Environments and Counter Environments. Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, MoMA 1972

The celebrated 1972 exhibition Italy: The New Domestic Landscape curated by Emilio Ambasz at the Museum of Modern Art met the most exuberant examples of recent Italian design and the politically complex Italian context with a careful, analytical system of categories and distinctions.

Within the exhibition, a first order of classification separated Objects – reformist, conformist or contestatory – from Environments, themselves divided among design as postulation, design as commentary and counterdesign as postulation. In a clever reversal the Objects were exhibited outdoors while the Environments, commissioned by MoMA, were shown within the more conventionally institutional space of the museum interior. This internalizing maneuver implied that the exhibition would stage an assessment of not only its own particular environments, but also of “environment” more generally as an architectural term or strategy.

While the architects and designers in the MoMA exhibition proposed a range of responses to the environmental commission, the designs collectively experimented with forms of mutability and adaptability. The New Domestic Landscape environments were tasked with offering a vision of the world in which the fixed isolation of singular objects would be superseded by interactive configurations and dynamic perceptual relations that would engender new “domestic rituals.” To demonstrate the environments’ alterability the designers were asked to produce films that would accompany their installations. Beyond merely illustrating the performance of the environments, the films more carefully registered the design positions of the architects especially as calibrated in relation to a recent history of experimental multimedia work, and expanded media practices.
The current exhibition brings together for the first time since 1972 the entire set of films produced for the original exhibition. The related design documents show a range of attitudes toward the conception and theoretical imperatives of the environments themselves and in this respect the current exhibition encounters again medias and environments and their potential for thinking anew the boundaries of design, architecture, domestic spaces, their conditions and territories.

Environments and Counter Environments is an exhibition and, at the same time, a research project by Peter Lang, Luca Molinari and Mark Wasiuta,

The exhibition was originally produced by GSAPP (Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation), Columbia University and shown at:
The Arthur Ross Gallery with the title
Environments and Counter Environments: Experimental Media in Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, MoMA 1972
13 april – 8 may 2009

On the occasion of the exhibition, GSAPP and MoMA held a symposium, Revisiting The New Domestic Landscape
9-10 april 2009

The exhibition is made up of ad hoc design modules by Mark Wasiuta. It was shown, co-produced and adapted in some prestigious European sites. Each time it took on new forms in terms of how the curatorship project was distributed, but also as an in-depth analysis of specific topics, relating to Italian radical design practices and the means of expression of architecture and design in the past compared to today.

The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts
Environments and Counter Environments; Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, MoMA, 1972
Chicago
18 September – 14 december 2013

Environments and Counter Environments; Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, MoMA, 1972
Arkitekturmuseet. The Swedish Museum of Architecture
Stockholm
31 march – 5 june 2011

Hàbitats i Contra-hàbitats.
«Italy: The New Domestic Landscape», MoMA 1972
Disseny Hub Barcelona
12 november 2010 – 20 february 2011

Environments and Counter Environments. Experimental Media in Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, MoMA, 1972
S AM. The Swiss Architecture Museum, Basel
27 march 2010 – 27 june 2010

The exhibition was organized thanks to the kind cooperation of:
Emilio Ambasz (Emilio Ambasz & Associates, Inc.); Andrea Branzi (Archizoom); Gilberto Corretti (Archizoom); Gae Aulenti and Paola Durazzo (Studio Gae Aulenti); Mario Bellini (Mario Bellini Architects); Adam Bandler (CCCP, GSAPP Exhibitions), Ignazia Favata and Teresa Galassini (Studio Joe Colombo); Gloria Bianchino, Paola Pagliari and Simona Riva (CSAC, Università di Parma. Sezione Progetto); Pietro Derossi, Davide Derossi and Anna Licata (Derossi Associati); Laura Giordano (Gondrand Fine Arts Dept.); Mark Wigley (Dean GSAPP, Columbia University); Ugo La Pietra and Simona Cesana (Archivio Ugo La Pietra); Beatrice Lampariello; Gaetano Pesce and Chrystel Garipuy (Studio Gaetano Pesce); Richard Sapper; Piero Frassinelli (Archivio Superstudio, Firenze); Adolfo Natalini (Superstudio); Barbara Radice; Cristiano Toraldo di Francia (Superstudio, Studio Luccioni Toraldo di Francia); Carlo Caldini and Fabrizio Fiumi (9999).

The celebrated 1972 exhibition Italy: The New Domestic Landscape curated by Emilio Ambasz at the Museum of Modern Art met the most exuberant examples of recent Italian design and the politically complex Italian context with a careful, analytical system of categories and distinctions.

Within the exhibition, a first order of classification separated Objects – reformist, conformist or contestatory – from Environments, themselves divided among design as postulation, design as commentary and counterdesign as postulation. In a clever reversal the Objects were exhibited outdoors while the Environments, commissioned by MoMA, were shown within the more conventionally institutional space of the museum interior. This internalizing maneuver implied that the exhibition would stage an assessment of not only its own particular environments, but also of “environment” more generally as an architectural term or strategy.

While the architects and designers in the MoMA exhibition proposed a range of responses to the environmental commission, the designs collectively experimented with forms of mutability and adaptability. The New Domestic Landscape environments were tasked with offering a vision of the world in which the fixed isolation of singular objects would be superseded by interactive configurations and dynamic perceptual relations that would engender new “domestic rituals.” To demonstrate the environments’ alterability the designers were asked to produce films that would accompany their installations. Beyond merely illustrating the performance of the environments, the films more carefully registered the design positions of the architects especially as calibrated in relation to a recent history of experimental multimedia work, and expanded media practices. Implicit in their projects was the recognition that the conjunction of environment and media would have the capacity to unsettle categories of practice and assessment and to generate, especially for the museum, what Ugo La Pietra would call “unbalancing systems.“

The current exhibition brings together for the first time since 1972 the entire set of films produced for the original exhibition. The related design documents show a range of attitudes toward the conception and theoretical imperatives of the environments themselves and in this respect the current exhibition encounters again medias and environments and their potential for thinking anew the boundaries of design, architecture, domestic spaces, their conditions and territories.

Environments and Counter Environments is an exhibition and, at the same time, a research project by Peter Lang, Luca Molinari and Mark Wasiuta,

The exhibition was originally produced by GSAPP (Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation), Columbia University and shown at:
The Arthur Ross Gallery with the title
Environments and Counter Environments: Experimental Media in Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, MoMA 1972
13 april – 8 may 2009

On the occasion of the exhibition, GSAPP and MoMA held a symposium, Revisiting The New Domestic Landscape
9-10 april 2009

The exhibition is made up of ad hoc design modules by Mark Wasiuta. It was shown, co-produced and adapted in some prestigious European sites. Each time it took on new forms in terms of how the curatorship project was distributed, but also as an in-depth analysis of specific topics, relating to Italian radical design practices and the means of expression of architecture and design in the past compared to today.

The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts
Environments and Counter Environments; Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, MoMA, 1972
Chicago
18 September – 14 december 2013

Environments and Counter Environments; Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, MoMA, 1972
Arkitekturmuseet. The Swedish Museum of Architecture
Stockholm
31 march – 5 june 2011

Hàbitats i Contra-hàbitats.
«Italy: The New Domestic Landscape», MoMA 1972
Disseny Hub Barcelona
12 november 2010 – 20 february 2011

Environments and Counter Environments. Experimental Media in Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, MoMA, 1972
S AM. The Swiss Architecture Museum, Basel
27 march 2010 – 27 june 2010

The exhibition was organized thanks to the kind cooperation of:
Emilio Ambasz (Emilio Ambasz & Associates, Inc.); Andrea Branzi (Archizoom); Gilberto Corretti (Archizoom); Gae Aulenti and Paola Durazzo (Studio Gae Aulenti); Mario Bellini (Mario Bellini Architects); Adam Bandler (CCCP, GSAPP Exhibitions), Ignazia Favata and Teresa Galassini (Studio Joe Colombo); Gloria Bianchino, Paola Pagliari and Simona Riva (CSAC, Università di Parma. Sezione Progetto); Pietro Derossi, Davide Derossi and Anna Licata (Derossi Associati); Laura Giordano (Gondrand Fine Arts Dept.); Mark Wigley (Dean GSAPP, Columbia University); Ugo La Pietra and Simona Cesana (Archivio Ugo La Pietra); Beatrice Lampariello; Gaetano Pesce and Chrystel Garipuy (Studio Gaetano Pesce); Richard Sapper; Piero Frassinelli (Archivio Superstudio, Firenze); Adolfo Natalini (Superstudio); Barbara Radice; Cristiano Toraldo di Francia (Superstudio, Studio Luccioni Toraldo di Francia); Carlo Caldini and Fabrizio Fiumi (9999).