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INTRODUCTION TO STUDIO ALCHIMIA

V. Ryan 2012

 

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By the end of the 1960s, many designers were becoming disillusioned with the lack of change and progress in architecture and product design. Good design was often regarded as Modernism or earlier art movements such as Art Deco. In 1976 Studio Alchimia was formed by the Italian Architect Alessandro Guerriero. The aim was to move away from Modernist design principles to a new style.
 
The Studio Alchimia was composed of designers, whose aim was to design and manufacture exhibition pieces, rather than consumer orientated products. Their products were to be regarded as prototypes / one-offs.
 
Studio Alchimia products were manufactured from cheap, readily available materials. However, although the designs showed many of the characteristics of Modernism, especially Bauhaus designs, they were quite different. Designs included bright colours and decoration, and there was a move away from the symmetry of modernist designs to asymmetrical characteristics. In many ways, Studio Alchimia was the stepping stone from the Modernist design movement, to the Memphis Group of the 1980s. Ettore Sottsass, who later helped form the Memphis Group, was an important contributor to this design movement.
 
The Stazione Sideboard by Andrea Branzi (shown below), exhibits many of the Studio Alchimia design characteristics. The drawers are actually hinged doors. The yellow drawer cannot be fully closed and the sideboard has sliding glass shelves, that retract under the top.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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