Family, food and God: The hidden history of ‘Made in Italy’

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(CNN)Gathering to eat with family and friends is a cornerstone of Italian life, and so it’s no surprise that the architecture of the table has inspired many Italian designers to make extraordinary objects.

Myth and mystique of ‘Made in Italy’

The “Made in Italy” brand itself initially developed organically, as companies manufacturing their goods in Italy began to see a business advantage in the tag.

The label been legally protected since 1999, with the proviso enforced from 2009 that all goods must be designed, manufactured and packaged in the country to earn the right to use the moniker: “Made in Italy.”

The myth and mystique of Italian design excellence have solid foundations in Italy’s regional centers of excellence, in family firms and professional networks, in unique approaches to architecture and design education, materials innovation, and radical theorizing.

While the best Italian design is deceptively simple in its craftsmanship — there is much more to its success, than meets the eye.

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