chapter
industrial design
Pages 6

In contemporary Italy, the concept of industrial design has had a relatively short history. For the most part it originated from the pioneering efforts of the large-scale manufacturers of the 1930s, notable among them being Olivetti and Fiat. These were among the first Italian producers of modern goods-namely office furniture and automobiles-to look to the USA not only for ideas about how to rationalize their production lines and standardize their products but also about how to sell their massproduced goods on the basis of their appearance. Thus when Adriano Olivetti employed the graphic designer Marcello Nizzoli in the late 1930s to remodel the company’s adding machines and later their typewriters, this was in direct imitation of companies such as Gestetner which had hired the US-based pioneer industrial designer Raymond Loewy to restyle its duplicator and transform it into an icon of modernity.