Italian design and society

'If you bought this machine, it said something about you.'

Art and design historian Dr Philippa Joseph examines three classic Italian designs - the Olivetti Lettera 22 typewriter, the Necchi Mirella sewing machine, and the Grillo telephone.

Olivetti advertising posters

Dr Joseph recommends taking a look at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's (SFMoMA) wonderful Ing. C. Olivetti & C. collection, which includes advertising posters designed by Giovanni Pintori.

Learn more with Philippa Joseph - online or in Oxford

The classic narrative of the post-war Italian design phenomenon is widely celebrated. Our Italian Design and Society, c.1940 to 1980 short course will seek to separate fact from fiction and place iconic designs, and key companies and designers, in a broader social, economic, and international context.

Two study options are available. If you're local, you can join us in person, in Oxford. If you're not local or would prefer to take the course online, now you can!

Dr Philippa Joseph

Dr Philippa Joseph is an art, architectural, and design historian, a lecturer for Martin Randall Travel in Italy and Spain, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London (from October 2020). Since first living in Italy as a teenager, Dr Joseph has been fascinated by, and sought to research and understand, the development and specificity of industrial design in Italy in the decades following the Second World War.

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