Oral history interview with Massimo Vignelli
Portions of this collection are digitized

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.vignel11
Creators:
Vignelli, Massimo
Riedel, Mija, 1958-
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Dates:
2011 June 6-7
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
9 Items
Sound recording: 9 sound files (6 hr., 52 min.)
153 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Massimo Vignelli conducted 2011 June 6-7, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Vignelli's home and office, in New York, New York.
Scope and Contents
Vignelli speaks of his youth and early start in art design and architecture; his early work at Catiglione architects at the age of 16; his father; his education; meeting his favorite architects; his influences; architecture and design magazines; organic and rationalist architecture in Italy; influence of Ignazio Gardella; Adolf Loos' idea of spoon to the city; European, American, and Italian architecture; education in Milan; his work with Venini Glass; Italian design; his early graphic work; design and vulgarity; marriage and working with Lella Vignelli; graphic design work at the Container Corporation; concept of design as a whole; his work on corporate identities; his establishment of Vignelli Associates; introduction and use of Helvetica in the United States; working with Knoll; choosing clients; design and culture; his work on St. Peter's Lutheran Church; design work for the United States National Parks newspaper design and layout; Unimark; timelessness and design; working with Poltrona Frau, Zero Labor design; major influences; his work for the United States Postal Service; connectivity and context in architecture; his clothing designs and historical perspectives on clothing; postmodernism; his work on the New York Subway; design work before and after computers; Japanese architecture and design; his work as a teacher; Oliviero Toscani and working for Benetton; America and international design; modernism and the office building; modern design and furniture; a timeline of his career; the Vignelli Center at RIT and archiving. Vignelli also recalls, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Giuseppe Terragni, Giuseppe Pagano, Domus, GiĆ³ Ponti, Metron, Bruno Zevi, Ignazio Gardella, Ray and Charles Eames, Giancarlo De Carlo, Venini Glass, Carlo Scarpa, Ralph Eckerstrom, Umberto Eco, Sansoni Publishing House, Vignelli Associates, Walter Kacik, Helvetica, Knoll, St. Peter's Lutheran Church, National Parks, New York Herald, Unimark, Lella Vignelli, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Poltrona Frau, Dieter Rams, Louis Kahn, Stendig Calendar, A to Z, Salon de Mobile, Michael Graves, Robert Venturi, Oliviero Toscani, Benetton, Herman Miller, Steelcase, and the Vignelli Center.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Massimo Vignelli (1931- ) is a designer in New York, New York. Mija Riedel (1958- ) is an independent scholar in San Francisco, California.

Administration
Sponsor
Funding for this interview was provided by the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.

General
General
Originally recorded as 9 sound files. Duration is 6 hr., 52 min.

Digital Content

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Architectural design Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Architecture, American Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Architecture -- Europe Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Architecture, Italian Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Architecture -- Italy Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Architecture, Japanese Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Architecture -- United States Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Study and teaching Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Costume design Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Design Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Designers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Furniture design Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Postmodernism Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Architects Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
De Carlo, Giancarlo, 1919-2005 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Domus Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Eames, Charles Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Eames, Ray Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Eckerstrom, Ralph E. (Ralph Eugene), 1921- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Eco, Umberto Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Frau, Poltrona Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gardella, Ignazio Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Graves, Michael, 1934-2015 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kacik, Walter Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kahn, Louis I., 1901-1974 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Le Corbusier, 1887-1965 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Loos, Adolf, 1870-1933 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, 1886-1969 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pagano, Giuseppe, 1896-1945 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pomodoro, Arnaldo, 1926- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ponti, Gio, 1891-1979 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rams, Dieter Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scarpa, Carlo, 1906-1978 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Terragni, Giuseppe, 1904-1943 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Toscani, Oliviero Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Venturi, Robert Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Vignelli, Lella Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Zevi, Bruno, 1918-2000 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Benetton (Firm) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Container Corporation of America Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Herman Miller, Inc. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Knoll Associates, inc. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Metron Orts- und Regionalplanung Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New York City Transit Authority Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New York Herald. (New York.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rochester Institute of Technology Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sansoni (Firm) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Steelcase, Inc. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. National Park Service Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States Postal Service Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Venini International Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Vignelli Associates Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/