Sunday, June 12, 2016

Revolution in the mailbox: The Olivetti Caper

Agent Bikethru managed to transmit these two messages despite several obstacles: a security issue, continuity problems, and the outrageous price of £1.05 to send a postcard from the UK to the US.

I fully agree about the brilliance of Nizzoli's Lexikon 80 design.

Here's some more information about the Olivetti show in London. I hope to see it when I'm there next month.


  1. Yes, it is astounding that the Lettera 22 and Lexicon 80 both date from the late 40s. Nizzoli's stylings were far ahead of their time. Through the early 2000s, pretty much every major Italian manufacturer had a research/development lab that figured out how to industrialize great designs. This made for an incredibly fruitful collaboration between artisans, engineers and designers. I'm sure Olivetti had this too -- and the outcome was sublime.

  2. I once got the chance to watch the process of a Milan furniture company whose lab was trying to industrialize a table designed by, I think, Jean Nouvel. The lab had to figure out how to modify the materials. The solid wood tabletop of Nouvel's sketches was too heavy to ship at an affordable price and the legs needed to be removable. At another firm, I inspected a prototype cabinet for which the in-house staff had created and fabricated a super-strong hinge that disappeared into the door when it closed. It was totally neat, but it wasn't the designer's doing. My point: Nizzoli's name may be the one we remember and revere but there were lots of people who made these great machines possible.

  3. "Wooster and the cow creamer" stratagem! I had to look that one up, although as a buyer I have feigned indifference on many occasions, not always with success. :)

  4. I like the Lexikon 80. :D
    But I still wonder whether if it's better than my Olympia SG 3 or not. :P

    1. I don't think so. The SG3 is so fast, so easy, that it's almost impossible to beat.

  5. You are a member of the Bar as well as achieving scholarly acclaim, Mr Esq.? :D

    Sounds like a great Olivetti show, I hope you enjoy it well!