Andrea Branzi, No-stop City, 1970. Courtesy of the artist and Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Starting from reflection on the relationship of civility to design, from the radical's research on mass production to infinite realms, this book proposes new territories to interpret and anticipate the dynamics of a new society. Following this, the research presented here reactivates issues ignored by modernity, such as life, death, destiny, and the sacred—themes which underline the drama and fracture between tragedy and normality, consumerism and death, theology and technology, the silence of reason and the voice of an irrational reality. This begins a season of search for a new figurative and dramatic narrativity—aiming at the renewal of our aesthetics of perfection through catharsis—capable of snatching design from the grasp of solitude through its contamination by the real world.
Andrea Branzi lives and works in Milan. As protagonist and theorist of Archizoom, he is dedicated to theoretical research and the promotion of culture. He is currently professor at Politecnico di Milano, has received an honorary degree from the University of Sapienza in Rome, and is an honorary member of the Royal Design for Industry in London. Since 1982, he has served as cultural director of Domus Academy and the magazine MODO, as well as consultant to the Triennale Design Museum in Milan. In 1984, he received the Compasso d'Oro Award for Lifetime Achievement. His projects are collected at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris; the Design Museum Gent in Belgium; MoMA; the Brooklyn Museum; the Denver Museum of Art; the Fondation Cartier in Paris; the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands; FRAC Orleans; the Houston Museum of Fine Arts; the Israel Museum in Jerusalem; the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Montreal; the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris; the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; the Vitra Design Museum in Germany; and the MAK in Vienna.
Elisa C. Cattaneo is an adjunct professor in landscape design at the Politecnico di Milano. She researches on experimental ecological design and its theoretical implications. After receiving her degree in architecture in 2004, she attended a master’s program in strategic planning for architectural, urban, and environmental resources; in 2009, she received her PhD in architectural and urban design, with the dissertation Void Density: A Relational Approach to Urban Design. She continued to develop her research interests as a visiting scholar at MIT (2010) and at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (2011–12). She is founder and director of the independent research agency WeakCircus, active in studies, research, and projects on contemporary territories within the theory of weakness. She is founder of 0-n, a booklet on Weakness Theory.