In his early work as a fine artist Munari was influenced by the dynamism of Futurism of which he was a leading exponent in Milan from the late 1920s until the mid‐1930s. However, in 1933 he had his first exhibition of Macchine Inutili (‘Useless Machines’) which, through their very definition, showed themselves to be closer to Surrealism than Futurism. Like Futurists such as Fortunato Depero, he was interested in the theatre, puppets, and toys, a focus that led him increasingly away from the fine arts to design. After the Second World War he began contributing to the design magazine Domus, designed displays for La Rinascente department store, and was associated with the activities of ADI (the Italian Association of Industrial Designers), serving on the jury of the Compasso d'Oro design competition. He also worked for the Danese company, for whom he designed the Cube Ashtray (1957) and a number of children's toys and games, for Olivetti, for whom he organized an exhibition of kinetic art (1967). In common with a number of other avant‐garde Italian designers of the 1960s and 1970s he explored the concept of flexible living units, including the Blocco Abitabile (1968) and Abitacolo (1970). He wrote many texts on visual perception, communication, and the significance of art and design for children.
Subjects: Literature — Industrial and Commercial Art.