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Concrete Art and Neorealism (1948-1957)

Movimento Arte Concreta

Founded 1948 in Milan by Gillo Dorfles, Gianni Monnet, Bruno Munari and Atanasio Soldati

Gillo Dorfles | Change on Two Wheels | 1950

Gianni Monnet | Metamorfosi | 1949

Bruno Munari | original serigraph | 1953

Atanasio Soldati | Doppio |1952

“[Concrete art] is based solely on the implementation and the objectification of the insights of the artist…far from any symbolic meaning, any formal abstraction, and aiming to capture only those rhythms… [and] those agreements, which are abundant in the world of color. " -Gillo Dorfles


Ossessione Lucino Visconte 1943

Roma, Citta Aperta Roberto Rossellini 1944

Umberto D Vittorio De Sica 1952

A New Awareness the Role of Italian Design


MASS PRODUCTION RESEARCH prototypes with innovative components TYPOLOGY is the study of types TECHNOLOGY is the usage and knowledge of tools, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization MORPHOLOGY deals with the study of the form or the structure of organisms and their specific structural features the study of shape, size, texture and phase distribution of physical objects.

Milan Triennial Art Exhibition 1951, 1954, 1957 1923

Founded in Monza


Moved to Milan

The Triennale aims to stimulate interaction between industry, production and applied arts. In this context, during the year, the Triennale has assumed a role of buffer media for innovative Italian environment, also catalyzing the comparison between the various trends that were gradually growing. The focus of the current reality has also involved the Triennale in rebuilding postwar period, during which he played a leading role in the creation of the district QT8 Milan. It is from this experience was born the interest of the Triennial for urban planning and technical innovations applied to building, which will become one of the main themes of the fifties

Milan Triennial Art Exhibition 1951, 1954, 1957 1951

IX Trienalle Goods-standard: International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts and Modern Architecture


X Trienalle Prefabrication - Industrial Design: International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts and Modern Architecture --This exhibition pushed industrialization and prefabrication to the center of the cultural debate.


XI Trienalle Eclecticism-formalism: International exhibition of modern decorative and industrial arts and modern architecture

Associazione per il Disegno Industriale ADI The ADI 1956 meeting from designers, companies, researchers, teachers, critics, journalists around the themes of design: design, energy consumption, recycling and training. ADI is an agent of development of industrial design as a cultural and economic. The ADI design is the design culturally aware, the interface between the individual and society's collective demand and supply manufacturers. Involved in designing products, services, visual communication, packaging, interior architecture, and environmental design.

Compasso d’Oro Set-up in 1954 by Gio Ponti. First design prize awarded in Europe. Awards are granted by qualified international juries to design projects ranging form the interiors of cars, tools, machines, sports items, electric appliance down to editorial graphic and Web design. The prize is strongly focused on Italian products: the items have to be produced by Italian Companies if the designer is foreign; or the designer has to be Italian if the producing company is not an Italian one.

Compasso d’Oro 1954

Aldo Bassetti, Cesare Brustio, Gio Ponti, Alberto Rosselli, Marco Zanuso


Aldo Bassetti, Cesare Brustio, E. N. Rogers, Alberto Rosselli, Marco Zanuso


Aldo Bassetti, Cesare Brustio, Franco Albini, Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, Alberto Rosselli


Aldo Bassetti, Cesare Brustio, Franco Albini, Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, Ignazio Gardella

Stile Industria Launched in 1954 under Alberto Rosselli, it quickly became the platform for discussion of aesthetic and the meaning of modern design in an international context. Reinforced the special role for the mass-produced object Promoted design as one of the most important cultural forces in modern Italy

Aimed to open a dialogue between design and industry and stimulate debate around the aesthetics and technologies appropriate for contemporary design. Folded during the difficult political and economic climate in Italy in the early 1960s.

V1, No2: Oct 1954

Transportation Solutions


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Transportation Solutions

Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino

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Gio Ponti 18 November 1891-16 September 1979

Gio Ponti Italian Architect Industrial Designer Furniture Designer Artist Publisher/ Editor

• Graduated from Milan Polytechnic as an architect • But he began his career as an art director of a ceramics manufacturer Richard-Ginori. • He decorated simple ceramics with ornate neoclassical motifs.

• In 1928, Ponti founded the magazine Domus. • At that time Italy was a country heavily influenced by academic classicism. • World War I had killed off most of the futurist movement, and the only significant architectural movement in Italy was the Novecento. • Novecento was a movement towards a reforming of Post war Italy.

• It called for a return to the classical style of design. •The Domus became a central tool used by the Novecento to push the movement.

•Even though Ponti was surrounded by futurists and rationalists, his architecture sought a harmony between form and function, rationalism and the ornament of neoclassicism.

Denver Art Museum 1971

Pirelli Tower, Milan 1959

Furniture Designs •Gio Ponti showed through his furniture designs that everyday objects could express individuality and an idea of the present. •He encouraged good design to be a means of enjoying life, much like Peter Behrens did a few years earlier in Germany.

La Pavoni 1948 Ponti

Electric Kettle 1909 Peter Behrens

Distex 1954 Ponti

Superleggera 1957 Ponti

"Love architecture, be it ancient or modern. Love it for its fantastic, adventurous and solemn creations; for its inventions; for the abstract, allusive and figurative forms that enchant our spirit and enrapture our thoughts. Love architecture, the stage and support of our lives.“ Amate L'Architettura, and in English as In Praise of Architecture Gio Ponti

Villa Planchart 1956 Dormitio

The Castiglioni Brothers

Achille Castiglioni colo_c.html

Pier Giacomo Castiglioni

Livio Castiglioni

Achille Castiglioni Timeline 1918: Born in Milan, Italy 1940: Began experimenting with Industrial design with his older brothers 1944: Graduated Milan Polytechnic With a Degree in Architecture 1956: Co-Founder of ADI (Association for Design Industry). 1985: Honorary Member of the "Committee of Advisors" at Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, California and Montreaux, Switzerland). 1986 : Honorary Member of the Faculty of Royal Designers for Industry, Royal Society of Art (London). 1987: Honorary Degree from the Royal College of Art (London). 2001: Industrial Design Honoris Causa Degree from the Polytechnic of Milan. 2002: Died Dec 2, in Milan Italy.

Pier Giacomo Castiglioni Timeline 1913: Born in Milan, Italy 1937: Graduated Milan Polytechnic With a Degree in Architecture

1938: Founded an Architecture firm with older brother, Livio 1944: Began to produce most notable work of his career after ounger brother Achille joined firm 1968: Died in Milan, Italy

Livio Castiglioni Timeline 1918: Born Milan,Italy 1936: Graduated Milan Polytechnic With a Degree in Architecture

1938: Founded an Architecture firm with younger brother, Pier Giacomo. 1952: Left firm, and became a consultant for Phonola 1960: Became a consultant for BrionVega 1979: Died in Milan Italy.

Design Style The Castiglioni Brothers, though graduated as architects, became popular for their Industrial Design.

"So sophisticated and so simple - I like that!" -Achille Castiglioni’s

They were strong advocates of the minimalist design style, shying away from excssive ornament to focus on strong lines and simple forms Function ranks above aesthetics although form is never neglected

Major Works

Arco Floor Lamp– 1962 Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni Retail Price: $2,190.00

SANLUCAR Chair– 1960 Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni

RR126 Radiofonografo Stereofonico -1965 Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni

SELLA Stool -1957 Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni

MEZZADRO Stool -1957 Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni

PARO Chalice-1983 Achille Castiglioni

T95 Table-1995 Achille Castiglioni

TARAXACUM 88 Hanging wall lamp-1988 Achille Castiglioni

OMEGA Shop for watches, silverware, jewelry Piazza Duomo, Milan – 1968 Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni

Splügen BRAU Brewery restaurant – 1960 Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni

Awards 1955: Compasso d’Oro (Luminator floor lamp) 1960: Compasso d’Oro (T 12 Palini chair) 1962: Compasso d’Oro (Pitagora espresso machine) 1964: Compasso d’Oro (Spinamatic beer spigot) 1967: Compasso d’Oro (translator’s earphones) 1979: Compasso d’Oro (Parentesi lamp) 1979: Compasso d’Oro (Omsa hospital bed) 1984: Compasso d’Oro (Dry cutlery) 1999: Wins the Enel "Sostegni per l´Ambiente" competition along with Michele De Lucchi.

Franco Albini


Born in Robbiate, Italy


Earns degree in architecture from Politecnico di Milano

Began working with Gio Ponti 1930

Opens his own practice


Works for Italian magazine Casabella as writer and editor


Designs “Fiorenza” armchair


Designs “Luisa” Chair


Designs Rinascente building in Rome


Death in Milan

Margherita | 1951

Fiorenza | 1952

“Luisa” | 1955

Desk | 1958

PS 16 Rocking Chair | 1956

Spiral Staircase at Palazzo Rosso

La Rinascente store in Rome


Gianluigi Banfi Lodovico Belgioioso Enrico Peressutti Ernesto Nathan Rogers

BBPR "Design as a union of utility and beauty ... function conceived as a synthesis between rational projection and the technique of execution, between invention and environmental pre-existence ... architecture as an actual experience and as a theory that can only be verified at the building site".

Torre Velasca, Milan, 1954-1958

BBPR Exploiting the possibilities of exposed steelwork and glass similar to that in the Torre Velasca, a curved faรงade was experimented with in the CMB in Milan.

Chase Manhattan Bank, Milan, 1969


Furniture for OLIVETTI, 1959, 1960

Coat rack for KARTELL

Vico Magistretti

October 6, 1920 - September 19, 2006

Vico Magistretti Italian Architect Industrial Designer Furniture Designer • Magistretti graduated from Milan Polytechnic as an architect like Gio Ponti. • He was influenced much by the work and ideals of Ernesto Nathan Rogers. • His designs, especially his early architectural works became known for their emphasis on humanism. Nuvola Rossa bookcase 1950 (Cassina)

•Magistretti had a significant influence on postwar Italian design with his simple approach to his designs. • But much of his architecture is overshadowed by his industrial design and furniture design. •Magistretti became widely known for his furniture designs.

Caramite Lounge Chair 1960

Maralunga sofa 1973

Plastic • Magistretti strength and fluidity of plastic to produce pieces that were sculptural, comfortable and affordable. • The smooth lines of his designs became famous world wide. • The simplicity of his concepts for his designs created his work. Gaudi Chair 1970

Selene Chair 1969 Dalu Lamp 1969

Oluce 1977

Artemide Eclisse 1965

Marco Zanuso

Marco Zanuso Timeline 1916: Born in Milan, Italy. 1935 -1939: Studied architecture at Milan Polytechnic. 1941-1945: Served in Italian Navy during WWII 1945: Opened his own firm in Milan. 1946 -1947: Editor of Domus Magazine 1947 – 1949: Editor of Casabella Magazine 2001: Died 9th July in Milan


“ My studies have taught me little” – Mario Zanuso

Zanuso divulged that his time spent on technologically advanced warships during the WWII directly influenced his design style

Design Style Zanuso was one of a group of Italian designers from Milan shaping the international idea of "good design" in the postwar years. He pioneered the use of accessible materials in furniture, bringing more people `in touch` with good design. One of the interesting points of his career in industrial design is the affordability of the articles of mass production.

Major Works

Antropus Chair – 1949 Retail Price: euro 1,763.00

Lady Chair- 1951 Retail Price : euro 1,076.35

Doney 14 Television Set-1962 Price – euro 1,500.00 number=3&template_id=1&sort_order=1

Lambda Chair – 1959 Price – 1000-1500 USD number=2&template_id=1&sort_order=1

Radio - 1963 Price – euro 259.00 number=4&template_id=1&sort_order=1

Child’s Stackable Chair - 1964

Grillo Folding Telephone - 1965

Awards 1948 and 1954: The Grand Prix. 1951, 1954, 1957 and 1964: The gold medal of the Milan Triennale. 1960: Silver medal of the Milan Triennale. 1956, 1962, 1964, 1967 and 1979: The Golden Compass Award (Milan)

1965: The Interplas Award (London) 1966 :The two gold medals and the Honor Award of the Biennial of Industrial Design (Ljubljana) 1969: The gold medal of 'International Design Congress (Yverdon), 1972: The premium Bolaffi (Torino),

1984: The medal of the town of Milan 1984:the medal of the President of the Republic (Rome).

Italian Industrial Design  

Presentation for History of Italian Design. course of Davide Vitale, University of Arkansas Rome Center Credit Terraxiom 88: Kareem Jack, B...