Looking for summer reading that isn’t a classic novel? 24 ORE Cultura presents the Big Book of Design, the volume curated by architect Andrea Branzi that covers the history of international design from the 1920s to today.
It is not a “simple” encyclopedia, but a real and true journey into design that, through the sector’s biggest names—from Gio Ponti to Philippe Starck, Ettore Sottsass, the Castiglioni brothers, Mies van der Rohe, and Jasper Morrison—brings us into each one’s design world, revealing the keys to understanding each one’s work, histography, intuitions and backstory.
It is an indispensable volume for following the creative paths of the great masters of international design. Inside its pages there are introductive essays, manuscripts, biographies, various interviews with designers and a real and true atlas of objects—including the most iconic pieces that have influenced our way of living and still alive in the collective imagination. Flipping through the pages once can see the various movements over the last one hundred years, the ways of living and the evolution of our lifestyle. Creativity, functionality and design are some of the keywords in the book, which it tells us about in 25 stories about design through worksheets, sketches, drawings and photographs. It reveals the mission of the designer, which according to Andrea Branzi consists in, “being able to design in order to let world be livable again, more hospitable, more functional and more beautiful.”
Just as the objects which have become symbols of everyday life have accomplished. There is the Chaise Longue by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), the first to break the rational schemes of German functionalism in order to follow the ergonomic lines of the human body; the Abitacolo by Bruno Munari (created in 1971), awarded with the Compasso d’Oro in 1979 for its great multifunctionality; the Pipistrello lamp by Gae Aulenti (1927-2012), innovative for its telescopic base that transforms it from a table lamp to a floor lamp; the Grillo telephone designed by Marco Zanuso and Richard Sapper in 1966, a precursor to the modern mobile phone. They are yesterday and today’s objects which are explicit symbols that explain the socio-cultural evolution and the dynamism of contemporary home design.