This auction presents a selection of furnishings belonging to the so-called New Design, characterized by a marked innovative drive, the interpretation of the complexities and contradictions of contemporary society and the surpassing of the modernist functionalism.
New avant-garde design movements start to emerge at the end of the 1960s, focusing their production mainly on the more anthropological and emotional aspects of everyday objects.
The crisis of the mechanistic correlation between form and function and the positivist confidence in the ability to satisfy any housing necessity gives way to the research of new aesthetic values in furniture. What prevails is the necessity of relating the individual residential experience to one’s own sensitivity, of drawing rather than designing to put it in Alessandro Mendini’s words, which means privileging signs in liberty and continuous motion over a well-defined project.
This is the interpretation of the new aspect of contemporary society: complex, articulate,fragmented, contradictory.
This is when furniture no longer has a definite form, but is deconstructed, reinvented, enhanced with multiple functions. A container is at the same time a sculpture, a child’s game, a companion on lonely days. A seat becomes a chair, a sofa, a bed, an armchair, a coffee table.
Mario Bellini, for example, with his modular system Camaleonda for B&B encapsulates the concept of the sofa in the form of a cushion, imagining it as an element in which volume, structure, padding and upholstery coincide.
New Design gives rise to the production of Memphis, Studio Alchimia, UFO, and individually to that of Andrea Branzi, Ettore Sottsass, Alessandro Mendini.
Also relevant is the contribution to Italian design brought by foreign designers/artists such as Shiro Kuramata for Memphis, Katzuide Takahama for Sirrah, Ron Arad for Cappellini.
The Kyoto table by Kuramata for Memphis, made out of colored glass chips set in a cement mixture (Star Piece), is both a homage to the antique Venetian tradition of terrace floors and a search for a new expressive effect which strives to capture the starlight.