Italian Mid-Century Modern Ceramic Table Lamp by Aldo Londi for BitossiBitossi
Rare ceramic Italian Mid-Century Modern table lamp designed by Aldo Londi for Bitossi.
Italy is a world trendsetter, and has produced some of the greatest furniture designers in the world, such as Achille Castiglioni, Gio Ponti, and Ettore Sottsass. Italian interior design in the 1900s was particularly well-known and grew to the heights of class and sophistication. At first, in the early 1900s, Italian furniture designers struggled to create an equal balance between classical elegance and modern creativity, and at first, Italian interior design in the 1910s and 1920s was very similar to that of French art deco styles, using exotic materials and creating sumptuous furniture. However, Italian art deco reached its pinnacle under Gio Ponti, who made his designs sophisticated, elegant, stylish and refined, but also modern, exotic and creative. In 1926, a new style of furnishing emerged in Italy, known as "Razionalismo", or "Rationalism". The most successful and famous of the Rationalists were the Gruppo 7, led by Luigi Figini, Gino Pollini and Giuseppe Terragni. There styles used tubular steel and was known as being more plain and simple, and almost Fascist in style after c. 1934. After World War II, however, was the period in which Italy had a true avant-garde in interior design. With the fall of Fascism, birth of Republic and the 1946 RIMA exhibition, Italian talents in interior decorating were made evident, and with the Italian economic miracle, Italy saw a growth in industrial production and also mass-made furniture. Yet, the 1960s and 1970s saw Italian interior design reach its pinnacle of stylishness, and by that point, with Pop and post-modern interiors, the phrases "Bel Design" and "Linea Italiana" entered the vocabulary of furniture design. Ever since the late 1970s and early 1980s, some equipment began to be logoed by notable Italian fashion houses, such as Prada, Versace, Armani, Gucci and Moschino. Examples of classic pieces of Italian furniture include Zanussi's rigorous, creative and streamlined washing machines and fridges, the "New Tone" sofas by Atrium, and most famously the innovative post-modern bookcase, made by Ettore Sottsass for the Memphis Group in 1981, inspired by Bob Dylan's song "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again". The bookcase became a huge cultural icon and design event of the 1980s. Modern Italian design has changed the meaning of style and elegance and many interior designers use Italian or Italian inspired pieces in their work.