Design objects are defined iconic when in collective imaginary they pass from having a practical function to identifying an era. These projects were conceived by the fruitful mind of designers capable of bringing out the most authentic essence to matter. In the history of design, the period in which there was an explosion in the industrial production started in the early 50’s (Italy). In a historical period in which furnishing objects made the difference between the middle class and the working class, there was an evolutionary attention to collective pleasure in living surrounded by objects capable of defining one’s lifestyle.
Furniture in the reborn Italy, redefined the spaces of everyday life, giving a historical turning point in the way of living.
The passing time defines the scenario in which the object is not one of many, but a fixed point in the history of aesthetics and function. Objects belonging to this category are rare and it is for this reason that museums dedicated to design were born in every part of the world. At the same time, it is difficult to draw up a ranking.
One of the many possibilities is, as far as Italian design is concerned, the following:
1- Eclisse by Vico Magistretti
Vico Magistretti designed Eclisse for Artemide, a real eye aimed at the universe, in tune with the spatial progress of the super powers. It is precisely the meanings immediately perceptible in the historical context in which it was born to make this object an icon of those years. An object capable of reflecting the fame of our satellite: the Moon.
2 – Superleggera by Giò Ponti
One of the famous design objects that have marked the history of industrial design is undoubtedly the Superleggera chair designed by Giò Ponti for Cassina. In line with the projects of the time, material has been removed to facilitate the use and movement in the name of the lightness required considering the new small urban living spaces.
3 – Valentina typewriter by Ettore Sottsass
Valentina is born from the Italian designer Ettore Sottsass. The machine that is also known by the name of “portable red” is one of the universally recognized icons of Italian industrial design: it is in fact preserved in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.