Icon Makers

What makes so many of the protagonists of Italian design into true Icon Makers? It’s hard to say. The formula is based on a successful alchemical mixture that is almost impossible to decode, whose binder is the long history of manufacturing in our country, and a vital productive fabric driven by a wide range of remarkable professional figures. A system of different forms of intelligence and expertise that gives rise to a variegated panorama of products, vivid presences in the collective imaginary and their communication.

The special issues of the Serie Oro (Gold Series) of Interni are dedicated to these personalities, in an ideal continuation of the narrative of Italian design that began in 2014 with the volume to mark the 60th anniversary of the magazine.

After “Design Icons” in 2016, with 500 iconic products of Italian design from 1954 to the present, this year the focus shifts to the protagonists ‘behind the scenes’ of design: entrepreneurs, photographers, graphic artists and communicators who play a key role in the international success and innovation of the brands of Made in Italy, in the evolution of furniture design and tastes.

The history and contemporary spirit of Italian design are narrated through an overview of 100 selected protagonists, presented in their specific professional categories. They are introduced with writings by renowned international critics like Domitilla Dardi, Deyan Sudjic and Leonardo Sonnoli, who discuss the roots and specificities of contemporary design. The contributions of Cristina Morozzi and Christoph Radl focus on the work of the photographers and art directors, taking stock of the evolution of roles and types of expertise.

The story and the challenges of the Icon Makers, identified through various indications, are described by the protagonists themselves, in a sort of self-portrait. Direct testimony, without attempting to cover all the various facets of business and communication, but offering an overall vision of the people who work in the complex system of Italian International Design, contributing to the transformation of design thinking into iconic products.