Modern Living: Italy's Dynamic Furniture

Centers shift, in design as in other arts. Fifteen years ago, modern design still meant Scandinavia—birchwood tables and Wirkkala ceramics. Not today: the node from which the most inventive impulses in design now issue is Italy. Italian designers dominate their field in the '70s much as New York painters dominated theirs in the '60s. Last week in Manhattan, the Museum of Modern Art opened an impressive display of home furnishings and environments entitled Italy: The New Domestic Landscape. The show gives a fascinating overview of the projects—commercial, speculative and Utopian—that have occupied...

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