Design made in Italy
“Design has always been better at expressing values. Yet what underpins us all is a love of beauty.”
A new Italy characterised by factories, industry and reconstruction began to define itself against the background of the second post-war period, distinguished not only by social and cultural backwardness but also by heavy economic implications. A resurgence marked by the rediscovery of high-quality craftsmanship, which, especially during the economic boom, was able to conquer the markets and impose that distinct Italian ‘taste for the beautiful’ worldwide.
Design made in Italy collects some examples of “design photography”, for which Niccolò Biddau is a prominent name on the Italian scene. Indeed, it's no coincidence that he was the photographer entrusted to immortalise some of the industrial objects that have become iconic to the public at large.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, capturing the image of a product and disseminating it as part of an aesthetic project became not just a way to highlight the product's beauty, uniqueness and universal nature, but also a creative drive entailing a veritable corporate asset – from the production of material and immaterial goods to everyday objects and artistic and literary creations. The Made in Italy concept is also distinctively expressed within its manufacturing hubs, factories and plants, thanks to a constant dialogue between architects and artisans, industry and academia, factory and artists.
Pirelli is a prime example of this, as through collaborations with artists, designers and graphic designers it succeeded in generating a visual language coherent with the principles of innovation, quality and experimentation, traits that are also at the core of the company itself.
In the foreword of Design made in Italy, photographer Niccolò Biddau chats with journalist Giovanni Pelloso about the strategic and winning role that design will play in the future of Italian manufacturing – thinking about Calligaris, Lamborghini, Flos, Agape, Ferrari, Maserati, Ducati, Borsalino, Missoni and many other outstanding brands. Through his camera lens, Biddau has been able to capture the objects' exceptional nature, focusing on their details in order to shift the viewer's attention onto a specific “fragment of reality”.
The volume also collects images taken at the Pirelli's Industrial Hub in Settimo Torinese, where Biddau has immortalised the tyres' post-vulcanisation process, creating prints of a “beautiful factory”, a factory 4.0, which can generate goods while, at the same time, being a site for the expression of corporate culture and Made in Italy craftsmanship.
Realism, objectivity, neutrality – the three key principles in Biddau's photography – resonate in the expression of object's materiality and in details that might appear obsolete, especially in the digitalisation era, but that nonetheless originate images that are impervious to time and product changes.
Design made in Italy
by Niccolò Biddau