-1960, Imma Forino, Politecnico di Milano, Italy 9. Exhibiting Exhibitions: Designing and Displaying Fascism, Vanessa Rocco, Southern New Hampshire University, USA 10. This Way to the Exit: The Re-Writing of the City through Graphic Design (1964-1989), Gabriele Oropallo, University of Oslo, Norway PART 4: INDUSTRIES 11. Designing a New Society: A Social History of Italian Car Design, Federico Paolini, Seconda Universita degli Studi di Napoli, Italy 12. Espresso by Design: The Creation of the Italian Coffee Machine, Jonathan Morris, University of Hertfordshire, UK 13. Italian Fashion: The Metamorphosis of a Cultural Industry, Simona Segre Reinach, Universita di Bologna, Italy PART 5: MEDIATIONS 14. Annus Mirabilis: 1954, Alberto Rosselli and the Institutionalization of Design Mediation, Kjetil Fallan, University of Oslo, Norway 15. A Vehicle for 'Good Italians': User Design and the Vespa Clubs in Italy, Thomas Brandt, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway 16. 'Made' in England? The Mediation of Alessi S.p.A., Grace Lees-Maffei, University of Hertfordshire, UK Notes on Contributors List of Illustrations Bibliography Index

General Fields

  • : 9780857853899
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Berg Publishers
  • : November 2013
  • : 244mm X 169mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : December 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Grace Lees-Maffei
  • : Paperback
  • : 745.209450904
  • : 344
  • : 100 bw illus