Abet Laminati: design of surfaces

In the reference framework of this number, dedicated to the relationship between the Italian material culture and world of design, one emblematic story is the Abet Laminates company.
A story widely described, especially at the end of seventies and during the eighties, in relation to the Italian design situation of that period, and above all to the Memphis group headed by Ettore Sottsass. The main goal of this paper is to retrace a deep and more complete discourse about how, when and through which characters, a manufacturing industry  of semi-finished materials as plastic laminates, has evolved to become such an important and particular phenomenon  in the history of Italian design. Analyzing how the intrinsic modernity of this synthetic material, thanks to the choices of an illuminated management aiming at highlighting its identity as an artificial product, led the company to collaborate with artists, designers and architects, generating one of the broadest experiments in terms of primary design of the last sixty years. This has been possible thorough the collection of inedited archive materials, interviews, as well as through the comparison of a substantial number of bibliographical sources.