BEYOND THE BORDER

A new generation of is emer­ging, in ver­sa­ti­le ex­pres­sions that nar­ra­te beyond geo­gra­phi­cal bor­ders and tra­di­tions

Interni - - DESIGNING -

American de­si­gners a plu­ra­li­st idea of de­si­gn, by Domitilla Dardi Eu­ro­pe’s

perception of American de­si­gn has al­ways been mu­ta­ble. For de­ca­des the USA was a ha­ven for de­si­gners and theo­rists from the old con­ti­nent, who found a pro­duc­ti­ve world in whi­ch sim­pli­fi­ca­tion and prag­ma­ti­sm trium­phed over sty­li­stic and de­co­ra­ti­ve lo­gic. Ju­st con­si­der the For­di­st mo­del of fac­to­ry or­ga­ni­za­tion and the pro­duc­tion li­ne, a re­fe­ren­ce point for years for Oli­vet­ti and all en­lighte­ned bu­si­ness­men in Eu­ro­pe. American de­si­gn has al­ways been proud of its industrial cha­rac­ter, its di­men­sion of be­lon­ging to real eve­ry­day li­fe. It is no coin­ci­den­ce that the fir­st de­si­gner to make the co­ver of a mass­mar­ket news ma­ga­zi­ne was Ray­mond Loewy, on the co­ver of Ti­me; a symp­tom of the po­pu­la­ri­ty and fa­mi­lia­ri­ty of industrial pro­duc­ts in American The works of so­me American ta­len­ts pre­sen­ted by the Fried­man Ben­da Gal­le­ry in New York. Cloc­k­wi­se from top: Wen­dell Ca­stle, Wan­de­ring Moun­tain, 2014; Adam Sil­ver­man, Un­ti­tled, 2017; Mi­sha Kahn, Stool, Plu­to, 2016; Ch­ris Schanck, Alu­foil, 2016. star­ting in the 1930s. Du­ring the po­st­war era two gian­ts of the fur­ni­tu­re in­du­stry ca­me to the fo­re: Knoll, wi­th its in­ter­na­tio­nal vo­ca­tion, its fo­cus on the Eu­ro­pean ma­sters of ra­tio­na­li­sm, and Her­man Mil­ler, wi­th a ca­ta­lo­gue that boa­sted au­then­ti­cal­ly American roo­ts, and a li­fe­sty­le that taught the American peo­ple a non­cha­lant ap­proa­ch to li­ving. Whi­ch cor­re­spon­ded to de­si­gn phi­lo­so­phies per­fec­tly per­so­ni­fied by Saa­ri­nen, the great ar­chi­tect who de­si­gned fur­ni­tu­re wi­th Knoll to round out his idea of spa­ce, and the Ea­me­ses, who wi­th Mil­ler ex­pe­ri­men­ted wi­th forms, ma­te­rials and co­lors, but al­so wi­th com­mu­ni­ca­tion in all its aspec­ts. Whi­le the­se exam­ples re­main mi­le­sto­nes familiar to many of the hi­sto­ry of de­si­gn Ma­de in USA, the sa­me fa­mi­lia­ri­ty can­not be found when it co­mes to the contemporary sta­te of the art in Ame­ri­ca, in a con­text of great eco­no­mic po­ten­tial, but one that in many ways has yet to be in­ve­sti­ga­ted. A coun­try whe­re wi­th re­spect to Eu­ro­pe de­si­gn does

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