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The exhibition at the Pecci Centre in Prato

Night Fever Designing Club Culture 1960 – Today is an exhibition produced by the Vitra Design Museum and ADAM – Brussels Design Museum, hosted at the Luigi Pecci Centre for Contemporary Art as the only Italian venue.

Nightclubs and discos are a hub for present-day culture. Over the course of the twentieth century, they questioned the established codes of fun and socialising and experimented with alternative lifestyles. The most avant-garde design, graphic and fashion events, lights, sounds and special effects meet to create a modern Gesamtkunstwerk.

Night Fever Designing Club Culture 1960 – Todayexamines the history of clubbing, with examples ranging from Italian nightclubs in the 1960s created by members of the Radicals group, to Ian Schrager’s legendary Studio 54 in New York (1977-80); from Les Bains Douches by Philippe Starck in Paris (1978) to the most recent Double Club in London (2008), conceived by German artist Carsten Höller for the Prada Foundation.

With films, period photographs, posters, clothes and works of art, the exhibition also includes a series of light and sound installations that will accompany visitors on a fascinating journey through the world of glamour, subcultures and research in never-ending nights. The exhibition follows a chronological journey starting with the discos of the Sixties, which turned dancing into a collective ritual to be officiated in a fantastic world of lights, sounds and colours to plunge into. To complete the chronological structure of the exhibition, Konstantin Grcic, who curated the exhibition design, and Matthias Singer, in charge of lighting, elaborated a musical and luminous installation, a silent disc that catapults visitors into the eventful history of club culture. A select collection of record covers, including drawings by Peter Saville for Factory Records or the programmatic cover of Grace Jones’ Night clubbing album, underlines the important relationship between music and graphics in the history of discos from 1960 till today.

This multifaceted and multi-media exhibition project, with a specific focus on architecture and design, once again highlights the Centre’s attention to the many existing modern codes, and the most recent desire to investigate the unconventional places of knowledge in order to gather and deepen our understanding of counter-culture.