One of the last surviving members of the futurist generation, Bruno Munari has been the enfant terrible of Italian art and design for most of this century. Munari was born in 1907 in Milan and it was against the active background of futurism that his artistic experiments developed, but his mechanical fantasies, practical inventions, and didactic writings continue to be enjoyed by a public that has no memory of Balla, Prampolini, and Marinetti.
Munari's 40-odd books, ranging from futurist manifestoes to design manuals to children's books, have been widely read in many languages. But this book, itself designed by Munari, is the first comprehensive account of his total achievement. Here are the Unreadable Books (that told stories through the possibilities of typography, papermaking, and binding), Traveling Sculptures, Fossils of the Year 2000, Theoretical Reconstruction of Imaginary Objects, Original Xerographies, Negative Positives, and the famous Useless Machines of the 1930s (constructions for wagging the tails of lazy dogs, predicting dawn, making sobs sound musical) as well as numerous other works, some published for the first time.
The hundreds of illustrations, many in full color, recreate Munari's relentless inventiveness, his love of irony, chance and humor, his intensely experimental orientation and constantly fresh approach to new technologies and materials.
Aldo Tanchis lives in Milan where he is currently collaborating with the advertising agency Pirella Göttsche. He is the author of The Anomalous Art of Bruno Munari.