This term was widely used in the 1980s to denote a radical alternative to the legacy of the homogeneity of Fordism and functionalist aesthetic of the International Style. This notion was closely associated with the outlook of the Italian avant‐garde, seen in the writings and exhibitions of Andrea Branzi, most notably his book The Hot House: Italian New Wave Design (1984) and his Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, exhibition European Capitals of the New Design (1991) in which he looked at the work of the avant‐garde in Milan, Barcelona, and elsewhere. It shares many of the preoccupations with form, ornament, and meaning associated with Postmodernism although Ettore Sottsass, a key figure in Italian design debates, believed that the latter was American, academic, and restricted in its cultural references. Similar tendencies have been associated with ‘The New Graphics’ and ‘New Wave Design’.
See also Swiss Style.
Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.