For a History from within On Design in Italy, by Paolo Fossati

The review of the book Design in Italy, by Paolo Fossati (1972), revives the discussion on this substantial and seminal work. Almost forgotten, Design in Italy is more likely a ‘removed classic’, even though it was one of the first publications that tackled the topic of the Italian design and identified it. The book is considered ‘difficult’ for its style and the inseparable interweaving of both the historical investigation and critical analysis that have weakened the assumption that we are dealing with an ‘unbiased’ history.

This essay tries to rediscover this work through a cross-disciplinary approach to the text (and images) without turning into a pedantic commentary. It also traces the threads of Fossati’s work, in order to understand its intimate construction, as well as the ‘insistences’ and the intentions of its author. Starting from the antinomy of the designer’s role and figure, the essay discloses the inner reasons and urgencies and focuses eventually on the ‘grip’ – namely the subtle ethical implication – that inspire the present time related to the past and the present day. By way of conclusion, design thinking and design doing return to the center of the contemporary art scene.

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Questo articolo è disponibile in Italiano