'The Value of Good Design' at the Museum of Modern Art in New York

There are few days left to visit the Museum of Modern Art exhibition ‘The Value of Good Design’. This ongoing exhibition explores the concept of design and functionality through objects which have shaped our lives and continues to do so today although much more articulated than their predecessors.  More than 100 pieces are showcased on the third floor isle of the Moma, spanning from the 1930s to the 1970s, from Italy to Japan to Brazil. Some of these objects you might easily have owned: cars, telephones, vases, household appliances, textiles and furniture. To understand the exhibition one has to focus on the social and political situation following Word War I and II. People had a sense of positivity and faith in the future ahead, they were heading into a new phase and to do so they had to work harder and faster. This is what happened for example in post war Italy.  An economic boom led the people to a new faster paced life; people had to move from one place to another in a quick and comfortable way. The  Piaggio Vespa Scooter and the Fiat 500 were designed for the mass, an affordable and comfortable method of mobility. The economic boom pushed design to new challenges to satisfy the upgrading tenure of life for most Italians. Mass production and new more affordable and versatile materials such as plastic seemed to be the perfect challenge for creative minds to leave their contribute to society. We might very well remember Olivetti typewriters who made work so easy, or the new furniture created with industrial materials like polyurethane foam. 

Through the exhibition you will see common objects such as clocks kitchenware and telephones, and more luxurious ones like a high end Murano glass vase, you will see prototypes and technical drawings by the designers, short videos and interactive areas.  

But the exhibition is not focused only on Italian Design, quite the opposite. It spans through several different geographical areas because it looks for what the industry had to offer through several decades. It explores industrial design and that practical need of combine a functional product and aesthetic appeal by maintaining a certain affordability, it explores the huge experimental work which created a strong bond between the designer and the maker who was often the most pioneering and engaging in new eclectic ideas.

Through June 15th 2019


Posted on May 23, 2019 and filed under Exhibitions.