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  • Writer's pictureIrene Canovi

5 Italians who changed the world of design

We all know, Italians do it better. But how they do it ?

Italy is the design homeland. Italian fashion is appreciated worldwide. Italian cars have a timeless beauty. There is so much to talk about product design: Italians created from furniture design to kitchen utensils and study it in the smallest details. Well, obviously we can't leave pasta out of the design scene. Each shape is designed and made to fit and match the perfect sauce. Italians don't leave anything to change.

Today although I'm not talking about pasta, I'll will be talking of 5 of my favorite designer and artist.

1. The one and only Bruno Munari

Bruno Munari was an Italian artist, designer, and inventor. Yes all of it and not only, but he also contributed too many visual arts, poetry, literature, and research. He was particularly interested in the research on games, dialectic method, movement, learning, and creativity.

Munari's works are timeless and they can be appreciated by kids and adults. He wrote diverse books: Fantasia, Supplemento al dizionario Italiano, Le forchette parlanti and Da Cosa Nasce Cosa.

I highly recommend reading some of his books.

2. Massimo Vignelli

Massimo Vignelli era uno dei più grandi graphic designer italiani. He worked with clients such as IBM, Knoll, Bloomingdale's and American Airline, Benetton, and different restyling of Cinzano.

Vignelli designed the New York City Subway map in 1972. His design was revolutionary because he created a map based on the user not on the real topography of the city. And quickly became an icon for modernist information design.

He, with his wife Lella, contributed to writing books such as From A to Z and my long-time favorite The Vignelli Canon. Here you can find the full pdf His motto was "design is one. If you do it right it lasts forever. "

3. Castiglioni

Achille Castiglioni was a furniture designer, architect, and professor. He advised his students "If you are not curious, forget it. If you are not interested in others, what they do, and how they act, then being a designer is not the right job for you." now I understand where my professor of History of Product design got his. He worked for Floss and Zanetta introducing the "ready-made" which consists in creating new objects with already existing ones. His most famous creation is the Arco lamp. Probably anyone's dream. Arco floor lamp by Flos is characterized by a sturdy marble base, arched metal arm, and adjustable reflector

4. Radical design

The craziest designer in whole history. Let's say that Radical design was born to form the rebellion of a group of designers to the rational design wave. They preferred to create ironic and innovative objects which are completely eccentric and out of the box. Italian radical design expanded worldwide thang to two major associated groups: Archizoom and Superstudio founded by Ettore Sottsass, and Gruppo Memphis. The radical design is strongly inspired by pop art culture. You might find the craziest furniture design you'll ever see.

5. Oliviero Toscani


For almost 20 years he worked for Benetton creating with "just picture" the image identity, communication strategy, and online presence. His pictures are showing the real world for what it is. Every picture is a reflection of our society, a provocation to the style of life and way of thinking. Oliviero uses photography as a tool for communicative impact

I hope you liked this Italian dose of creative pills stay tuned for more.

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