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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2021 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano 2 I t's curious to realize how we can actually see the evolution of society in a chair. If you do what the people at Milan's Supersalone 2021 did, putting 170 of them one after the other, you can even delve deeper into history, identifying whether a design was only a temporary trend or was going to be the game changer of a whole epoch. It seems impossible, but the humble chair is one of the objects that better synthesize the value of design through time. Because it belongs to everyday life, to the way we live and to the shapes we prefer, we can really see how design can shape changes in society, and react to cultural paradigms with original inventions and ways of communication. Materials, technology, the very aesthetic Why do we need design? From the Editor approach to a piece of design can tell much more than what we think. Two types of chairs seem to really tell us a lot about our lives. One is the chair that speaks of our home space, of our personal intimacy; here we find the dinner table and the convivial moment of meal sharing. Chairs are the heart of domestic life and of familiar relationships. Lunch has a social value and turns into a moment to relate with others. The place where we eat, along with that where we make food, the kitchen, offers a transversal view of the evolution of domestic space, of the relationship among cohabitants and of the level of privacy or sharing of this activity with other people who don't belong to the familiar nucleus. We find the second type of chair where we study or work. Among our most traditional and iconic office chairs, we find some that truly reflect the evolution of the workplace through the decades: from the classical office cubicle to ergonomic interpretations, all the way to more informal environments and to today's development of online working. The chairs we find here are all expressions of the way working evolved and often defines its hierarchies. Even if we don't always realize it, design is very present in our everyday life. We are surrounded by it, even if we rarely notice how much it speaks about ourselves, and how artistic it can be, besides the use we make of it. Let's take our moka, our caffettiera. Every Italian has a very precise -- iconic, even -- image of it. Two octagonal pieces one over the other, a small beak, a handle. A sort of doric column cinched at the centre, where the filter is. In the 1930s, when it was born and sent Naples' beloved cuccumella into early retirement, it was pure cutting-edge design, and this is why it's still absolutely contemporary today, almost 100 years later. Even modern declensions of it didn't change its core look and nature. It was Piedmontese Alfonso Bialetti who, in 1933, invented it, taking inspiration from an ancestor of the washing machine, the lisciveuse (the soap used to wash clothes was called, back then, lisciva), which his wife owned. It was from that big cauldron with a central pipe that pushed soapy water onto the laundry that he got the idea for his caffettiera, which was to become part of MoMA in New York and, perhaps even more significantly, of every home in Italy. Bialetti's design is functional, it's almost like a pictogram. It is simple, recognizable, immediate. It carries meanings that go well beyond making a good cup of coffee. Bialetti's design is veiled in an aura of sensations: it's the reassuring rumbling of coffee making in the morning, a post-lunch ritual, a familiar scent that fills the kitchen. It's a habit, a quick moment of relaxation with friends, a pleasure we can't give up. In other words, the design, the object, is not only useful, but evokes a series of specific, well defined emotions. Italy has a very strong connection with design. We only need to mention cult objects like Vespa, Flos lamps, bean bag chairs or Studio 65's Divano Bocca, the "lips sofa" that, in the US, became a homage to Marilyn. And this is not only because design is an excellence made by the union between creativity on one side and quality and high craftsmanship on the other -- all characteristics, by the way, typical of Made in Italy. Neither is it only because Italy is one of its leading countries when it comes to the number of businesses in the sector. The connection exists because design is a perfect symbiosis between form and function, and has always found exceptional interpreters in Italy, creative minds who made -- and still make -- of experimenting with innovative materials an instrument to achieve success, and to create a concept of furnishing that is always new. In Italy, this connection with design is a continuous, vibrant flux of projects and objects, as the results, both cultural and commercial, of the Salone del Mobile di Milano, the spearhead of the most innovative Made in Italy, show. Simone Schiavinato, Editor Simone Schiavinato NEWS & FEATURES TOP STORIES PEOPLE EVENTS Member of FUSIE (Federazione Unitaria Stampa Italiana all'Estero), COGITO L'Italo-Americano 610 West Foothill Blvd. Unit D, Monrovia, CA 91016 - Tel.: (626) 359-7715 PLEASE SEND CORRESPONDENCE TO P.O. BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano Newspaper (a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization), www.italoamericano.org, is the largest and longest-running Italian newspaper in America, not to mention the cultural and news resource for all things Italian in the US. A bilingual newspaper which represents an historical landmark for the Italian American Communities in the West Coast and throughout the US. L'Italo-Americano benefits from subsidies by the Italian Government, Memberships and Donations intended to support and not interrupt a mission that began in 1908 to preserve and promote the Italian language and culture in the USA Periodicals postage paid at Monrovia, California 91016, and additional mailing offices. PUBLISHER Robert Barbera Grande Ufficiale EDITOR IN CHIEF Simone Schiavinato ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER Patrick Abbate EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Barbara Minafra COPY EDITOR Francesca Bezzone LOS ANGELES CONTRIBUTOR Silvia Giudici SAN FRANCISCO CONTRIBUTORS Catherine Accardi Serena Perfetto SEATTLE CONTRIBUTOR Rita Cipalla CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mariella Radaelli, Francesca Bezzone, Luca Ferrari, Stefano Carnevali, Chiara D'Alessio, Paula Reynolds, Nicoletta Curradi, GenerosoD'Agnese, Fabrizio Del Bimbo, Maria Gloria, Alfonso Guerriero Jr., Anthony Di Renzo Serena Perfetto, Kenneth Scambray, Chiara D'Alessio © 2020 L'Italo-Americano Membership: One year $59 - Single copy $2.25 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to L'Italo Americano PO Box 6528 Altadena, CA 91003 Mail form and check to L'Italo-Americano, P.O.BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 Selling Homes Throughout The Bay Area Adele Della Santina "The Right Realtor makes all the di昀erence." 650.400.4747 Adele.DellaSantina@compass.com www.AdeleDS.com DRE# 00911740 Expert in preparation, promotion, and negotiation!

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