The idea of Ready Made comes directly from Duchamp or from the historic Avant-garde of Dadaism, but in the specific field of design it refers in particular to some of the great pieces designed by Achille Castiglioni. He created objects such as the Mezzadro produced by Zanotta, which is made of an iron tractor seat, or the Toio lamp produced by Flos, in which the electric cable is threaded through the rings of a fishing rod. Castiglioni takes objects already made and creates refined design objects, full of surprising intuition and imaginative invention.The objects of Michele De Lucchi are rawer and more evidently ready made. While this concept is an occasion for Castiglioni to introduce small jokes into the design projects, De Lucchi confronts the problem with more theorical and conceptual connotations. Ready Made is a real design issue, pertaining to a different mode of experimentation with the sensitivity of today, using waste material, recycling and ecology, not to provoke, but to search for a new aesthetic quality. It is a declaration that design today does not invent anything new but assembles pieces and components, which already exist. Its main aim is not to make one laugh, even if it is difficult not to smile at the lamps in the form of puppets or dogs for Artemide, but to highlight an increasingly persistent and evident phenomenon. For De Lucchi it is also a need which has come about his experience of designing computers for Olivetti. Design in this sector can no longer be a traditional project of formal composition, it is an undifferentiated assembly of pieces coming from different companies all over the world. It is a project which even though the pieces are put together without being transformed, a totally new language is developed in both formal and figurative terms.

It is this way that the Treforchette lamp, the Ovali, the Petali and many other objects presented in the exhibition Crudités in April 1997, were created. Michael Corsar, a young English designer, contributed much to this exhibition. He came to Italy straight from the Royal College of Art in London.

The Ready Made bottle vases grew from research into common forms, on the typicality of anonymous and everyday containers: bottles, dermijohns and industrially manufactured glass jars for the food industry. A bottle is automatically a vase, but it is not really a vase, it is a pleasing object, fragile and transparent. With this coincidence, these were the themes of reflection on form “Equal and already done”. Reference to the bottle is not however so immediate, because they have been inverted, cut and the bottom has been removed. The method for plugging the neck of the bottle which fixes it to the base is most unusual and has been much studied: the long stem which exerts pressure on the rubber rings thus preventing water leakage. Producing these vases is difficult between cutting and edging the glass. Production has been suspended for the moment and sales will cease when out of stock.

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