From decoration to industrial design: Gio Ponti and color in architectural innovation
Keywords:Italian house, Interior design, Colour design, Colour and decoration, Ceramics and architecture
Gio Ponti (1891-1979) was one of the first Italian architects who actively dealt with industrial design, combining the classical tradition of craftsmanship with the request for modernity. Mainly known for his work as an architect, he was also a painter and decorator and he paid attention to colour throughout all his life, promoting its importance in all of the sectors of design through his educational journal activity. This paper focuses on the role of colour in Ponti’s work, “surveying” his complete collection (1941-47) Lo “Stile” nella Casa e nell’Arredamento, also known as “Stile”, the magazine he created after his disagreement with the publisher of “Domus”, a previous periodical he had directed since its foundation in 1928 and continued to direct after Stile’s closure. The purpose is to verify the consistency between the role of colour in Ponti’s design work and his writings. He began his professional activity decorating ceramics, where colour is substantial. Then he devoted his activity to furnishing accessories, domestic interior and building elements, in the significant years between World War II and the reconstruction period (1940-1959). His educational aim was to spread a new aesthetic concept. The magazine was addressed above all to ladies, to whom Ponti attributed a main role in characterizing the house, recognizing their attention to art and culture besides a spontaneous ability to create functional and elegant domestic environments where colour joins a note of cheerfulness. The objective were different from the other contemporary architecture periodicals and the magazine was new both in contents and graphics, where the communicative power of drawing was enhanced through a widespread use of colour.
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The "Cultura e Scienza del Colore - Color Culture and Science" journal is registered at the Court of Milan at n.233 of 24.06.2014.
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