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Art

1.11.2016

Radical Disco Clubs Will Make You Wish It Was 1969

Way back in the 1960’s, people loved to rebel against the norms — basically all the -isms were being questioned. Of course, the attitude also applied to design. So it was no surprise when designers came together to form the Radical Design movement. Combining beat music and avant garde aesthetics, Radical Design became the mecca for Italian club design in the 1960s.

UFO, lovers on a swing chair, Bamba Issa, Forte dei Marmi, 1970. Photograph by Carlo Bachi.
UFO, lovers on a swing chair, Bamba Issa, Forte dei Marmi, 1970. Photograph by Carlo Bachi.

And of course, this design perfectly fit disco.

Gruppo 9999, prototype for the Vegetable Garden House at the Mondial Festival, Space Electronic, Florence (1971)
Gruppo 9999, prototype for the Vegetable Garden House at the Mondial Festival, Space Electronic, Florence (1971)

From Piper in Turin to Mach 2 in Florence, the interiors of these quintessential, neon disco clubs have become the basis of the exhibit “Radical Disco: Architecture and Nightlife in Italy, 1965–1975,” a show at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts that explored the look and feel of these now-iconic clubs. With influences like Marshall McLuhan and Kinetic art, the discos created by design firms like Gruppo 9999, Superstudio, and UFO were children of the times.

Radical-Disco_19_Rome-Piper-1024x620
Side elevation of the Piper club in Rome, designed by 3C+t Capolei Cavalli, 1965  (Giancarlo Capolei, Pinini Capolei, Manlio Cavalli)

While the movement may be long gone, “radical disco” shows the far-reaching impact of rethinking everything you thought you knew about design –a philosophy that even now, is impactful.

Interior of L'Altro Mondo, designed by Pietro Derossi, Giorgio Ceretti and Riccardo Rosso, Rimini, 1967
Interior of L’Altro Mondo, designed by Pietro Derossi, Giorgio Ceretti and Riccardo Rosso, Rimini, 1967

Stay tuned to Milk for more radical discos.

Images via Hyperallergic and Another Magazine

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