Il design in Italia nei gruppi di

progettazione 1960-1990

Thesis Research

Università di Roma "Sapienza"

Facoltà di Architettura A.A. 2013/2014 

Supervisor: Prof. Arch. Vincenzo Cristallo

Project selected for Adi design index 2015, winner of the prize “Eccellenze del design nel Lazio” 2015, and winner of the “A Design Award” 2016-2017 category “writing, literature and content design”.

The research focused on the radical design of the 70s and groups of Italian designers.This work gathers the pieces of a “group” story that has strongly defined a contemporary field, far from that of the great designers of the post-war period, and which has been able to renew design, starting from the basics, to imagine new ways of operating and thinking.

The aim of the research is to clarify a not yet clearly identified phenomenon, to understand its influence and to find its heritage in the landscape of design and architecture.
The research starts from a text summary of the events and the periods. The initial part defines the Italian situation, starting from the ‘50s and ‘60s, from the “arte povera” movement to the politic and artistic youth challenge; then identifies in the groups of “arte programmata” (programmed art) an important precedent as the first strong link between conceptual art and industrial design.

The study continues describing the radical Italian movement and the various experiences of the artistic project between the ‘60s and’ 70s. It goes on to define a very different situation that starts in the 80s, when market logic becomes more pronounced and ideology loses its leading role.

The text is followed by interviews with Andrea Branzi, Gianni Pettena and Ugo La Pietra, who present a human face to the issue and clarify some doubts, not only looking at the facts from the professional point of view, but also at the relationships between the various personalities.

Each group is then individually analyzed by collecting sources and original texts from books and archive magazines. The relations between the groups, the general context, places and trends are summarized in graphic diagrams created to give a brief overview of the facts. The final key to understanding is the bibliography, which contains not only the specific material on design and architecture of the groups, but also publications concerning “made in Italy” and Italian design.

On top some photos of the thesis book and two historic images: Michele De Lucchi and his brother above the structure they made during the seminar “Impossible Architectures” organized by the Cavart group in 1975; Superstudio “Continuous Monument”, a series of photomontages. 


Below, the video interviews with Gianni Pettena, Andrea Branzi and Ugo La Pietra performed concerning the movement of the radical design groups.