All the objects that are disappearing from our domestic landscape

Outdated by technological innovation, or just no longer matching the evolution of lifestyles, certain objects are still probably living in our houses, unnoticed.

Recently, I had the chance to reconsider — well, to trip in — the orange plastic magazine rack that serves as a silent member of my family since the early 70s. The latest magazines inside dated back to 2008. For sure I haven’t quit reading newspapers or magazines since then; it had been it, instead, the one to take a step back. All the house had kept living its life, despite his little step back into the shadows.
There are some objects living inside our houses that, rather than being forgotten, have been sent into retirement. It clearly relates to technological innovation, to the appearance of smartphone and tablets. But more often, going deeper into the reasons, it has been a matter of changes in the way we see their role in the domestic environment, a matter of changes in the citizenship statute we bestowed to technology within our habitat. A habitat which is mad of  furniture, sofas, lives, presences, absences, cohabitations, of jobs that once used to make our houses some kind of a faraway storage space for ourselves, but now they’re turning them into some kind of a new oversized clothing of ours. 

giotto stoppino magazine rack kartell 1972 - domus
Magazine rack by Giotto Stoppino for Kartell, 1972. Cover picture: the Grillo landline phone by Marco Zanuso and Richard Sapper, 1965.

All this is translated on one side in a change of needs: we no longer need to automatically reach out for organizers, calendars, pencils or handrests. But on the other side it might be also  about reconsidering, for instance, that urge we felt for a certain time, to turn technology into a piece of furniture, to ceaselessly make it compact and integrated, treating our design history with masterpieces such as the Minikitchen by Joe Colombo, but more often and more trivially storming our homes with the installation of table-bars, cupboard-bars and so on.

A small collection can be found here, made of objects that have been somehow put  on a shelf by the evolution of domestic life, leading us on a short journey across functions that sometimes still remain familiar, and legendary figures of design (MariMagistrettiRams, Sapper, Stoppino, Zanuso) that by no ways can be left on the shelf: au contraire, they have probably designed that shelf themselves.

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