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The culture of Italian design has received an interesting contribution from Campania in terms of theoretical developments and designs alike, in an approach that has been at times mainstream and at other times provocative – a result of the endemic cultural complexity of the area with its transitory outcomes, its materials, productive traditions, companies, intellectual milieus, and exclusive personalities. This is the context in which Roberto Mango and Nino Caruso brought to life their different experiences, ambitions and outcomes from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s. Despite their differences, they both strived to raise and emancipate the culture of industrial products in rather difficult areas. In this respect, one of the most interesting aspects of their work is their use of ceramics and other ‘poor’ materials, which signalled a controversial innovation reverberating beyond persistent commonplaces.