This week’s magazine is Domus. Domus is published in Milan, Italy and it is one of the oldest shelter magazines we subscribe to. It has focused on modernism since its founding in 1928 by architect and industrial designer Gio Ponti. His goal, he wrote, was to “renew architecture, interiors and Italian decorative arts without overlooking topics of interest to women, like the art of homemaking, gardening and cooking.” It is currently published 11x/year with English and Italian printed side by side. It’s a larger format title (12.75″ x 9.5″), and is elegantly art directed.
The title, which means “home”, presents current architecture (using floor plans and design drawings), interior design and furniture, including current art and product exhibitions, new buildings, urban and sustainable space design, and art criticism. The Domus website expands this coverage to include news of the architecture and design worlds, explorations of new tech and other products, and the inevitable high-end advertising.
The title and its editors suffered as WWII politics tore Italy apart. One editor, Guiseppe Pagano, died in a concentration camp because of his anti-fascist beliefs. The title was redesigned repeatedly to bend with the volatile politics of Mussolini’s Italy, and suspended publication from 1945-early 1946.
After the war, the title became an symbol of design innovation, partaking actively in artistic debate through the 1960s and ’70s. The herald of post-modern design, Ettore Sottsass, published his “Whipped Cream Diary” essay in the magazine in the ’70s. Alessandro Mendini’s assumption of editorship in 1979 made the publication a home for the neo-avant garde of post-modernist fame. The magazine has continued to grow and change with the needs of the 21st century, and is very much apart of the current debates surrounding city living, sustainability, and interior design as a piece of human wellness.
The title expanded to publish several foreign editions: Chinese in 2006, Russia in 2008, Israel in 2009, Indian and Central American editions in 2011, and a German one in 2013.
From 1986 to 2000, Domus published guides to architectural landmarks in a variety of cities worldwide. MIT made a research guide/directory of these:
Come to the 4th floor and take a look!