Joe Casare Colombo The Dominant Influences Cultural Studies Essay

Part A: Introduction 2

Joe Cesare Colombo 3

Education 5

Personal life 5

Joe Casare Colombo the dominant influences in his life 6

Joe Casare Colombo Design Methodology and Philosophy 6

Preferred Materials by Joe Casare Colombo 8

Joe Casare Colombo Documented Work 12

Part B: Designer Era 16

Design Philosophy and Methodology 17

Preferred Materials and materiality of designer 17

Designers in the Bauhaus Era 18

Work samples 18

Conclusion 21

Reference 22


In this report will show further development and understanding of shifts in society, demographics, materials and technology and their inter-relationships with products. The will be a historical frame work provided and be evaluated and used to analyses the current contextual issues, this will give a foundation which can be used in debates surrounding good and bad design also to fit for purpose and form and function, Will show the understanding the principles of professional practice and understand the strategic role of marketing in evaluating the demand for a product, the will be the focus on the Growth of the middle class in the 19th century and developments with technology and new products with specific reference to electrical appliances and plastics. The Great Exhibition 1851 and exploration of notions of good and bad design with reference to the Arts and Crafts movement, and design theory and machine aesthetic and exploration of form and function. The digital age and the changing face of consumer electronics and how product design has evolved during the 20th century and what product design holds for the future as it has moved in the services of the 21st century.

The second section of the report will look at business studies by starting up a business and looking at the factors that are looked at, so as to develop further the swot analysis and understanding internal strengths, weakness and external opportunities and threats, The examination of buyer behavior the role of the market research, the type of market and segmentation, its role in strategic marketing reports. Will analysis how the understanding the power of the brand and its role in affecting consumer behavior, and how Intellectual Property - Patents; patentability, grant of patents, ownership, patent agents, licenses, infringements. Industrial design; registration, artistic element, copyright, trademarks, registration, passing off, unfair competition, copyright, applicability, ownership, infringement, application to computer programs and use this understanding in a design brief.

Biography of Joe Cesare Colombo

Joe Cesare Colombo

Name: Joe Cesare Colombo

Birthplace: He was born in Milan on 30 July 1930

learning experiences: 1949 educated at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, the academy of fine arts, in Milano as a painter and studied afterwards until 1954 Architecture at Politecnico di Milano University

Work experiences: In 1959, Colombo had to take over the family company, which produced electric appliances, and started to experiment with new construction and production technologies. In 1962 Colombo opened his own interior design and architecture projects, mostly for lodges and skiing.

In 1958, joe and his younger brother gianni took over the running of the family firm.

joe colombo abandoned painting, but used the factory as a playground by experimenting with the latest production processes and newly developed plastics such as fiberglass, ABS, PVC and polyethylene. Concentrating on industrial design from 1962 - 1971 he believed that good domestic design is available to everyone. When opened a design studio in Milan he worked on architectural and design commissions with industry and retail stores.

In 1964 Colombo received the IN-Arch prize for his room conception of a hotel in Sardinia (1962–1964). In 1967 and 1968, he was awarded ADI (Associazione per il Designo Industriale) prize. In 1970 he received the Compasso d'Oro award.


Joe Casare Colombo switched from science to art at secondary school and he studied painting and sculpture at the Accademia di Bella Arti in the Brera area of Milan, while at Accademia di Bella Arti he joined the Movimento Nucleare, an Avant garde art movement that was founded in 1951 by his friends Enrico Baj and Sergio Dangelo. Colombo then enrolled as an architecture student at Milan Polytechnic.  

Personal Life

The Short Happy Life of Joe Colombo

Modern life and the future in the vision of an enlightened, Cesare ‘Joe’ Colombo visualized the future dominated by an almost childish dream of re-building people’s living spaces and everyday life. (Bernhard E. Burdek 2005)explans His vision, Colombo saw simple objects like tables; armchairs and even ashtrays, clothes and shoes had more to them than what they stood for. His contribution to the most important Italian furniture design houses was and still is immense. Recent research (Max Galli) report that during the 60s, Joe had a revolution to his ideas and concepts and got realized in an industrial quantity by the likes of Kartell, Zanotta, Oluce, Boffi, Arflex and Alessi but Joe Colombo loved and enjoyed being photographed he often comfortably seated on one of his creations, with a grin and his pipe, a proper living-trademark of his own style.  Joe saw the term ‘future’ was about to be dominated by integrated furniture and compact, all-purpose spaces that could have been taken from popular TV series like Star Trek or UFO, Joe Colombo had the intuition to turn ‘space age’ shapes, concepts and materials into normal life objects, with a fairly bright view of what the years to come should have looked like. (Max Galli 2013)

Joe Casare Colombo the dominant influences in his life.

Joe Casare Colombo a variety of people and ideas were of significant influence on his work. Colombo is inspired by notion as the creator of the environment of the future; his emphasis was on change, harnessing new technologies to produce new designs "The possibilities presented by the extraordinary development of audiovisual processes are enormous. "The repercussions on the way in which humanity lives could be considerable. People will be able to study at home and carry on their own activities there. Distances will no longer have much importance." (joe Casere Colombo 1960) lecture.

Joe Casare Colombo Design Methodology and Philosophy

Joe Casare Colombo Design Methodology

Joe is famous for been one of the very first designers to us ABS plastic in their products; he also used fiberglass and polyethylene as he experimented on them. In his vision of the "habitat of the future", Colombo had a particular (designboom) interest in the use of space, complete and self-contained units ergonomically designed to ensure the most efficient use of space within them. Joe designed multifunctional architectural environments (designmuseum 2013)

joe Casare Colombo Design Philosophy

Joe Colombo

Colombo saw his role as a designer as the "creator of the environment of the future". Contemporary life, from the early Eighties till now, demonstrates how mass cultural philosophy changed from the ‘design for living’ concept of the late Fifties to early Seventies to the ‘living for design’ ethos that explains

Preferred Materials by Joe Casare Colombo

Iconic design

Boby Trolley, 1970

This iconic and timeless storage trolley has been a mainstay of design studios since the 1970s. Its versatility, vertical modularity and high storage capacity make it an object for everyday use in a whole host of different environments: the home, office, doctor’s surgery, laboratory and any shop. A utility-cart with rotating trays connected to the vertical axle running the length of one of its sides. "BOBY" was specifically studied for use alongside a drawing table, but can easily be used in the office as well as the home, thanks to its vertical stack ability and storage capacity. It is made of molded ABS plastic.

Many options are available; the trolley is made with 2, 3, or 4 sections in height, and each of these can have different drawer configurations. 


2 sections

(with 2 or 3 drawers) 

41 x 43 cm, h 53

3 sections

(with 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 drawers) 

41 x 43 cm, h 74

4 sections

(with 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 drawers) 

41 x 43 cm, h 95

Heights of individual drawers: 

6 cm or 9 cm

Preferred material

Joe mostly used ABS on his product as he was one of the designers to have a break through using the material; he used the factory as a playground by experimenting with the latest production processes and newly developed plastics such as fiberglass, ABS, PVC and polyethylene.


Abs is tough, resilient, and easily molded. It is usually opaque, although some grades can now be transparent, and it can be given vivid colors. Abs-pvc alloys are tougher than standard abs and, in self-extinguishing grades, are used for the casings of power tools.



Abs is a terpolymer, one made by co-polymerizing 3 monomers: acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene. The acrylonitrile gives thermal and chemical resistance, rubber-like butadiene gives ductility and strength, the styrene gives a glossy surface, ease of machining and a lower cost.


Polyethylene, first synthesized in 1933, looks like the simplest of molecules, but the number of ways in which the -CH™- units can be linked is large. It is the first of the polyolefin, the bulk thermoplastic polymers that account for a foremost fraction of all polymer consumption. Polyethylene is inert, and extremely resistant to fresh and salt water, food, and most water-based solutions. Because of this it is widely used in household products and food containers.


GFRP, the first of the modern fiber composites, was developed after ww11 as a lightweight material with high strength and stiffness. It is made of continuous or chopped glass fibers in a polymer matrix – usually polyester or epoxy. Epoxy is more expensive than polyester, but gives better properties. Glass fibers are much cheaper than carbon or Kevlar, and therefore are widely used despite having lower stiffness than carbon and lower strength than Kevlar.

Joe Casare Colombo Documented Work

For his creative potential and even more for his enormous productivity, Cesare "Joe" Colombo was already admired in his lifetime by his colleagues. His work brought him in addition to the respects in professional circles also several awards. (connox 2013)

In 1964 he won 3 medals at the XIII. Triennale in Milan.

In 1967 he won the first "Compasso D’Oro".

In 1968 he gained his first "Design International Award" in Chicago.

In 1969 three of his products were already part of the permanent collection of the MOMA.

Joe Casare Colombo Documented Work


Design 1965 - Production 1965

Especially designed as a horizontal spotlight, it is made of enameled pressed metal plate with chrome and plastic parts. Mounted on a number of different supports, the interchangeable elements of this lighting system allow for variety of different applications according to its use as a table, wall, ceiling or clamped fixture.



Design 1963 - Production 1965

This is considered to be the first armchair made of molded plastic (fiberglass): an oversized, self-supporting shell on a swivel base, it is lined on the inside with individual leather cushions.

habitat of the future design by Joe Colombo for Bayer, Visiona I, 1969


Design 1969 - Production 1969 BAYER (Leverkusen)

Prototype of "Futuristic Habitat", the structure is composed of three coordinated units which are equipped using technological advancement and innovative materials. A)-"Central-Living": living space for leisure; B)- "Night-Cell": can be closed and climate controlled for sleeping, includes bathroom and closets; C)- "Kitchen-Box": air-conditioned kitchen equipped with a pull-out dining table.



Design 1963 - Production 1964

This small one-piece kitchen on wheels contains all the electrical appliances and necessary features one needs to cook for and accommodate six people, in just one-half of a cubic meter. Electrically powered, it is made of wood, steel and plastic.

Part B: Designer Era


The Bauhaus, a German word meaning "house of building", was a school founded in 1919 in Weimar, Germany by architect Walter Gropius. The school emerged out of late-19th-century desires to reunite the applied arts and manufacturing, and to reform education. These had given birth to several new schools of art and applied art throughout Germany, and it was out of two such schools that the new Bauhaus was born. The Bauhaus school was created when Walter Gropius was appointed head of two art schools in Weimar and united them into one. He coined the term Bauhaus as an inversion of ‘Hausbau’ – house construction. This is reflected in the romantic medievalism of the school's early years, in which it pictured itself as a kind of medieval crafts guild. But in the mid-1920s the medievalism gave way to a stress on uniting art and industrial design, and it was this which ultimately proved to be its most original and important achievement. (David Raiziam 2003)


Design Philosophy and Methodology

The motivations behind the creation of the Bauhaus lay in the 19th century, in anxieties about the soullessness of manufacturing and its products, and in fears about art's loss of purpose in society. Creativity and manufacturing were drifting apart, and the Bauhaus aimed to unite them once again, rejuvenating design for everyday life.

Although the Bauhaus abandoned much of the ethos of the old academic tradition of fine art education, it maintained a stress on intellectual and theoretical pursuits, and linked these to an emphasis on practical skills, crafts and techniques that was more reminiscent of the medieval guild system.

Fine art and craft were brought together with the goal of problem solving for a modern industrial society. In so doing, the Bauhaus effectively leveled the old hierarchy of the arts, placing crafts on par with fine arts such as sculpture and painting, and paving the way for many of the ideas that have inspired artists in the late 20th century.

The stress on experiment and problem solving at the Bauhaus has proved enormously influential for the approaches to education in the arts. It has led to the 'fine arts' being rethought as the 'visual arts', and art considered less as an adjunct of the humanities, like literature or history, and more as a kind of research science.

Preferred Materials and materiality of designer

It was described by Gropius in the manner of a wheel diagram, with the outer ring representing the vorkurs, a six-month preliminary course, initiated by Johannes Itten, which concentrated on practical formal analysis, in particular on the contrasting properties of forms, colors and materials, these classes emphasized functionalism through simplified, geometric forms that allowed new designs to be reproduced with ease. During the Bauhaus building construction led to students seek practicality and necessity through technological reproduction, with an emphasis on craft and workmanship that was lost in technological manufacturing. And the basic pedagogical approach was to eliminate competitive tendencies and to foster individual creative potential and a sense of community and shared purpose. Those students that had completed had to choose form a number of specialist workshops: painting, pottery metalwork’s, mural painting, stained glass, carpentry, stagecraft, weaving, bookbinding and woodcarving. (Bernhard E. Burdek 2005)

Designers in the Bauhaus Era

Peter Keler

Marianne brandt

Wilhelm Wagenfeld

Georg Muche

Adolf Meyer

Marcel Breuer

(Bernhard E. Burdek 2005)

Work samples

Peter Keler

Cradle 1922 available:, accessed 05/02/2013.

This utilizes the primary colors of yellow, red and blue and the triangle, square and circle forms that Kandinsky assigned to each of these respectively. The cradle was presented at the 1923 exhibition at the Haus am Horn. (Bernhard E. Burdek 2005)

Marianne Brandt

Tea Machine*LRgp6zBBTNVxuoEDQcQtV*mZ5mag591Ck0mkAWHf9GgrQTsO2cAophFv/Brandt2.jpg

Tea machine; available, accessed 05/02/2013

The Marianne Brandt tea pot is the part of the set, which most strictly follows the formal principles of the Bauhaus school. Circle, globe and square are the basic forms of the construction. (Bernhard E. Burdek 2005)

Wilhelm Wagenfeld table lamp

Wagenfeld table lamp - WA 24, 1924

Wagenfeld table lamp WA 24 available, accessed 05/02/2013

This version of the metal table lamp created in the same year has a glass base and a glass rod, in which a nickel-plated 10 mm diameter tube accommodates the cord. An old drawing and an original lamp were available for this reproduction, enabling us to adhere exactly to the original dimensions and proportions. (Bernhard E. Burdek 2005)


For my research and report I have discovered that Colombo was a passionate communicator and gifted, he loved been elegant and when been photographed he had his pipe with him always. Colombo was enthusiastic about his opportunities of new technologies and improvement of human everyday life. I have also seen that during the 21 century had a strong emphasis on squares/cubical shapes, in a way this shows during that time period of time creative was a bit low so they used geometric shapes. In present time this kind of design is seen as vintage or retro furniture, and just to dismiss that very idea and bury this into indefinite past, but from what I see it couldn’t be more modern than that. It’s neither vantage, nor retro and it’s not the past all but it’s the future.

The report on Bauhaus has shown me that Bauhaus derive design of an object form its natural functions and conditions, in conclusion the Bauhaus encouraged the thought that the design was invisible. Bauhaus was not concerned with the formulation of time bound, concept and its technical methods were not end in them. Concluding design is important and that if you have form and function correct you have designed it well.