Design from the Alps 1920–2020

Design from the Alps 1920–2020

Tyrol South Tyrol Trentino

The first comprehensive survey of modern design from the transnational and multilingual Alpine region Tyrol—South Tyrol—Trentino



Title Information

Edited by Claudio Larcher, Massimo Martignoni, and Ursula Schnitzer

1st edition

, 2019

Text English, Italian, and German


460 pages, 327 color and 39 b/w illustrations

23 x 29 cm

ISBN 978-3-85881-649-8

In cooperation with Merano Arte


Over centuries, the transnational Alpine region Tyrol—Alto Adige / South Tyrol—Trentino has developed along ancient trade routes between Germany and Austria on one and northern Italy on the other side of the Alps. Similar to the region’s modern and contemporary architecture, its product design is in many cases rooted in a rich local tradition of craftsmanship. Yet since the 1920s, this multilingual region has also proven its remarkable openness to European modernism’s most progressive movements and become an unexpected laboratory for technical and formal exploration in the middle of the continent.

Design from the Alps, published to coincide with an exhibition at museum Kunst Meran in autumn 2019, tells the story of a century of product design from Tyrol—South Tyrol—Trentino, highlighting the vast variety of discoveries and innovations that have emerged there. Featured artists include, among others, Fortunato Depero (1892–1960), whose experiments were inspired by the Secondo Futurismo, Gino Pollini (1903–91), a pioneer of the interwar period, as well as the celebrated architects and designers Lois Welzenbacher (1889–1955), Clemens Holzmeister (1886–1983), and Ettore Sottsas (1917–2007). Lavishly illustrated, the book follows the many protagonists of this at the same time heterogenous and collectively strong scene and offers an insightful tour d’horizon of the manifaceted design culture of western Austria and northern Italy.

Mit contributions by Claudio Larcher und Massimo Martignoni, Antonino Benincasa, Nicoletta Boschiero, Hans Heiss, Hans Leo Höger, Christoph Hölz, Gabriella Parisi, Gianni Pettena, Kuno Prey, Siegfried de Rachewiltz, Ettore Sottsass, Matteo Thun, and Marco Zanini. Prefaces by Georg Klotzner, Stephan Schmidt-Wulffen, and Guido Tattoni.

Authors & Editors

Antonino Benincasa

Kunst Meran

Claudio Larcher

Massimo Martignoni

Ursula Schnitzer


"The book presents a decisive overview of the diverse product design of the last 100 years in a very special region and thus closes a gap in design history" Dr. Wolfgang Hornik, Sammler Journal


"This richly illustrated book traces the numerous players in this heterogeneous and yet collectively strong scene and allows to immerse in the diverse world of northern Italian design." Gerrit Menke, Cube


"The contributions provide basic information about the protagonists' biographies and attitudes. They invite the reader to deal with them in greater depth after reading. The book is light but very inspiring. If you're looking for something beautiful, especially in dark times like these, it's highly recommended." Elias Baumgarten, Swiss Architects


"As you leaf through this book, you will indeed be astonished at what there is to discover in this region – the designs and products that have come to light, the sheer number of outstanding designers that have come from this part of the world, the innovative designs that have been created here over the last 100 years, and the entrepreneurial success stories that have been written here." Thomas Wagner, ndion

"A splendid illustrated book traces Alpine product designers from 1920 to the present day - and in doing so shows the connections between discipline and playfulness. Mario Vigl, ALPS Magazine

"Scheidegger & Spiess has published a magnificent accompanying volume, which for the first time brings together the most important designers and products of the region in one book". Jan Baedeker, Classic Driver

"This richly illustrated book traces the numerous players in this heterogeneous yet collectively strong scene and brings long-forgotten things to light." md Interior | Design | Architecture

"A tous ces titres, l’ouvrage se révèle être une extraordinaire mine inépuisable de connaissances et d’inspiration puisées à la source même de ce design propre au Trentino, ce carrefour culturel des plus dynamiques au cœur même de l’Europe." Lexnews