Episode 6

The real Italian design

This content, it is translated in English because it is of worldwide relevance. Thank you.
In Italy, design is a very serious matter nearly as much as food, football and pussy. Unfortunately in the rest of the world the real Italian design it is not well known because it was exported only the Italian design that appealed to the snob abroad (puzzoni), and this is absolutely not representative of the real Italian design.

Fake Italian design situation

Real Italian design situation

You know that this guide is intended to dismantle the myths about Italy so that everyone has a real feel of this country of the Madonna, where the classic oppositions good/bad, beautiful/ugly, thin/fat does not work to capture all the nuances.
Dear foreign citizen or dear disinformed Italian citizen who want to deepen the knowledge of the real Italian design read very carefully what follows and perhaps you will understand more about the real objects of contemporary Italian design.

The bidet

The bidet is a great classic of real Italian design. It was invented by the Medici (doctors) in Florence, and despite the attempts to export it was not adopted by other countries in the world (puzzoni). In Italy, however, everyone has a bidet (apart from the very poor people living in the street who can’t afford it).

The Miracle Blade

Classic contemporary Italian knives are not the roncola or the serramanico but the Miracle Blade III Perfection Series, which have great success throughout Italy because of the passions of the Italians for design knives, television and overweight chefs.

The white outdoor plastic chair

The white outdoor plastic chair is one of the typical furnishing of the real contemporary Italian design, It is the most common type of chair in Italy and thanks to the great versatility – that only the great designer items have – It can also be used occasionally inside.

The Chinese lucky cat

The golden Chinese lucky cat that moves his paw up and down is a cornerstone of the real contemporary Italian design, in fact I have one in the kitchen. According to a recent statistical survey in Italy there are many more Chinese lucky cats than crucifixes (the statistic includes restaurants). The Chinese lucky cat now is more Italian than the Telegatto and the Tapiro d’oro.

The Alverman

The Italian craftsmanship is famous all over the world but craftsmen not always are design conscious. The Alverman cilum instead is a masterpiece of made in Italy design and craftsmanship used to practice one of the most popular recreational activities by the Italians.

The giant electronic cigarette

Italians are known to smoke a lot, but also to appreciate the very large gadgets, so the giant electronic cigarette (sizza elettronica) has received incredible success in Italy and has become a cornerstone of the real contemporary Italian design, proof of this fact by the invention of the giant electronic cigarette in Italy have opened 15 million of electronic cigarette shops.

The fake Wayfarer with colored frame

The real contemporary Italian sunglasses are the fake Wayfarer with colored frame (green, red or orange) purchased by the vucumprà (funny person who sells objects on the street) after a long negotiation. The fake Wayfarer with colored frame are not a simple copy of the Wayfarer but are a model closer to the tastes of Italians, because it is lighter (therefore less uncomfortable to put on and take over the brow when the sun is gone) and above all they are available in all summer colorways so beloved by Italians.

The Capri pants

The Capri pants, commonly known as pinocchietti, are one of the greatest achievements of Italian design in the fashion industry. In Italy they are a very popular clothing item but they are almost unknown abroad. This brilliant and simple idea meets the need of Italians to have trousers that are neither long nor short for when it is neither cold nor hot.

The Hogan Interactive

Another very important example of the real Italian design applied to clothing is the Hogan Interactive. Shoe widespread in italy but almost unknown abroad has nevertheless influenced the aesthetics of orthopedic-look-alike-shoes all over the world.

The bike helmet to ride a motorbike

The bike helmet to ride a motorbike is a perfect example of Italian design reinterpretation. Because of their good taste – much more developed than other people of the world – Italians have always had a problem with helmets (which are notoriously ugly and bulky). The bike helmet used to ride a motorbike has solved this problem and has become a classic of contemporary Italian design.

The expansion chamber

The expansion chamber is a classic example of Italian creativity that is never end in itself. In addition to being very stylish indeed the expansion chamber improves the performance of your scooter so you can run faster and escape from the police (infami).

The backpack with plastic buckles

One of the most iconic accessories of the real Italian design is the backpack with plastic buckles, much appreciated by the Italians than the backpack with zips. Very interesting from a design point of view is also the rigid version with built-in wheels.

The Billy

The design furniture item that can not miss in the homes of Italians is the Billy (often part of a total IKEA apartment). The reason is definitely the funny name and the fact that you have to mount it alone (Italians love this kind of thing). The Billy quickly became the symbol of the real Italian design known throughout the world.

The plastic tablecloth

Very functional design accessory used by Italians to be able to easily clean the tablecloth after every meal and to make you sweat your arms in the summer. The plastic tablecloth pattern is very important, generally the Italians’ favorites are the floral motifs and the old people food’s motifs.

The lunch box

The lunch box (schiscetta) is one of the most important objects of Italian real design because it allowed Italians to save lunch money and eat the food cooked by the wife/mother/grandmother without having to be in presence of the wife/mother/grandmother.

The premium shopping bag

Icon of the real contemporary Italian design this essential accessory in Italy has recently been target of a ripoff by a French fashion house. Anyhow the original yellow version with the big ESSELUNGA logo is absolutely inimitable.

The blanket for the scooter (bonus: the one with integrated hand cover)

Italy is the land of the scooter (much more than the motorbike) and for that reason one of the most important objects of contemporary real Italian design is the blanket for the scooter, which changed the lives of millions of Italians as only great design can do. The Italians also use it in the summer all folded under the feet.

The queue ticket dispenser

If you are not Italian you can not understand how hot is in Italy the theme of the queue, which brings out the worst of Italian people, especially in certain areas of Italy where the concept of queue never arrived and continues to be in force the law of the jungle. To prevent deaths, injuries and chaos it was invented an incredible object that has quickly become a cornerstone of the real Italian design: the queue ticket dispenser. In Italy, in every busy shopping activity there is a queue ticket dispenser that has more or less the same social function of the police.

The bikesharing bike made ugly for not being stolen

Another great Italian problem is the bike theft (they even made a movie about it) and even in this situation the real contemporary Italian design has solved everything. The bikesharing bike made ugly for not being stolen (scavallata) was designed purposely ugly in order to be less attractive to thieves.

The 4 seasons Bormioli jar (for the weed)

The 4 seasons Bormioli jar is another incredible example of design repositioning. Almost no one in Italy knows for what purpose it was used in the past, now it is an icon of the real contemporary Italian design and is used as a safe container for weed.

The slush machine

Typical object of the real Italian design found only in Italy because it is used to produce an Italian summer dish known as the granita del bar. The slush machine (granitore) is an object of such beautiful design that Italians often remain motionless in order to watch the granita del bar that moves in waves in the transparent container.
This is the real contemporary Italian design that you can’t lear from the design books. Now certainly you have an idea of the authentic Italian relationship with design and you know which are the fundamental objects of real Italian design. You are welcome.
The UNOTRE’s guide to Italy will continue in the next episode! You’ll soon discover the truth about so many other things we do in this wonderful country.