Senior Lecturer in Design History at Kingston University London, Catharine Rossi, has just published Crafting Design in Italy a book that explores the story of craft in post-war Italian design and its influence on Italian designers today.
What left is there to say about post-war Italian design? Populated by architectural maestri like Gio Ponti and Ettore Sottsass, whose designs for the remarkable Superleggera chair and Valentine typewriter have contributed to the respective reputations of manufacturers Cassina and Olivetti, the 1940s to the 1980s have rightly received much attention in international architecture and design media.
From specialist magazines to academic tomes, to coffee table books and exhibition catalogues, there is no end of literature on Italy’s post-war design culture. Yet until recently the words expended have all too often told the same story: a narrative based on the hagiography of a largely all-male cast of architects and the ‘iconic’ designs they magicked up with a select group of mostly Milan-based manufacturers. Read on in Domus magazine.