Site Navigation

Rossi, Catharine
Playing with the Povera: Connections between Art, Architecture and Design in 1970s Italy

Main Image: Gruppo 9999, prototype of Vegetable Garden House at Space Electronic. © Gruppo 9999, courtesy of Carlo Caldini.

 

Piero Gilardi and arte povera took place amidst a wider set of avant-garde practices in Italian art, design and architecture in the late 60s and early 1970s.  These interconnections have not been sufficiently explored, yet there are clear affinities and influences between the spaces and strategies, ideas and individuals that were appropriated by a range of practitioners in a period of highly politicized and experimental creativity.  This article examines Gilardi in this wider creative context, and in particular focuses on parallels between the artist and Radical Design, the foremost area of experimentation in Italian design this period. Written from the perspective of a design historian, this has been an eye opening exercise – I looked to design as a way to understand more about Gilardi, but this in turn has also cast the design of this period in new light.   

The early 1970s saw one of the largest exhibitions of Italian post-war design, and Gilardi was in it.  Called Italy: the New Domestic Landscape: Archievements and Problems of Italian Design, it opened at New York’s MoMA in May 1972, curated by the Argentine architect Emilio Ambasz.[1] A seminal exhibition in Italy’s design history, the exhibition was conceived to show the breadth of Italian design expression.  It consisted of 180 objects produced over the previous decade, exhibited in wooden cases in MoMA’s sculpture garden, and eleven “environments” displayed inside the Museum that had been especially commissioned from both new and more established Italian architects, including Mario Bellini, Ettore Sottsass and the Superstudio group.

This dual curatorial focus mirrored the two main aspects of the show.  On the one hand it represented Italy’s prowess in design.  Following the end of World War Two, Italian had become a major international force as desirable luxuries by architects such as Gio Ponti and Vico Magistretti dominated the design scene, achieved through experimentation with traditional as well as new materials – such as plastic, whose pluralistic materiality saw it present at every stage of the design spectrum from this period.[2]

On the other hand was what constituted Ambasz’s main interest in Italian design, and another quality that set its design culture apart from other nations at this time - its critical and theoretical content.  The exhibition was informed by the emergence in Italy of what Ambasz called a ‘high level of critical consciousness’ amongst its designers, who were beginning to question design’s role as the purveyor of market place commodities, and instead promoted the use of design as a tool for socio-cultural technique.[3]  This was part of a growing climate of contestation in Italy that had permeated Italy’s design and architecture professions and which informed Gilardi’s practice too.[4]  In the field of design, this experimental arm of practice was called Radical Design, a term coined by the art critic Germano Celant, most known for this patronage of the arte povera movement, whose activities also included contributions to the design magazine Casabella in this period.[5]

Radical Design had first emerged in Italy in the late 1960s, practiced by the likes of Sottsass and Archizoom Associati and Superstudio, two groups established in 1966 by students from Florence’s architecture school.  They represented the first wave of the movement, that ran from the mid to late 1960s, which was defined by objects such as Sottsass’s Superboxes (fig. 1 - below), designed in 1966, and Archizoom Assocati’s Safari sofa from 1968, both of which were put into production by Poltronova, a fledgling Tuscan manufacturer open to these avant-garde experiments.[6]  These were objects infused by references to lowly pop culture and identifiable for their appropriation of the formal and material languages of bad taste, eclecticism and kitsch, all carefully designed to deal a blow to Italy’s reputation for providing the elegant, tasteful products of la dolce vita.[7]

Ettore Sottsass, Superbox  © Maria Assunta Radice, Sottsass Archive.

The Superboxes and Safari sofa were displayed in the “Objects” part of Italy: New Domestic Landscape.  This large section was subdivided into three further categories, organised according to their degrees of radical expression.  These were: “Conformist”, which encompassed the vast majority of the works, and which were defined by ‘exploring the aesthetic quality of single objects’; “Reformist”, whose designers largely followed the Radical Design strategy of subverting familiar cultural symbols - and “Contestatory”, whose followers believed that objects could no longer be conceived in autonomous but rather relational terms, creating objects that were flexible in their ‘use and arrangement’.[8]  This last included Cini Boeri’s Serpentone for Arflex (fig. 2, below) from 1971, a polyurethane foam seating system that the user could choose to be cut to the length desired – a formal freedom that this new material enabled.[9]

Cini Boeri, Serpentone sofa, © Arflex

Gilardi was present in the “Reformist” section, with Sassi, his series of different sized polyurethane foam seating forms painted to give the appearance of rocks.   They had been designed in 1967 for Gufram, a Turinese manufacturer set up by the Gugliermetto brothers who embraced the emerging Radical Design ethos, most explicitly in their multipli series of limited edition production runs that began with Gilardi’s sassi in 1967.[10]

The company’s patronage of Radical Design also saw the inclusion in the multipli series of objects such as Pratone, or “large lawn”, a green varnished polyurethane foam seating arrangement-cum- playful landscape designed in 1971 by Gruppo Strum, a Turinese group of architects interested in the idea of design as a vehicle for social and political protest.[11]

Pratone and Sassi were shown together alongside works in yet another subsection within the “Reformist” category – those whose forms dialogued with the existing product landscape through what Ambasz described in the catalogue as “the device of giving their designs the guises of nature.”[12]  Although this interest in nature by Italy’s Radical Designers is largely unexplored, there has been examination of arte povera artists’ marked interest in nature.[13]  From Pino Pascali’s acrylic Vedova Blu to Michelangelo Pistoletto’s mirror paintings, the living, the vegetal and the environmental were persistent tropes; as Celant remarked in 1969, with arte povera “animals, vegetables and minerals have cropped up in the art world”.[14]

Nature appeared in other another Gilardi set of works - the Tappeti Nature, first made in 1965 and shown at Turin’s Galleria Sperone in 1966.[15]  Like the Sassi, the Tappeti were deeply illusionistic works, made possible by the material possibilities of polyurethane foam.  Hyper-real renderings of natural landscapes, from seascapes to forests and cabbage patches, these were objects conceived for the domestic interior – a location that was one of the many blurs between design and art in this period.  These also included crossovers of function; the Tappeti were designed to be used and bodily engaged with, rather than viewed from a distance; and also production - with 1967’s Rotolo di Natura you could purchase not just a square of nature, but a whole length, cut from a large roll located in gallery.  This made the Rotolo an assembly line object just like Boeri’s Serpentone, a reproducible form of nature like Pratone, whose square edges could be joined up to make a lawn of infinite size.[16]

In 1966 the Tappeti appeared in an article in Domus, the architectural and design magazine that was one of the main voices of Radical Design in this period.  Written by Sottsass, the article described Gilardi’s interest in nature as an anticipation of its death:

Gilardi's Nature is neither comfortable nor safe. It is not an alibi but it is a rite. It is not a victorious nature, it is not a violent nature, neither savage nor happy.

It is a miserable nature of loss. A nature of fallen apples pumpkins from a suburban vegetable garden when the happy flowers of the peas and beans, zinnias and dahlias have withered and the fruit has been picked, a nature of ears of corn when the June poppies, July wheat and August peaches have gone, and the stumps and roots remain in the devastated fields, a nature at a loss.[17]

Gilardi wasn’t the only artist to express this apparent mourning for nature’s demise. The perceived impending end of nature fuelled several other practitioners’ work at this time, amidst widespread concern at the effect of advancing technology, industrialisation and urbanisation on Italy’s rural areas.[18]  Yet there is a paradox in Gilardi’s eulogy for the natural, one that is manifested in the materials and product modes used for the Tappeto; Gilardi expressed this loss of nature through industrial means. 

This apparent contradiction was an issue addressed at the time – as critics such as Tommaso Trini and Henry Martin identified, the arte povera artists did not see nature and technology as antithetical.[19]  They used the materials of both realms in their found and elaborated states, as they saw a kinship between the products of ‘nature and culture’ that Trini attributed to the influence of the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss’s structuralist ideas.[20]  This was part of a larger influence in anthropology at this time, and also a renegotiated understanding of what constituted the natural in a highly technological world.[21]

Furthermore, as Gilardi identified in the 1980s in response to Sottsass’s article, while he acknowledged that his work expressed ‘an anxiety toward the loss of nature’ he disputed they were an exorcist ritual that anticipated nature’s death, because at the same time as they expressed his fear at the demise of the natural, they also expressed a faith ‘in technology’.[22]

This nature-linked technological utopianism provides another link back to the design practice on show in Italy: New Domestic Landscape, chiefly in the “Environments” section of the exhibition.  Like the “Objects” section, the “Environments” were subdivided into three categories organised by their degree of critical intent; “commentary”, “Design as Postulation” and “Counter – Design as Postulation”.[23]  Technology, and plastic in particular, was a dominant presence, ranging from the affirmative utopianism of Joe Colombo’s vision of tomorrow’s technology-saturated home to Gaetano Pesce’s dystopian archaeological dig of contemporary society, rendered, like Gilardi’s works, out of polyurethane foam.[24]

Superstudio were present in this section too, with their proposal for a “life without objects”.[25]  They envisioned a world whose built environment no longer consisted of fixed architecture but instead consisted of a single grid, a universal energy network designed for nomadic living.  This, alongside the other contestatory environments in the show, was an example of what Ambasz described as a ‘negative’ form of utopia for its present-orientated ethos of destruction and reduction.[26]  This is the same concept we see in arte povera, an art form that Celant described as based on ‘taking away, eliminating, downgrading things to a minimum, impoverishing signs to reduce them to their archetypes’.[27]  In the context of design this is translated into the destruction of what Ambasz termed the object’s condition as a market-orientated, middle-class ‘status symbol’ and its transformation into a communal, mentally stimulating and participatory entity.[28]  This was what Superstudio meant in their vision – not for a life without any objects, but for a life without enslavement to them, a utopia whose material culture consisted of ‘neutral, disposable elements’ devoid of the alienation inherent in commodity fetishism.[29]

As in Gilardi’s works, nature and technology co-exist in Superstudio’s vision.  The grids are accompanied by a variety of scenes of the technology-infused pastoral; from horses and cattle grazing in pastures with space shuttles looming above, to fields of flowers where a family can plug into the grid to service their basic survival needs.  On the one hand, there is a difference in their two visions; while the infinitude of this technology-infused nature is part of Superstudio’s anti-consumerist critique, in Gilardi’s the potentially endless reproducibility and hyperreality of the tappeto is a problematic part of consumerism, what Laura Petican describes as  ‘a commentary on the commodification of existence gaining momentum in a period of rapid industrialization.’[30]  Yet despite this apparent contradiction between Superstudio and Gilardi’s work, on the other hand there is a key commonality between them, evident in this juxtaposition of the natural and the artificial: a desire to bring man and nature closer in a post-consumerist world. 

This concept was most explicit in another “Environment” on display at the MoMA exhibition: the Vegetable Garden House, conceived by Gruppo 9999 (see main image above), a group of four Florentine architects set up in 1967.  Although one of the lesser known characters in Italy’s Radical Design history, their environment chimes with many of its key ideas and approaches.  The group were one of two winners of the Exhibition’s “Competition for Young Designers” – a worthy prize but one that meant that, unlike the other “Environments”, their entries were not physically created at MoMA, but instead represented in photographic form in the Museum and reproduced, as with the other entries, on paper in the exhibition’s catalogue.[31]

Gruppo 9999’s proposal consisted of a number of multi-coloured collages that, like Superstudio’s vision, took as their basis the form of the grid. Theirs consisted of collages of gridded paper variously overlaid with text, photographs and illustrations: in one, close-ups of cabbages and Brussels sprouts are accompanied with graphs of growing seasons; in another there are aerial shots of children lying in vegetable patches.  Together they represent all the components of the bedroom of their ‘Vegetable House’.[32]

The idea for the ‘Vegetable House’ originated in the late 1960s, in a series of workshops and performances that Gruppo 9999 had been conducting at Space Electronic, a nightclub they had set up in 1969 in Florence, and where they did experiments with groups such as Superstudio.[33]  This realm provides another link between art and design practice - nightclubs were a key space for experimentation in this period.  Gilardi’s Tappeto was displayed at Turin’s Piper nightclub, one of a number of ‘Pipers’ that had sprung up in cities such as Rome and Florence in the 1960s, which were ran by members of the art and architectural avant-garde.[34]  Other artists associated with arte povera, such as Marisa Merz and Pistoletto, would also be amongst those to appropriate this site for displays and performances in this period, as part of a conscious turn away from the conventional spaces of the art industry at this time.[35]  Among the performances and installations that took place at Space Electronic, Gruppo 9999 created a prototype of the ‘Vegetable Garden House’ – including a real vegetable garden that represented the full-scale prototype of the living room of the MoMA ‘Garden House’. 

Gruppo 9999’s project was informed by the same concern for our relationship with nature as we see in Gilardi’s Sassi and Tappeti natura.  As Carlo Caldini of Gruppo 9999 noted recently, nature was a dominant theme in their work at this time: ‘nature increasingly fascinated and engrossed our everyday observations. This was at a time when the world seemed to be dominated by technology, as if there were a frantic race that everyone was involved in, but without anyone realizing that irreparable damage was being done to nature.’[36]

In addition to the ‘Vegetable Garden House’, they organised performances and produced other collages and documents that proclaimed the importance of nature:

RELAX. Huge energy cycles are supporting our planet. [ ... ] Our experience depends only on the forms of life of the known and unknown phenomena that manifests [ ... ] in the harmony and elegance of nature. Man and his environment are at the center of the Gruppo 9999’s research, in which a balance between scientific progress and nature is found. This is happening thanks to highly sophisticated technologies cleansed from rubbish and pollution that work exclusively for the service and protection of man and his environment.[37]

Gruppo 9999 called a balance between ‘scientific progress and nature’, just like Gilardi.  There are differences here - while Gilardi’s works operated through the experience of sitting on them, through a bodily engagement that would render the artificiality of their natural qualities fully comprehended, in the ‘Vegetable Garden House’ it was the act of growing produce that would bring man in a closer relationship with nature. Yet this was based on an apparent paradox: as with Superstudio’s collages and in the Sassi and Tappeto: they at once expressed a faith in nature and contemporaneously commented on our distance from it in contemporary society, and do so through technological means.[38]

The Sassi and Tappeto were the only products that Gilardi made in this period.  In the late 1960s Gilardi stopped making for a long period, concerned in part at the commodification of his works and objecting at the gallery system.[39]  He was right to be concerned – it was precisely this phenomenon that the architectural historian Manfredo Tafuri accused the architects of the first wave of Radical Design of.  He criticised the likes of Archizoom and Superstudio with their Poltronova-made products for peddling what he called an ‘increasingly commercialized’ form of irony, their approach not up to the task of real social change.[40]

While Gilardi did not design any more products in this period, these were not the only objects he created.  In 1966 he exhibited a series of works including the Carriola (wheelbarrow) and Sega (saw) shown in Arte Abitabile, held at the Sperone Gallery in 1966.[41]  Celant picked up on the shift inherent in these works at the time.  Clearly comparing them to the illusionary qualities of the Tappeti and Sassi, he states that ‘these objects are concrete rather than mediated or mimetic manifestations of his instrumental and functional action. For those who know the “hard-working” Gilardi, they are his symbols.’[42]   In essence these were tools, their functionality and instrumentality shorthand for Gilardi’s increasing involvement in the everyday of political activism.

These objects, and Gilardi’s cessation of object making, could be seen as representing a point of departure between the artist and Italy’s Radical Design movement.  On the one hand this was true; Gilardi’s work bore little resemblance to the tactics of critical object making that defined the of Radical Design of the late 1960s.  Yet Radical Design was a game of two halves; and with the emergence of the second wave of Radical Design that emerged in the early 1970s - a shift in approach on which Italy New Domestic Landscape was pivoted – commonalities persisted.

In part in response to the problem that Tafuri outlined, Italy’s designers were experiencing what Celant and fellow art critic Filiberto Menna described in the exhibition’s catalogue as a “crisis of the object”.[43]  There was an attempt to shift away from designing products to what Menna described as ‘a design for behaviours’ – the creation and exploration of behaviours for designing, making and engaging with objects that went beyond the commodified experience of Italy’s consumerist society.[44]  This was the approach that defined the second phase of Radical Design, which ran from the early to mid 1970s.  Just as with its first phase there were different, and occasionally divergent approaches, yet it did contain some common themes and tropes – amongst them, the concept of the tool.

The tool appears in a number of different ways in the second wave of Radical Design, too numerous to go into here.  It was most explicit in the Global Tools group, set up in 1973 by individuals and groups including Sottsass, Archizoom, Superstudio and Gruppo 9999.[45]  This was a group that pursued the idea of a liberated, spontaneous creativity, explored through workshops that used objects – tools – to invent a new, participatory and play-based way of designing and making.

Ultimately all the objects discussed here –from Gilardi’s Carriola and Sassi to Gruppo 9999’s collages and installations shared a tool-like quality - an instrumentality that attempted to overcome their commodity status to become tools for political protest, for change – a status achieved by the means, but also materials, from which they were manufactured.

But of course there are differences.  In 1976 Global Tools dissolved, and its end marked the dissolution of Radical Design, its utopianism replaced by the nihilism and cynical commercialism of Postmodernism.  Yet this wasn’t Gilardi’s last endeavour: in the 1980s he returned to the world of object making and he continues to pursue his critical, politically informed art practice today.  Gilardi’s significance therefore lies in the legacy and longevity of his creative practice, his approach providing a lesson for design to learn from.

 

Creative Commons Licence

This work (excluding images) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

 


[1] For full details on the exhibition, see Emilio Ambasz, ed., Italy: The New Domestic Landscape: Achievements and Problems of Italian Design (New York: New York Graphic Society, 1972).

[2] For a comprehensive account of Italy’s post-war design history, see Penny Sparke, Italian Design 1870 to the Present (London: Thames & Hudson, 1988).

[3] Ambasz, ‘Summary in Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, ed. Ambasz, p. 419.

[4] See Paola Nicolin, ‘Protest by Design: Giancarlo de Carlo and the 14th Milan Triennale’  in  Cold War Modern: Design 1945 – 1970, ed. David Crowley and Jane Pavitt (London: V&A, 2008), pp. 228 – 233.

[5] Alessandro Mendini in Joseph Grima, Alessandro Mendini and Vera Sacchetti, ‘The Role of Radical Magazines’ in The Italian Avant-Garde: 1968 – 1976, ed. Alex Coles and Catharine Rossi (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2013), p. 8.

[6] For an account of Poltronova’s activities, see Facendo Mobili con Archizoom, Asti, Aulenti, Ceroli, de Pas d'Urbino Lomazzi, Ernst, Fini, Mangiarotti, Marotta, Mendini, Michelucci, Nespolo, Portoghesi, Ruffi, Sottsass, Superstudio, Vignelli (Florence: Poltronova Edizioni, 1977)

[7] Daniela Prina has accurately described this first phase of Italy’s Radical Design movement.  Daniela Prina, ‘Design as Conceptual Research and Political Instrument: Role and Legacy of the Italian Radical Movement’ in Networks of Design: Proceedings of the 2008 Annual International Conference, ed. Jonathan Glynne, Fiona Hackney, Viv Minton (Boca Raton, Fla. : Universal Publishers, c2009), p.101.

[8] Ambasz, ‘Introduction’ in Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, ed. Ambasz, (pp. 19 - 21) pp. 19 - 21. 

[9] Paola Antonelli, ‘MoMA’s “Italy: New Domestic Landscape Revisited”’ in The Italian Avant-Garde, ed. Coles and Rossi, pp. 32 - 34.

[10] ‘The Rock Furniture: Design from Gufram’ http://www.domusweb.it/en/design/the-rock-furniture-design-from-gufram/ <accessed 3 April 2013>

[11] Prina, p. 102; Sparke, p. 193.

[12] Ambasz, ‘Introduction’ in Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, ed. Ambasz,, p. 21.

[13] Laura Petican, ‘The Arte Povera Experience: Nature Re-Presented’ in Paul Crowther and Isabel Wünsche, eds. Meanings of Abstract Art: Between Nature and Theory (London; New York: Routledge, 2012), pp. 184 – 197.

[14] Germano Celant, Arte Povera (Milan: Gabriele Mazzotta Editore, 1969), p. 225 in Petican, ‘The Arte Povera Experience’ in Meanings of Abstract Art, ed. Crowther and Wünsche, p. 184.

[15] For more on the Tappeti Nature, see Erik Verhagen, ‘Piero Gilardi: For an Aesthetic of Abnegation’ Artpress, June 2010, no. 368, p. 55 – 59.

[16] Matthias Kries in 100 Masterpieces from the Vitra Design Museum Collection (Weil am Rhein: Vitra Design Museum, 1996), p. 128.

[17] Ettore Sottsass, ‘Piero Gilardi’, Domus, December 1966, no. 445.  Reproduced in ‘1966 Ettore Sottsass Jr’  http://www.centrostudipierogilardi.org/en/pubblications/critical-essays/7-1966-ettore-sottsass-jr-en <accessed 4 April 2013>

[18] Martin Holman, ‘Arte Povera 1968’, Art Monthly, November 2011, no. 351, p. 22.

[19] Henry Martin, ‘Piero Gilardi, or the Technological Arcadia’ in Flash Art n. 1, Rome, June 1967 trans. Gilda Williams in ‘Parallel Practices’ in Arte Povera, ed. Carolyn Christov- Bakargiev, (London: Phaidon, 1999), p. 279; Tommaso Trini, ‘Nuovo Alfabeto per Corpo e Materia’ Domus, January 1969, p. 47.

[20] Trini, p. 47.

[21] Alison J. Clarke, ‘The Anthropological Object in Design: From Victor Papanek to Superstudio’ in Design Anthropology: Object Culture in the 21st Century, ed. Alison J. Clarke (Vienna: Springer, 2011), p. 74–87; Petican, ‘The Arte Povera Experience’ in Abstract Art, ed. Crowther and Wünsche, p. 186.

[22] Piero Gilardi, ‘Dall’arte alla vita dalla vita all’arte’ Prints Etc., Paris, 1982, pp. 11 – 12, trans. Gilda Williams in ‘Parallel Practices’ in Arte Povera, ed. Christov- Bakargiev, p. 282.

[23] Ambasz, ‘INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTS SECTION by Emilio Ambasz’ Press Release no. 43, http://www.moma.org/docs/press_archives/4820/releases/MOMA_1972_0049_43.pdf?2010 <accessed 4 April 2013>

[24] Gaetano Pesce, ‘GAETANO PESCE’ in Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, ed. Ambasz, pp. 212 – 222; Prina, p. 102.

[25] Superstudio, “Description of the Microevent/Microenvironment,” in Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, ed. Ambasz, p. 242

[26] Ambasz, ‘Summary’ in Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, ed. Ambasz, p. 421.

[27] Celant, Arte Povera - Im Spazio (Genoa: Dizioni Masnata; Trentalance, 1967) in Celant, Arte Povera, p. 31.

[28] Ambasz, ‘Summary’ in Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, ed. Ambasz, p. 421.

[29] Ambasz, “Summary,” in Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, ed. Ambasz, p. 421; Superstudio, “Description of the Microevent/Microenvironment,” in Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, ed. Ambasz, p. 246.

[30] Petican, ‘The Arte Povera Experience’ in Meanings of Abstract Art, ed. Crowther and Wünsche, p. 193.

[31] The other winner was Studio Tecnico Gianantonio Mari.

[32] Mark Wasiuta, Luca Molinari and Peter Lang, ‘Fabrication Laboratory 9999’ in Environments and Counter-Environments «Italy: The New Domestic Landscape» MoMA 1972  (Barcelona: DHUB, 2011) n.p., accessed 10 December 2011, http://www.petertlang.net/design-culture/environments-and-counter-enviro...

[33] Wasiuta, Moliarni and Lang, Fabrication Laboratory 9999.’

[34] Christov-Bakargivev, ‘Survey’ in Arte Povera, ed. Christov-Bakargiev, 37; Gilardi in LeGrace G. Benson, Gabriele Muresu and Piero Gilardi, ‘An Interview with Piero Gilardi’, Leonardo vol. 1, no. 4, October 1968, p. 433; Andrea Branzi, The Hot House: Italian New Wave Design, trans. C.H. Evans (London: Thames and Hudson, 1984), p. 54.

[35] Christov-Bakargivev, ‘Survey’ in Arte Povera, ed. Christov-Bakargiev, 37

[36] Carlo Caldini, ‘Space Electronic’ in The Italian Avant-Garde, ed. Coles and Rossi, p. 102.

[37] Gruppo 9999, Ricordi di architettura ( Florence: Capponi,1972), n.p; trans. Rossi in Caldini, ‘Space Electronic’ in The Italian Avant-Garde, ed. Coles and Rossi, pp. 102 – 103.

[38] For more on Gruppo 9999’s Vegetable Garden House and the place of nature in their work see Rossi, ‘Crafting a Design Counterculture: the Pastoral and the Primitive in Italian Radical Design, 1972–1976’ in Made in Italy: New Perspectives on Italian Design, ed. Grace Lees- Maffei and Ktejil Fallan (London: Berg, 2013 (forthcoming)).

[39] Christov-Bakargiev, ‘Parallel Practices’ in Arte Povera, ed. Christov-Bakargiev, p. 180.

[40] Manfredo Tafuri, History of Italian Architecture, 1944 – 1985, trans. Jessica Levine (Cambridge, MA and London: MIT Press), p. 99.

[41] Christov-Bakargiev, ‘Parallel Practices’ in Arte Povera, ed. Christov-Bakargiev, p. 179.

[42] Celant, ‘Arte Povera: Notes for a Guerrilla War’, Flash Art, November-December 1967, no. 5 in Celant, Arte Povera, p. 37

[43] Celant, ‘Radical Architecture’ and Filippo Menna, ‘A Design for New Behaviours,’ in Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, ed. Ambasz, pp. 380-387, 405-414.

[44] Menna, ‘A Design for New Behaviours,’ in Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, ed. Ambasz, p. 405.

[45] For a discussion of Global Tools, see Rossi, Crafting Modern Design in Italy from Post-War to Postmodernism (unpublished PhD thesis) pp. 391 – 413.

 

 

Related Material

Supporters