Italian Design and the Invention of Made in Italy: a talk by Prof. Elena Dellapiana


March 23, 2023, 6:00 PM

Typical admission: $15. Members and Pupils: Free


Professor Elena Dellapiana will take a look at the idea of Designed in Italy in its many meanings and iterations: from an sign of provenance for merchandise to a definition of an whole lifestyle, from a signifier of status to a label at the heart of legal battles, from an indicator of innovation in industrial systems and design to an anchor of tradition and craftsmanship.

“Made in Italy”, without a doubt,  is  above all, the realization of an intangible still effective aura shared all above the world and synonymous with elegance and the magical alchemy among innovation and custom. 

The discourse problems how the system that has communicated and amplified Italian products and solutions due to the fact the common exhibitions of the 19th century has been arrived at concentrating, also thanks to regulatory and propagandistic actions, on categories that enrich the uncomplicated which means of “made in Italy”: Mediterraneanism, craftsmanship, artisticity, ingredients that, in convert, define the elusive category of design. And design, in its transition between artistic craftsmanship and industrial solution, has prompted reactions, mostly favorable if not adoring, in the worldwide markets and general public, which have aided to condition a veritable classification of the spirit in a continual recreation of cross-references amongst cues from Italian designers and organizations and replicas matured in countries with a large amount of debate on style and design culture. 

Elena Dellapiana, Architect, PhD, is Full Professor of Architecture and Style Heritage in the Division of Architecture & Structure at the Politecnico di Torino (Italy). She is a scholar of architecture, city and style and design heritage of the nineteenth and twentieth century. She is 1 of the authors of Storia dell’architettura italiana: L’Ottocento, ed. A. Restucci (Milan: Electa, 2005) Made in Italy. Rethinking a Century of Italian Style eds. K. Fallan and G. Lees Maffey (Bloomsbury: 2013). Between her publications: Il style della ceramica in Italia 1850-2000 (Milan: Electa, 2010), Il style degli architetti italiani 1920-2000, with F. Bulegato (Milan: Electa, 2014), Una storia dell’architettura contemporanea, with G. Montanari (Torino: Utet, 2015-2020). She not long ago edited Museographie. Musei in Europa negli anni tra le owing guerre, with M.B. Failla and F. Varallo (Sagep: Genova 2020) and Bruno Zevi. Background, Criticism and Architecture following WWI, with M. Cassani Simonetti (Franco Angeli: Milano 2021 her most current e book is Il Style e l’invenzione del Designed in Italy, (Einaudi: Torino 2022). She is the director (with Giampiero Bosoni and Jeffrey Schnapp) of the magazine “AIS/Layout Journal”, focused on design and style History and organ of the Italian Style Historians Affiliation (AIS/Style and design) 

Leave a Reply