Learning from Milan: design and the second modernity
Andrea Branzi is one of Italy's leading design critics and practitioners. Learning from Milan begins where his previous discourses on the sources and traditions of Italian design leave off and draws on the Italian experience to address issues of international significance. Moving from a pointed summary and interpretation of design over the past two decades to a highly charged manifesto and blueprint for designers of the next century, this is Branzi's most provocative and original work to date.
Foremost among the challenges now facing designers is the development of expressive talents appropriate to what Branzi calls the "second modernity," a stable diversity that has emerged during the difficult transition front industrialism to post industrialism.
Branzi covers the design debates that have taken place outside of Italy in the United States, Japan, and Germany. He takes up the widely observed but little discussed questions of why Argentina has produced such extraordinary design talent in recent decades; why Canada has the potential for becoming a major geographical design center in the next generation; and why the famous design school at Ulm, West Germany, has had such a powerful and, in Branzi's view, negative influence on international design.
Branzi examines the key laboratories of Italian design Global Tools, Alchymia, Winphis, Domus, Academy and Zabro identifying the qualities that set Italian design thinking apart from the approach of the rest of Europe. And he looks at the production mechanisms and entrepreneurial cycles that made the rise of manufacturers like, Canina, Zanotta, and Bartell possible.
Andrea Branzi lives and works in Milan where he is Educational Director of Domus Academy and Editorial Director of MOIETY. He is author of The Hot House: Italian New Wave Design and, with Nicoletta, Branzi, of Domestic A Animals: The Neoprimitive Style.
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