Made in Italy: Rethinking a Century of Italian Design. Edited by Grace Lees-Maffei and Kjetil Fallan. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014.

I invited Kjetil Fallan to co-edit this collection of essays with me as a way of providing Italian design with the rich and informed critique it deserves and as a counterpoint to the coffee-table hagiography which had taken up so much - but not all - of the discourse about Italian design until then. We assembled a great team of authors from Italy, the US, the UK and Scandinavia to examine the actors, crafts, spaces, industries and mediations of Italian design.

Goods made or designed in Italy enjoy a profile which far outstrips the country's modest manufacturing output. Italy's glorious design heritage and reputation for style and innovation has 'added value' to products made in Italy. Since 1945, Italian design has commanded an increasing amount of attention from design journalists, critics and consumers. But is Italian design a victim of its own celebrity? Made in Italy brings together leading design historians to explore this question, discussing both the history and significance of design from Italy and its international influence. Addressing a wide range of Italian design fields, including car design, graphic design, industrial and interior design and ceramics, well-known designers such as Alberto Rosselli and Ettore Sottsass, Jr. and iconic brands such as Olivetti, Vespa and Alessi, the book explores the historical, cultural and social influences that shaped Italian design, and how these iconic designs have contributed to the modern canon of Italian-inspired goods.

Listen

I was interviewed by David Plaisant for Monocle radio about Made in Italy: Rethinking a Century of Italian Design, broadcast 24th December, 2013

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Reviews

A meal to celebrate the publication of  Made in Italy  at Bocca di Lupo, London, January 2014. Left to right: Grace Lees-Maffei, Kjetil Fallan, Jonathan Morris, Cat Rossi, Rebecca Barden, Lisa Hockemeyer.

A meal to celebrate the publication of Made in Italy at Bocca di Lupo, London, January 2014. Left to right: Grace Lees-Maffei, Kjetil Fallan, Jonathan Morris, Cat Rossi, Rebecca Barden, Lisa Hockemeyer.