Quaderna project background 

Quaderna, through its history, embodies the utopian ideals of its time. The 1970s marked a period of transition and reevaluation, accompanied by visionary ideals that fundamentally reshaped norms, thoughts, aesthetics, and viewpoints. Within its narrative, Quaderna stands as a representation of the utopian aspirations of that era. The radical movement of the time aimed to transcend the confines of design conventions, seeking to dismantle the established contradictions at the formal level and thereby challenging the conventional perception of products.

This movement gave rise to an avant-garde style that both provoked and inspired the contemporary world. Termed “radical design,” it not only challenged the existing state of design but also critiqued the broader social environment within which designers operated. This critique explicitly targeted the rigid and dogmatic functionalism upheld by academic institutions. The movement positioned itself as a liberating vision for both life and design.

In 1969, the Superstudio group developed the concept of “Istogrammi,” which involved creating objects based on a spatial grid with an orthogonal pattern. This adaptable framework spanned various scales, from individual designs to urban planning, culminating in the iconic “Monumento continuo.” This continuous artificial landscape had the potential for limitless expansion, akin to a vast network interconnecting everything. The theory of Istogrammi subsequently evolved into the notion of an expansive realm of yet-to-be-invented objects, encompassing everything from flat surfaces to furniture and even architectural structures.

Part of the Serie Misura “M” is subsequently produced by Zanotta under the name Quaderna.
Archive images: courtesy of Archivio Toraldo di Francia, Filottrano

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