Italian architectural and design studio
Archizoom Associati (1966–1974) was a dynamic and utopian Italian architectural and design studio, one of the founders of the Florentine Radical movement, and the strongest voice of the Radical Architecture movement. Although it was an organized movement for less than a decade, its concepts hold a revered status today and are standard topics covered in design and architectural curricula, and many of the studio’s designs and products are in prominent museum collections around the world.
The advent of Archizoom was thanks to four pioneering Florentine designers and architects—Andrea Branzi (1938), Gilberto Corretti (1941), Massimo Morozzi (1941–2014), and Paolo Deganello (1940)—who joined forces in 1966 bound by their shared vision for avant-garde design. They channeled this energy into their first exhibition, titled “Superarchitettura,” in which the members of Archizoom partnered with Superstudio, another Florentine design firm. In this showcase, they paired sample prototypes of revolutionary furnishings with colorful projections to create an almost otherworldly space. Featured in this first display was Andrea Branzi’s iconic Superonda (1966), a foam-and-vinyl sofa produced by Poltronova that would endure into the following decade. read more
The next year, Archizoom organized its second exhibition, titled “Superarchitettura 2.” Shortly thereafter, Archizoom added two new members, the designers Dario Bartolini (1943) and Lucia Bartolini (1944), into its collaborative studio. The infusion of these new creative spirits accelerated Archizoom’s momentum and assertiveness, and the traditional elements of refined and elegant Italian design were set aside in favor of playful, boundary-pushing forms that echoed the energy of the contemporary Pop Art age. By breaking these rules, Archizoom’s members also established new parameters for art, architecture, and design and the ways in which all three could be integrated into the modern lifestyle. To that end, their design of the exhibition “No-Stop City” (1970) revealed their powerful ability to expand their design thinking to the realm of the modern city by incorporating a novel vision of urbanization.
Their work ascended to international acclaim with the display of their creations at the landmark 1972 exhibition “Italy: The New Domestic Landscape” at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. Most recently, Archizoom was featured at the exhibition “Radical: Italian Design 1965-1985, The Dennis Freeman Collection.” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (February 14, 2020–April 26, 2020).
Unbound by a particular medium, the masterminds of Archizoom explored the implications of Radical design across various disciplines. It was perhaps their individual quests for ongoing innovation that led to the group’s dissolution in 1974 as the members moved on to pursue their own practice.
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