Enzo Mari
Interview by Hans Ulrich Obrist
Walther König Verlag, Cologne, 2008, English
Nonfiction, Product/Industrial Design
ISBN: 9783865604019

Volume 15 of The Conversation Series features a riveting dialogue between series editor and cultural catalyst Hans Ulrich Obrist and the renowned Italian designer Enzo Mari. More concerned with theoretical issues in design than commercial success, Mari is one of the most thoughtful and intellectually provocative designers of the late twentieth century. His work as a product and furniture designer, as well as a writer, teacher and artist, has proved influential both to his peers and to younger generations. In this volume, Mari discusses his iconic designs for cutting-edge production houses Danese, Olivetti and Castelli, his experience of the contradictory aspects of postwar Italy and his unique take on the design trends of the 1960s and 1970s. Enzo Mari was born in 1932 in Novara, Italy. He has most recently completed a series of tubular aluminum chairs for Vienna's Gebrüder Thonet and a collection for the Japanese home store Muji.

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Sam Hecht

I have read this book twice. It is a very difficult book—very theoretical and dry—but you need to give it time. I feel that Mari is one of the most multi-dimensional designers there has ever been. He comes across as very hard and uncompromising, but I believe that he is very playful in his mind. His countless toys and books show this. In the end he is mysterious, and in this mystery he at least introduces ideas and history that are hardly discussed in current design.

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