What is design? The interview series which was lauched in New York’s MoMA reveals the answers of six masters of design in this historical collection. Directed by Anna Pitscheider, co-edited by Museo Alessi and Edizioni Corraini in 2008, the interviews portray masters who have made Italian design famous across the world. Brief conversations, reflections and anecdotes that describe with spontaneity and great eloquence the teachings that have shaped their personal and professional lives.
“There has to be irony both in design and in the objects. I see around me a professional disease of taking everything too seriously,” Achille Castiglioni once said. “One of my secrets is to joke all the time.”
Castiglioni believed that design should add humour to our lives. The Snoopy light (1967; pictured) was so named because its silhouette was similar to the cartoon dog.
Other examples of Castiglioni’s witty approach include homages to Dada artist Marcel Duchamp, as found in the use of a fishing rod and car headlamp in his Toio floor light (1962) and the tractor and bicycle seats in the Mezzadro (pictured) and Sella designs (1957).
These chairs were so radical at the time that it wasn’t until 1971 and 1983 respectively that Zanotta put them into production.
Most of his important early works were designed with his brother Pier Giacomo. Their most famous collaboration is the Arco floor lamp for Flos in 1962.
Loosely based on the common street lamp, it’s now one of the most recognised (and copied) lights of the 20th century.
Italian with English subtitle.