The first Schaudepot temporary exhibition is dedicated to Radical Design, a design Movement that reached its peak at the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s in Italy and is one of the most important avant-garde movements in the history of design. With manifestos, unconventional design vocabulary, transdisciplinary working methods and utopian design ideas, exponents of Radical Design were protesting against functionalism and the established taste in design and architecture. Thus, they showed that designers and architects must not only be seen as service providers in a commercial context but that they can also actively and critically engage in social and political matters.
Superstudio, for example, with the table Quaderna and Gaetano Pesce with his lounge chair La Mamma provided a critique of consumer society as well as of the social status of women. In collaboration with the company Grufam, designers such as Piero Gilardi, Studio65 and Drocco/Mello used the new materials of polyurethane foam and latex rubber coating in their furniture design and thus achieved a break-through in design freedom, facilitating the influence of pop art in furniture design. The disappearance of boarders between design and other disciplines are also shown in the works of Alessandro Mendini, who was simultaneously active in various groupings as a publicist, artist, architect and designer.
The critical awareness brought about by Radical Design continues to influence numerous designers and artists today. Many of the current design trends such as Critical Design, Social Design und Participatory Design relate to the concept of Radical Design. Another part of the exhibition shows interviews with contemporary designers, design theorists and producers, who explain the influence and significance of Radical Design in their work or in the design world today.
Vitra Design Museum
D-79576 Weil am Rhein