OBJECT AND FURNISHING BETWEEN ART AND INDUSTRY: FROM THE UNIVERSAL EXPOSITION OF LONDON TO THE RADICAL DESIGN (1851-1972)
The course will analyze the evolution of the production of objects and furnishings from the mid-19th century to the 60s of the 20th century. This evolution is characterized by the oft-debated and problematic relationship between art, crafts and industry. It is also is at the origin of the modern conception of design.
This process will be tackled through the analysis of the main theoretical and productive stages: from the radical positions of Morris during the second half of the 19th century which exclude any intervention of the machine, to the gradual approach between art and industry in the Art Nouveau and the Viennese Secession at the turn of the century. The programmatic alliance advocated by the Deutsche Werkbund was ultimately implemented in the 1920s, thanks also to the contribution of the avant-garde (futurism, cubism, De Stijl), in the German Bauhaus and partially the Soviet Vchutemas.
Industrial production and the use of new materials that characterize the Modern Movement were then developed by the New Bauhaus in Chicago and, after WWII, by the Ulm School. Conversely, movements like Art Déco and the American Streamlining favored the formal and at times handmade product. Scandinavian and American Organic Design successfully combines both formal and productive exigencies, while Italian Design uniquely expressed itself at the international level: from the exceptional creations after WWII to Neoliberty and the 1960s Radical Design which was proclaimed by the 1972 MoMA exhibition Italy: The New Domestic Landscape.
Obviously, many references will be made with the architectural production between the mid-19th century and the mid-20th century. Such references are essential to fully understand the process linked with the origins, the birth and the varied diffusion of industrial design, and to theoretical debates.