Museo del Design Italiano: 1970 - 1981

Museo del Design Italiano (2019)Triennale Milano

This selection presents objects made from the 1970s through to the early 1980s, when the arrival of fresh, exuberant currents such as Memphis spelled the beginning of a new era of heightened internationalism in design production, in Italy and elsewhere.

Divisumma 18 (1973) by Mario Bellini with Antonio Macchi Cassia, Gianni Pasini, Sandro PasquiTriennale Milano

Divisumma 18

This writing portable electronic calculator has a very small size and a replaceable battery.

Divisumma 18, Ad from Domus n.529 (1973)Triennale Milano

The calculator can run the four calculations with total, partial, general and memory. It uses a non-impact printing technology and it writes on a 25-meter-long roll of electrosensitive paper.

Divisumma18 wooden model (1973) by Giovanni SacchiTriennale Milano

The body of the calculator and the charger are made in light yellow injected ABS thermoplastic resin and synthetic rubber. The keyboard is inserted in a protective rubber panel.

Divisumma18 wooden model (1973) by Giovanni SacchiTriennale Milano

The calculator weighs 875 grams, the charger 375 grams.

Vertebra (1975) by Giancarlo Piretti, Emilio AmbaszTriennale Milano


Vertebra is an exemplary model of ergonomic design applied to the theme of the chair.

Vertebra, catalogue OpenArk-Castelli (Eighties)Triennale Milano

Conceived to be adapted to the anatomy of the human vertebral column, it automatically changes
its configuration to offer support that’s more suited to the various postures that the sitting body

Vertebra, catalogue OpenArk-Castelli (Eighties)Triennale Milano

Seat and backrest are perfectly independent and adapt to the user’s needs, without
requiring manual regulation of any sort.

Vertebra, catalogue OpenArk-Castelli (Eighties)Triennale Milano

The fruit of meticulous anatomical studies and rigorous
orthopedic testing, Vertebra is part of a cultural climate that tends to improve job comfort.

Atollo (1990) by Vico MagistrettiTriennale Milano


The Atollo lamp is made from three solid Euclidean shapes: a cylinder, a cone, and a
hemisphere that, when viewed from the front, floats in balance at the tip of the cone.

Atollo, Catalogue OLuce (1999)Triennale Milano

Atollo is also an experiment with light: Magistretti positions the light source inside the dome, so
that from the outside the latter appears to be completely in shadow, while its interior and
cap are brightly lit, bathing the shaft-cylinder with light from the side.

Atollo, Catalogue OLuce (1991)Triennale Milano

The effect is light that acts on the environment with a different reflecting intensity, thus spreading both directly and indirectly.

Wink (1980) by Toshiyuki KitaTriennale Milano


With Wink, a multifunctional, flexible armchair, Japanese designer Toshiyuki Kita offers
an ironic, amusing, Disney-like shape with what look like Mickey Mouse’s ears sticking out.

Wink (1980) by Toshiyuki KitaTriennale Milano

This playful image is offset by the rigorous choice of materials and technological research
that went into its design: the steel framework is padded with polyurethane and Dacron.

Wink, advertising postcard (1990)Triennale Milano

The support points, which act like knees, are made from ABS. A knob on the side can be used
to change the position of the backrest. By flipping out the lower part, Wink becomes a
chaise longue.

The ears-cumheadrest can be turned over to become armrests if the user
chooses to sit to one side.

Casablanca (1981) by Ettore Sottsass jrTriennale Milano


Casablanca is a symbolic piece designed by the group known as Memphis. Sottsass made it in plastic laminate, reappraising a type of material that up until then had been considered “vulgar.” He also gave it a totemic shape that went against constituted formal values and the normal parameters of function the idea being to populate the domestic scene with an anthropomorphic artefact laden with archaic echoes and memories.

The surface is uniformly decorated with a moiré pattern of spores and bacteria that would later be used in countless graphic work and advertising in the 1980s.

Opening of the first exhibition of Memphis in Milan. September 19, 1981Triennale Milano

September 19, 1981. Opening of the first exhibition of Memphis in Milan

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