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Radical design

Era: 1960s - 1970s

Related: May 1968, Paris - Anti-design - Italian design - modern design - visionary architecture - radical - design

Associated groups: Archigram - Superstudio - Archizoom - UFO design group - Alessandro Mendini - Ettore Sottsass

Unidentified issue of Casabella magazine.
In the ape's breast, you can see "Radical Design".


Radical design developed in Italy in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It continued the tradition of using new materials and bold colours that began with Pop but also drew on historical styles such as Art Deco, Kitsch, and Surrealism. The main exponents of Radical Design were small groups of architects and designers who questioned Modernism and rejected mass-consumer culture. Key groups and designers of the Radical style include Superstudio, Archizoom Associati, UFO, Gruppo Strum, and Ettore Sottsass, whose work went on to ...Miller's: Collecting Modern Design (2001) - Sally Hoban , --page 127

The Radicals' Legacy

La Pietra, Mendini and all the others began to work in Milan. And, I must say that much radical design, unfortunately became "fashionable", because Memphis and Alchimia - behind which there were Sottsass and Mendini - conquered a large international market that led the way to a trendy phenomenon, that above all impressed the cultured bourgeoisie that wanted to feel " la page". Many people bought up these new objects that very soon, in my opinion, became fashionable objects and nothing more. -- THE RADICALS' LEGACY, Interview with Lara-Vinca Masini via http://www.ideamagazine.net/en/cont/cst0701.htm [Mar 2006]

Germano Celant

The term Radical design was coined by Germano Celant.

"Radical design" is a title of an exhibition of a show curated by Gianni Pettena. --http://socialdesignzine.aiap.it/sdz/archives/005318.php [Mar 2006]

Germano Celant was an Italian writer who coined the phrase of "Arte Povera" or poor art and wrote many articles on the subject. Big ideas seemed to be that in Italy art was different than art in America because they were under different circumstances at the time. Italy was going through an industrial period but was not really making the pop art that coincided with the established economy as opposed to the american artists like Warhol, Raushenberg, and other pop artists. The "Arte Povera" artists included Michelangelo Pistoletto, Alighiero Boetti, Germano Celant, and many others there are a few books out there that explain better than this definition. The italian artists were going for a neo-humanism in their art and not going for the coolness and calculated machine made imagery of the pop artists like Robert Indiana or Andy Warhol. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germano_Celant [Mar 2006]

See also: Radical Design - Italian design

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