Radical design was formed in the late 60s - early 70s of the XX century. The history of its emergence is associated with a high-profile event - the exhibition "Italy: a new landscape" held in 1972 in New York. It was she who showed that Italy could soon become a state — a leader in world design, accepting the baton from the United States. This event singled out a number of names whose work was later dubbed "radical". Among them are Archizoom, Superstudio, 9999 and Strum.
Architect Alessandro Mendini, who participated in the organization of the exhibition, purchased an American souvenir postcard with the image of King Kong. The character inspired Alessandro to create the cover of the cult magazine Casabella, where the gorilla's chest now sported the inscription in red letters: Radical Design. This incident gave rise to the name of the newly launched direction.
As part of the modernist trend, radical design affirmed new philosophical principles, opposing them to modernism: openness to closedness, play to goals, randomness to design, complicity to distance, destruction to creation.
Radical design affirmed new philosophical principles, opposing them to modernism
The authors of radical design were looking for new meanings in approaches to design. Form no longer followed function, but reflected emotional and sensual content. Utopian ideas were embodied in the concepts of futuristic cities.
Architect Mario Bellini, thinking about the design of vehicles in the future, created his concept car in 1972. His Kar-a-Sutra car was not a product of consumption, but a means of change and communication, a marker of social dominance in a hierarchical society.
Ideas born in radical Italian design surprised and frightened the public. However, evaluating their influence, we see today that many of these concepts have proved prophetic.