BOOK CLUB: 1968 – RADICAL ITALIAN FURNITURE
Politically, 1968 was a tumultuous year in Italy, and naturally the design world reflected all the upheaval. Avant-garde journals like Casabella or Pianeta Fresco splashed their pages with designs that heralded bold new thinking in realms as disparate as architecture, furniture design, and urban planning. Brash, ironic, figurative, and sometimes cynical, the resulting Radical Design movement influenced popular taste, both good and bad, for years to follow. An avid collector of design born of that short-lived time of utopian idyll, DESTE Foundation founder Dakis Joannou has joined forces with TOILETPAPER masterminds Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari to create a book entirely dedicated to the period. The 120-page tome strikes the perfect tone for its subject, with each full-color spread popping in acid hues and featuring compositions full of cheeky humor, sex, and the occasional gross-out, with key pieces from Joannou’s collection playing both starring and supporting roles. The antithesis of stuffy design volumes dedicated to placing objects in their proper historical context, 1968 revels in the pleasures of form and texture, giving both iconic and less-well-known pieces by the likes of Cini Boeri, Ettore Sottsass, and Superstudio a fresh and alluring gloss, and providing delights galore for design novices and seasoned furniture hounds alike.
1968: Radical Italian Furniture, by Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari with Dakis Joannou and Maria Cristina Didero (DESTE Foundation/TOILETPAPER, 2014). Available through Artbook/DAP.