Gruppo 9999 Italian Architecture and Design Group

For S-SPACE, THE Mondial Festival N. 1, “VITA, MORTE E MIRACOLI DELL’ARCHITETTURA,” IN 1971, Featured a vegetable garden
For S-SPACE, THE Mondial Festival N. 1, “VITA, MORTE E MIRACOLI DELL’ARCHITETTURA,” IN 1971, Featured a vegetable garden

Giorgio Birelli, Carlo Caldini, Fabrizio Fiumi, and Paolo Galli established Gruppo 9999, a group of avant-garde architects, in Florence in 1968. They were eventually joined by Paolo Coggiola, Andrea Gigli, Mario Preti, and Giovanni Sani. The operation lasted until 1972.  (Byars, 2004) 

On Florence’s Ponte Vecchio, its members organised a “design happening” in 1968. Another of its projects was the interior design for the 1969 Space Electronics discotheque, Florence. At the large dance hall that the organisation ran in Florence, the group organised the seminar “S-S-Space World Festival no. 1” on conceptual and behavioural architecture, which was attended by Italian and foreign participants. In 1973, it released the book Memories of Architecture.

The 9999 Group condemned the misuse of the mass media and the false goals of the economic-political run-up, attentive only to the logic of the market and consumption, promoting an ecological movement where each of their design activities contained an ethical message. They launched a manifesto that, in addition, highlighted the group’s philosophy, and aimed to outline a specific life model and spread it.

The fiercely anti-consumption stances adopted by Gruppo 9999 made it difficult, however, for them to incorporate their ideas into mass production, and they relied on the communication channels of exhibitions and specialist magazines through which to disseminate their ideas. (Sparke, 1986)


Sparke, P. (1986, May 1). An Introduction to Design and Culture in the Twentieth Century (4th ed., pp. 1–316). Routledge.

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