Elena Tartari


"A splash of color on everyday color": Olivetti's Valentine typewriter

"A splash of color on everyday color": Olivetti's Valentine typewriter

A bright, shiny red, a "Valentine red," is certainly the hallmark of the Valentine typewriter, designed in 1968 by Ettore Sottsass jr (Innsbruck, 1917 - Milan, 2007) and Perry King (London, 1938 - 2020) and produced by Olivetti in 1969. By this date,...
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Fendi's Baguette Bag: one bag, a thousand personalities

Fendi's Baguette Bag: one bag, a thousand personalities

Two Fs mirroring each other are now the unmistakable logo of one of the world's best-known Italian fashion houses, Fendi. Designed by Karl Lagerfeld, the historic creative director of the Roman fashion house's Women's collection from 1965 until his d...
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The whole story of the Moleskine notebook, a book to write and a story to tell

The whole story of the Moleskine notebook, a book to write and a story to tell

"'Do you mind if I use my notebook?' 'Go ahead.' I pulled a waxed cloth-covered notebook out of my pocket, fastened with a rubber band. 'Nice.' He commented. 'I used to buy them in Paris, but they don't make them anymore.' 'In Paris?' he repeated, ar...
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Less is more: the Barcelona armchair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Less is more: the Barcelona armchair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

"Please do not [confuse] simple with easy, there is a big difference. I love simplicity because of its clarity, not because of its ease or for any other reason [...] To achieve clarity we have to simplify practically everything. It is hard work. One ...
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The Thonet Chair No. 14: the archetype of mass production

The Thonet Chair No. 14: the archetype of mass production

Six wooden slats, ten screws, two nuts; these were the elements needed to create one of the most innovative and popular design objects still in use today: the Chair No. 14, produced by Gebrüder Thonet Vienna. This chair, now known to design enth...
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The Grillo phone: a nice way to make a phone call

The Grillo phone: a nice way to make a phone call

When, in 1965, Marco Zanuso (Milan, 1916 - 2001) and Richard Sapper (Munich, 1932 - Milan, 2015) designed the Grillo telephone, making a phone call was not always a simple and easy operation; in fact, it required a device consisting of two elements: ...
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Vico Magistretti's Atollo lamp: the difficulty of simplicity

Vico Magistretti's Atollo lamp: the difficulty of simplicity

"I was tired of seeing light always used in transparency. I wanted to use light with reflections..." From this intuition Vico Magistretti (Milan, 1920 - 2006) created one of the projects that still stands today as a symbol of that all-Italian design ...
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A car that is also a symbol of Italian design: the Fiat 500

A car that is also a symbol of Italian design: the Fiat 500

Now an undisputed symbol of Italian design, the 500 boasts a long but still relevant history. Part of this history began in the 1950s, at the height of the economic boom, when Dante Giacosa (Rome, 1905 - Turin, 1996), an engineer, designer and at the...
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All soft and all upholstered: the Nathalie bed by Vico Magistretti

All soft and all upholstered: the Nathalie bed by Vico Magistretti

"I like concept design, that which is so clear that you may not even draw it. Many of my designs I have conveyed over the phone." If it is true that "good design lasts a hundred years," Vico Magistretti's Nathalie bed , in production since 1978, can ...
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Superstudio's Radical Design. From the Histograms of Architecture to Quaderna by Zanotta.

Superstudio's Radical Design. From the Histograms of Architecture to Quaderna by Zanotta.

"In those years then it became very clear that continuing to design furniture, objects and similar homely decorations was not the solution to the problems of living or even to those of life, and much less did it serve to save one's soul..." (Adolfo N...
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