Radical Italian Design 1965–1985, The Dennis Freedman Collection Cindi Strauss, Germano Celant, Marissa S. Hershon, J. Taylor Kubala, Sarah Horne

Publication date:
11 Feb 2020
Yale University Press
224 pages: 305 x 241mm
117 color illus.
Sales territories:

An essential new look at the design philosophy that interrogated modern living against the turbulent political landscape of 1960s Italy

In the mid-1960s, reacting to contemporary social and political upheaval, young Italian architects and designers began developing a new style that openly challenged Modernism. Known as “Radical design,” this movement probed possibilities for visually transforming the urban environment. Radical design’s proponents also applied it to items such as furniture and lighting, utilizing alternative materials and an innovative formal vocabulary. Radical: Italian Design 1965–1985 surveys the work of these pioneering designers through nearly 70 objects and architectural models—including rare prototypes and limited-production pieces. Cindi Strauss insightfully explores the aesthetic inspiration and changing cultural mores that informed the movement, and her research is complemented by an essay from Germano Celant, the acclaimed author and curator who coined the term “Radical design.” Importantly, the book includes seven interviews with Radical designers and architects, offering fresh insights into the individuals who were at the vanguard of this groundbreaking movement.

Cindi Strauss is the Sara and Bill Morgan Curator of Decorative Arts, Craft, and Design at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
(February 14–April 26, 2020)

Yale School of Architecture Gallery
(September 3–November 20, 2021)

 “An important record of a design movement that has much to offer us today”—Penny Sparke, World of Interiors

“For anyone wanting to learn more about the subject, currently at the centre of a historical and critical revival…There are rare examples in this glossy volume, like a panel painted by Archizoom in 1969, also chosen as the cover; and real gems, like the Cielo, Mare, Terra buffet by Officina Undici.”—Ali Filippini, Abitare magazine