Rebranding Italy
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: Parsons The New School for Design
School: School of Art and Design History and Theory
Department: Art and Design History
Course Number: PLVS 3030
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Visual Culture
This course examines significant developments in Italian design and popular culture following World War II to the postmodern era. Each session will study a variety of object types, texts, exhibitions, and designers to situate them within the aim of “rebranding” Italian cultural identity after the dominance of fascism. From a design perspective, Italy is synonymous with craft, quality, innovation, and expression. This course investigates the truth behind storied Italian design traditions, and situates myth and reality within the global political climate of the postwar to postmodern years. The course will also consider Italian identity in America by looking at popular culture, fashion and design, and how “Italianness” was, and continues to be, marketed to Americans. Specific objects that will be analyzed will include Piaggio’s Vespa scooter, Olivetti’s Fifth Avenue showroom, Gaetano Pesce’s furniture design, and various films and television shows. Throughout, objects and images will be considered within their social, cultural, political and economic contexts. Readings will come from both primary and secondary sources.
Course Open to: Degree Students
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
Open to: All university degree students. Pre-requisites: first-year university writing course and at least one prior history or methods course in art, media, film, or visual culture.


Open to Undergraduate students.