Superstudio (1966 – 1978) Italian avant-garde design group

Superstudio's photo collages and designs opened up new possibilities for what architecture and urban planning could be.
Superstudio’s photo collages and designs opened up new possibilities for what architecture and urban planning could be.

Superstudio was an avant-garde architectural and design group that was closely linked to the Radical Design movement in Italy. Founded by Adolfo Natalini and Cristiano Toraldo di Francia in Florence in December 1966.

Its members rejected the traditional relationship between the designer and the manufacturer, which meant that the former was subject to the latter’s dictates and thus constrained. Superstudio, like Archizoom, was founded in Florence in 1966 to pursue utopian ideas for living rather than being constrained by functionalism.

Superstudio's photo collages and designs opened up new possibilities for what architecture and urban planning could be.
Superstudio’s photo collages and designs opened up new possibilities for what architecture and urban planning could be.

Its theory was exemplified by the 1968 Monumento Continuo, in which vast future living worlds were envisioned as objectless and free of consumerism’s pressures. Exhibitions, catalogues, international competitions, seminars, and lectures were the primary venues for Superstudio’s ideas, with the most significant stage being Emilio Ambasz’s curated exhibition Italy: The New Domestic Landscape (1972) at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

From 1973 to1975, Superstudio was a member of the Global Tools initiative and took part in a variety of exhibitions, including the Milan Triennali and the Sottsass and Superstudio: Mindscapes exhibition, which toured the United States from 1973 to 1975.

Members of Superstudio also taught and conducted research in university departments in Florence and elsewhere to promote their ideas.

Furniture items by Superstudio on show in ‚ÄúSuperstudio Migrazioni‚ÄĚ at CIVA in Brussels, featuring the grid pattern from ‚ÄúContinuous Monument.‚ÄĚ
Furniture items by Superstudio on show in ‚ÄúSuperstudio Migrazioni‚ÄĚ at CIVA in Brussels, featuring the grid pattern from ‚ÄúContinuous Monument.‚ÄĚ

Sources

Woodham, J. M. (2006). A dictionary of modern design. Oxford University Press.

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