Tuesday, 14 February 2012

my valentine - Exhibition introductory text

Inspired by the fact that the pop icon the Olivetti Valentine typewriter was released on Valentines Day 1969 the exhibition opens on February 14th themed around passion.

Passion for industrial design, the passion of italians and the passion of collecting.

My Valentine celebrates the passion of italian industrial designers Mario Bellini, Aldo Magnielli, Marcello Nizzoli, Ettore Sottsass and Perry King in their practice of industrial design for Olivetti.

These machines were the ‘ipads’ of their era.

The latest technology in communcation and business equipment developed by Olivetti designers with a committment to outstanding industrial design.

These 20th century design classics were highly awarded with many winning the Compasso d’Oro award and they feature in the collections of museums including the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The influence and evolution of the practice of industrial design on the object is boldly demonstrated in these items. We see the application and development of new materials technology, the transistion from pure mechanical machines through electromechanical to electronic devices. The simple action of the keystroke changes from the highly physical and mechanical to the abstract and the sensual. Machine control evolves from the lever, gear and sprocket to the button, dial and switch. Forms once flowing sculptural skins over mechanisms evolve into the pure geometry of the circle, square and triangle.

The design processes developed by designers for Olivetti were documented and published influencing the practice of industrial design the world over. In the mid 1980s industrial design students at RMIT University here in Melbourne studied the design practices of designers like Mario Bellini first hand. Lecturer Dario de Dianna worked with Bellini and shared techniques like ‘foam modelling’ that would significantly influence the practice of many of our current generation of award winning Australian industrial designers.

my valentine - Curated by RMIT industrial design alumnus Ian Wong

The exhibition also celebrates a passion for collecting that began over twenty years ago with a single dusty Valentine typewriter purchased for $25 in Williamstown and now thanks to ebay numbers 37 typewriters and calculators.

Consider as you swipe your finger across an ipad touch screen that it is an evolution of device control that has it's origins in these 20th century design classics.

Ian Wong
RMIT University

'my valentine' - Exhibition introduction by curator Ian Wong.

No comments:

Post a Comment