Ugo La Pietra


Ugo-front Ugo-spread

Ugo La Pietra has been closely involved in street design since the Sixties. Many projects have inspired him but the most common has been how to overcome the barriers between public realm and the private. Starting from the concept Living is being at home everywhere La Pietra uses his studies on objects found in Milan, their analysis and reconversion into domestic objects to light heartedly illustrate the huge difference between our private space (which we fill with comfortable pieces of furniture to express our identity) and public space (characterized only by objects and tools that suggest violence and separation). Urban furniture for society is an illustrated book showing how Ugo La Pietra transforms street furniture into domestic furniture. With an introduction by Ugo La Pietra, Giacinto Di Pietrantonio and Riccardo Zelatore.

Born in 1938, in Bussi sul Tirino, Italy, Ugo La Pietra lives and works in Milan.
The 1960s and 1970s were a period of intense experimental activity for him during which he made significant contributions to radical design. His work attempts to clarify the relationship of “individual-environment.” Within the framework of this process he develops knowledge tools (“models for understanding”) that seek to transform the traditional “work-viewer” relationship. In the 1960s he explored the theme of the synesthésie des arts and during this period proposed urban interventions designed in rapport with the artworks of various artists (Fontana, Azuma…).

In 1967, he began his research on the theory of the “Unbalancing System” (“Sistema desequilibrante”) (1967-1972), which involves an attempt to intervene on physical space and territory, through symbolic actions, utilizing the image as a revelatory tool. In 1971, he designed urban audiovisual tools for “Trigon 1971” in Graz, Austria. He directed the film “La Grande Occasione” in 1972. He was a founding member of the “Global Tools” group (1973), an alternative school of architecture and design… In 1974, he organized the first exhibition of radical design, “Gli abiti dell’imperatore”, in Milan, Belgrade and Graz. A year later he won first prize at the Nancy Architectural Film Festival. U. La Pietra has organized many exhibitions: for the International Center of Brera in Milan (1975-1979), the Milan Triennale (since 1968), the Venice Biennale, and the “Abitare il tempo” events in Verona (1986-1997)…

His work was featured in the landmark exhibition “Italy: The new domestic landscape,” MOMA, 1972, and in the Venice Biennale, 1970 and 1978, and Milan Triennale, 1972, amongst countless others.

Ugo La Pietra - Urban furniture for society
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