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Radical Design

Italy's Radical Design (Disegno Radicale) movement emerged c. 1966, and developed centres of activity in Florence, Turin and Milan. It centred on avant-garde groups such as Archizoom, Superstudio, Global Tools, and 9999, as well as individuals including architect and designer Ettore Sottsass and theorist Andrea Branzi. Radical Design emphasised the social and cultural possibilities inherent in the design process. The movement expressed its ideas through the publication of manifestos, reviews, and articles, participation in national and international competitions and exhibitions, film, research, and teaching. . Ideologically aligned to the broader aims of the Anti-Design movement, those associated with Radical Design were more politically motivated, devoting considerable energy to research into urban architecture, innovation, and the environment. Strongly opposed to the constraints of capitalism, the role of the consumer-user was central to their thinking and reflected their attraction to socio-cultural possibilities proposed by alternative lifestyle models. Aspects the Radical Design were exhibited at the 1968 Venice Biennale and later at the Museum of Modern Art New York exhibition ‘Italy the New Domestic Landscape’ (1972).

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