[Part 1: Karma Sutra]
Renowned architect Giovanni Michelucci and art critic Laura Vinca Masini were the two principle curators for ‘La Casa Abitata’ (the Inhabited House), the 1965 Florentine biennale on interior architecture and design that introduced a set of walk-through room installations inside Palazzo Strozzi. The all but forgotten Florentine exhibition brought together some of Italy’s most noteworthy architects and designers to showcase new and creative visions for the contemporary domestic environment.1 In a feature article on the exhibition published in Domus, the editors lamented the fact that this kind of research of the home by such an esteemed group of architects and designers had not originated in Milan at the Triennale.2
While Vinca Masini stressed in her catalogue introduction that there was a complete lack of consensus among the selected participants, her premise was to raise ‘awareness of the inability of contemporary homes to perform an exact function, conditioned by the market, the general building situation and the crisis of our cities, dominated by an increasingly anonymous building program that is ever more confined by the immediate needs of the masses.’ She went on to stress: ‘It seems clear that the average person can save himself only by rediscovering his own measure, by recovering his freedom, where the conditioning, incommunicability and inurement provoked by propaganda and advertising, imposed by all means by all the means of the “culture of affluence”, can be brought down to size and re-established within the limits of their meaning through an individual thought process.’3 With this exhibition, Vinca Masini wanted to show that it was possible for man to gain a real freedom of lifestyle…
- Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi Catalog: La Casa abitata: biennale degli interni di oggi, (Florence, Formatecnica Publicazioni, 1965)
- Domus editors, ‘Introduction,’ Domus, no. 426 (May 1965) reprinted in Charlotte and Peter Fiell, Domus Vol VI 1965-1969 (London: Taschen, 2006), 552.
- Lara Vinca Masini, ‘The Inhabited House’, Domus, no. 426 (May 1965), in: ibid., 553.