Archizoom avant-garde Italian design studio

Mies Chair and Ottoman (1969) by Archizoom Associati, Andrea Branzi, Gilberto Corretti, Paolo Deganello, Massimo Morozzi, Dario Bartolini, Lucia Bartolini
Mies Chair and Ottoman (1969) by Archizoom Associati, Andrea Branzi, Gilberto Corretti, Paolo Deganello, Massimo Morozzi, Dario Bartolini, Lucia Bartolini

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.

Archizoom for Poltronova, Sofa Superonda, 1967
Archizoom for Poltronova, Sofa Superonda, 1967

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.

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

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

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