Four architects—Andrea Branzi, Gilberto Corretti, Paolo Deganello, Massimo Morozzi—and two designers—Dario Bartolini and Lucia Bartolini—founded Archizoom this Italian avant-garde design studio in 1966 in Florence, Italy. They focused on exhibition installations and architecture and designing interiors and goods as part of the Italian Anti-Design or Radical Design movement. Archizoom was vociferous and provocative in terms of theory and practised during a period of intense discussion about the nature and function of design, drawing on a wide variety of sources, including Pop and Kitsch, to undermine the elegant lines and forms for which mainstream Italian design had gained an international reputation.
The Dream Beds series from 1967 is a well-known example of their attitude at the time. It founded the ‘Centre for Eclectic Conspiracy’ at the Milan Triennale in 1968. Four years later, its representatives proclaimed the ‘right to act, change, shape, and kill the surrounding world’ in response to a fact that lacked “meaning.” A well-known example of their work is the elasticated Mies chair (1969) for Poltronova, with its humorous commentary on the obvious properties of functionalism. Other notable projects included NoStop City (1970) and the group’s work in the groundbreaking 1972 exhibition Italy, the New Domestic Landscape, curated by Emilio Ambasz at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.
Woodham, J. M. (2006). A dictionary of modern design. Oxford University Press.
You may also be interested in
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.
Unit One was a British avant-garde community of architects and fine artists were created by designer, artist, and teacher Paul Nash to encourage Modernism in art and architecture in England. Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, and Ben Nicholson were among the group’s most prominent members, as were the architects’ Wells Coates and Colin Lucas.