Italian Style Touches Our Lives
Italians have been setting trends and inspiring culture since the Roman Empire. Food, product design, style, and cars have all infiltrated our psyches. We’ve assembled a selection of some culturally relevant items to emerge from Italy and to satisfy your hidden Italian.
Speak Italian: The Fine Art of the Gesture Book
When it comes to enjoying a colorful conversation with an Italian, you had better know how to interpret their hand gestures. Italian’s speak as much with their hands as they do their mouths. Both of which can be lethal if not translated correctly. Created by famed graphic designer, Bruno Munari, Speak Italian is a playful visual exploration through Italian sign language.
Designed by Achille Castiglioni in 1972, the Flos Lampadina Table Light is a wonderful display of honest design matched with simple materials. A special 300-watt car headlight imported from the United States in the 1960s was used in this lamp. The unique globe bulb design offer a frosted section to emit a softer diffused lighting rather than in-your-face light. Achille is famous for his minimalistic approach to design and making ordinary materials appear extraordinary. His Toio Lamp incorporates an automotive headlamp and turned it into an iconic moment in mid-century design.
Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker
Bialetti is a part of modern American culture today more than ever before. Thanks to our friends in Seattle turning a lovely brown bean brew into a morning ritual, our appreciation for stronger and delicious coffees have become ingrained in our daily lives. The Bialetti Moka Stovetop Espresso Maker was developed by Luigi De Ponti for Alfonso Bialetti in 1933 after Alfonso watched his wife doing laundry one day with a primitive percolating washing machine. Now you can find a Moka in nearly any home across the globe.
Fiat is to Italy as Volkswagen is to Germany and Ford is to the United States. While Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo were built for luxury and motorsports, Fiat gave the average person access to long distance personal mobility like never before. The Fiat 1100 featured in this 1960 Sports Illustrated ad, was designed to bring sexy Italian compact cars to the roads of America. Thier unique design language and use of sophisticated and approachable graphic design advertisements allowed Fiat to convey a clear and concise message that helped turn the company into fashionable automotive manufacturers. They sold a lifestyle accessory not just a car to haul your things around.