Olivetti: an exhibition of Italian design in London

Imagine a free party in London to celebrate the opening of an exhibition dedicated to one of the greatest entrepreneurs in Italy. Not a regular entrepreneur, but the leader of a company oriented to design for all of its life.

It’s happening, and it’s happening soon. On may 25th, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London opens its doors for Olivetti: Beyond Form and Function. A graphic and spatial design exhibition for the Italian manufacturing firm near Turin.

Olivetti-221 olivetti Olivetti: an exhibition of Italian design in London Olivetti 221

There are good chances you’ve used – at least once in your life – a Olivetti typewriter. Now you have the chance to see them all, in a exhibition that aims at recognizing the vision of Camillo Olivetti. For the engineer and entrepreneur from Ivrea in Northern Italy, design and functionalism were always going together, hand by hand. This is what Camillo taught to his son Adriano too: with Adriano, Olivetti became famous for the creation of the prototypes of today’s computers: Lettera 22, Valentine, Elea 9003, Programma 101.

olivetti Olivetti: an exhibition of Italian design in London programma 101 mario bellini
Olivetti’s Programma 101 by Mario Bellini: the first personal computer in the world

Sometimes people believe Apple celebrated the wedding between tech and design. Think again, and come to London. The exhibition hosts a historic route to remember Olivetti and their innovation. The company largely made use of designers, artists and writers throughout its history: Le Corbusier, Gae Aulenti, Mario Bellini, Milton Glaser, proving the firm’s passion for style and design.

The exhibition in London is staged in collaboration with Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti, which preserves the cultural heritage of the company from Ivrea.


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